I would like to makeover my backyard- any DIY ideas?

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I am 80 yrs old and would like for DIY to do a make over in my. Back yard. I have a large back yard and would love to have some way to cook out side. Can you help me.
Oscar

  5 answers
  • Cindy Hagemann Cindy Hagemann on Nov 13, 2017
    I don't know of any DIY way to do this without building a work station and grill with brick or concrete. You could get a large gas grill that has stove burners and a sink for you to cook, grill, and clean up outside. This is a very big one and is probably expensive (but you can get the idea and look for something within your price range)
  • Lydia Weikel Cox Lydia Weikel Cox on Nov 14, 2017
    While MarketingMomx4 has given a beautiful option, I'm a senior citizen too, and not at all inclined to spend so many dollars, time or energy at this point in my life for what she suggests. I'm also not likely to be cooking for a large crowd these days requiring a large fancy setup. I'll let the younger folks do that and invite me! :) BUT....I do like to cook outdoors for even just myself! So, here is what I've done when I moved earlier this year. I located a Weber-type kettle charcoal grill not too far from my back door, just outside a small covered porch, so I didn't have to be carting food very far from my back kitchen door to the grill, or back again when cooked. The area had spotty grass, mostly mud, from the former owners' pets bathroom stops for some years, so not much was going to grow there. I didn't want to be treking mud in & out so I dug about 4-6" down in an area about 4'x4', or just a tad bit bigger than the feet & wheels of the grill. I had an old piece of carpet recently removed from my basement after a plumbing problem, that hadn't gone to the trash yet. I cut it to fit the area I'd dug out, then turned the "right side" down, with the backing upwards in the spot I'd dug. This was my no cost way of providing a weed barrier, but you could also use the type of porous weed barriers for flower beds. If you do that though, I'd use a couple layers for a better barrier. I let the edges curl up to be even with the surrounding grass/cement walkway. Next, the former owner had also left a few cement pavers, about 12" square & 2" thick. I placed them over the old rug right where the grill feet/wheels would go, for a stable flat surface and made sure it was level. Next, I went to a big box home improvement center and purchased 2 bags of "egg rocks." These are white rounded rocks, the sizes of chicken pullet eggs up to goose eggs, but mostly large white chicken eggs. They seem to be like marble. I ended up going back later for 2 more bags, but used only a total of 3 1/2 bags for the space I had. I spread these rocks over the carpet between and around the stepping stones, out to the edges I'd dug. The result was attractive, non-burnable, durable, and allows rain water to drain without making a muddy mess. If I'd not had the few stepping stones already, I might have purchased enough of those for the whole area, leaving about 1/2" between each paver, then packed sand between them for some drainage. But I was trying to use what was on hand as much as possible. In my experience, I've always needed someplace to set food on both before and after cooking, while setting it on or off the grill. A Kettle type grill doesn't have a convenient little side shelf like many gas grills do, so maybe that won't be an issue if you have/buy a gas grill. I already had an old lidded wash tub, the type used for rinsing wash with wringer washers. I set that nearby, with a pretty placemat and potted plant. When cooking the plant gets moved to my outdoor table. Inside the old wash tub, there is room for a container of charcoal, lighter fluid, and some cooking utensils, an outdoor wok etc. It is close at hand but out of sight otherwise. There happens to be a post for my covered porch not too far away--within arm's reach, that I put an attractive plant hanger on at a convenient height. I hang my grilling fork, spatula, tongs etc. on it while cooking, between flipping burgers or whatever. A former grill had a type of rack with hooks on the outer edge for this purpose, but since this grill doesn't have that gizmo, this has been a convenient alternative. One of the things I've liked about this set up, is that even if there is some rain, I'm close enough to my covered back porch, I can slip back under cover taking only 3 or 4 steps after turning whatever I'm cooking, and placing the lid back over the grill. Just outside the stone base area, farthest from the house, I placed a row of large clay pots each containing herbs I use in cooking, plus a few yellow marigolds for color and insect control. It was quite convenient to pluck a few sprigs and throw them on the meats and vegetables I was grilling. At some point in the future, I might construct (or buy) a raised bed structure and plant them in that, because the clay pots cannot be left out over winter in my climate--freezing temps cause them to crumble. Of course, much more could be done in a large yard with additional plantings for privacy and beauty, paths for walking or beds of flowers to enjoy. Even a water feature! But this is as far as I've gotten for this first year since my move in late 60's, and a somewhat challenged body and purse.

    • Linda Hunt Linda Hunt on Nov 14, 2017
      Hats off to you, Lydia! I know thirty year olds who do not have enough energy to do what you tackled, bwahahaha. It is wonderful that you realized how important backs and pocketbooks are for bodies heading upward in time. Sounds very beautiful. Post a wee pic in the tutorial someday if you feel like it to inspire us even more! Regards, Linda
  • Igo31412739 Igo31412739 on Nov 14, 2017
    Thanks for the information. I might consider something like that.
  • Lillyz Lillyz on Nov 14, 2017
    After having a great 4 burner gas grill for many years, it started having problems that were going to cost me more to fix than replace. I bought a small portable kettle type charcoal grill and a portable plastic table that was designed for it (holds the grill in place). There is enough room on the table to put a cookie sheet of food. I bought the little chimney accessory. I don't use charcoal starter because to me it makes the food smell like charcoal starter. I use cotton balls saturated with petroleum jelly. I miss the gas grill because of how fast it took to get the grill hot, but I think food cooked on a charcoal grill tastes better. I have a concrete patio with a covered area and an uncovered area. I have the grill in the uncovered area. I also have a table and some chairs for outside. Its especially nice to go out and have coffee and read the paper in the morning.
    I don't know if you are thinking about plants or a garden of some type, but herb gardens are pretty forgiving, in fact some thrive on neglect.
    Last spring we had a major snowstorm that brought down a lot of branches. After getting that cleaned up, I realized that I had more sunlight, which gave me the opportunity to plant a few veggies in containers Tomatoes! Like Lydia I don't use clay pots because of freezing. Ive found that gardening in containers is a lot easier than trying to improve the soil even in raised beds. Now that I am getting older it is getting more difficult to do in ground gardening.
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