How can I transform my back yard where nothing will grow??

The quality of the soil is poor and the shade is dense.

  11 answers
  • You may want to consider different types of stone and/or mulch along with shade-loving plants. You can always amend the soil with compost and topsoil.
  • Sherry Cohen Sherry Cohen on Feb 24, 2018
    Try a Japanese-style rock garden. It can look beautiful and it's low maintenance.
  • Mogie Mogie on Feb 24, 2018
    BBQ or seating area, fish pond, rock garden, plants in pots, fire pit, outdoor furniture, etc.
  • Melissa V Melissa V on Feb 24, 2018
    Have you also thought about trimming out some of the dense foliage? It could be good for those plants (air circulation, sun, rain, etc.) as well as then planning future gardens. Where are you, BTW?
    • SueW1 SueW1 on Feb 24, 2018
      I am in Kansas City. We have already pruned the trees. But as I said, the quality of the soil is poor. A lot of clay.
  • Deb K Deb K on Feb 24, 2018
    Shade loving plants, or you could try a moss garden
  • Deb K Deb K on Feb 24, 2018
    Shade loving plants, or try a moss garden - i meant to attach this to the above comment Ha ha!
  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Feb 24, 2018
    I think using, gravel, stone mulch, pavers, whatever you want to use would look great, you can incorporate raised gardens with shade loving plants throughout the paths or even use potted plants. You can also sink large plastic pots and plant in them and not have to worry about the soil. You can amend the soil with a good garden soil or potting soil and add in a bit of peat moss and sterilized manure to make it healthier, make sure you give it fertilizer, too.
  • Ellen Sue Blickman Ellen Sue Blickman on Feb 24, 2018
    Hardscape ($$$) or smooth rocks. Add potted plants and put up string lights.
  • Connieb Connieb on Feb 24, 2018
    Not sure how big your back yard is or what kind of shade. But if you like entertaining. Have you ever thought about paving it with some pretty stone, brick, etc. Then build a barbeque, set up out door tables and seating. And if you like plants, build stone or brick flower boxes around the borderline of your property and plant vegetables and flowers. These are just a few suggestions.
  • Alberta Coulter Alberta Coulter on Feb 24, 2018
    Rent a rototiller and break up the ground as deep as you can. Then top it with peat moss and some sand. Till it again to incorporate the moss into the soil. It will help to lighten the soil and make it able to be aerated. When you plant something, make the hole twice as deep and wide as the root ball of the plant you are putting in and mix in some manure or compost with the dirt. Fill the hole to the depth you need for the plant and put it in. Water it thoroughly and put some mulch around it to help keep it from drying out. It's a lot of work, but other than paving it an putting in a patio, amending the soil is the best way to get stuff to grow.
  • SueW1 SueW1 on Feb 25, 2018
    Thank you for the very thorough answer....I greatly appreciate it!!

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