How can I help this space in my yard?

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the brown places that are either dirt or pine straw were FULL of weeds, some nearly knee-height. Years ago, before I had two trees cut and some limbs removed on others, a sod guy told me that grass would never live here because, he pointed out to me, even weeds weren't growing there. But now that weeds flourish, I wonder if shade fescue seed planted in the fall might grow? This is afternoon sun in the photo. Since seed doesn't cost a fortune, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to try, but what's the opinion of those of you who know more about this than I do?

q this is part of my backyard prior to a yardman scalping it last week
  8 answers
  • Diane Diane on Aug 25, 2018

    Hi. You've got a potentially beautiful area in the making. Ok I don't know much about all plants, you can call a nursery.

    But as I live in New Mexico there's a lot of gravel/rock gardens. Depending on where you live and your zone the amount of plants and colors might really surprise you. They lay a yard plastic, which actually you can do as it is, and no weeds. Plants in large pots are beautiful, paint the pots differant colors. Put in a fountain, bench, nick knacks...you'll have a haven.

    I hope it works well for you.🙂

  • Louise Louise on Aug 25, 2018

    I'm trying to eliminate as many shrubs and plants and such because I see them as snake harborers. That's why I thought maybe grass would cover the land area and put my mind more at ease. Not shown in this photo are some nandinas that are very graceful and look nice and also some hydrangeas. Also, the foreground here is a rock path but I have to do some cleaning up to reveal all the rocks again. I do like the idea of some colorful pots. Don't know why that didn't occur to me. I seldom use the backyard because in the summer, it's just too humid, so I don't want to bother with a fountain, altho I think they're quite nice.

  • You are better off with shrubs and plants than grass. Ever hear of "snake in the grass?" Many snakes love to slither through cool grass in dappled sunlight. Snakes are nothing to fear if you are properly educated. Just learn which ones in your are are poisonous. The rest are wonderful for rodent control. Just keep your yard tidy and they will not have a reason to visit you.

  • Hotscotgal Hotscotgal on Aug 26, 2018

    You are so lucky to have these beautiful terraces! Many people would love to have them. I don’t know what part of the country you live in, but if you only use this area in the cool/winter months some evergreens would be nice. Or try planting flowers from seed.

    • See 1 previous
    • Hotscotgal Hotscotgal on Aug 26, 2018

      Some dwarf evergreens would be nice to look at from your window, with some tall ornamental grasses in the back for all season interest. A small crab apple looks good all year long with flowers in spring, berries in fall that will bring cardinals to ear them and be fun to see. And some small shrubs, like hydrangeas would be interesting all year.

  • Brenda Brenda on Aug 26, 2018

    I agree with the colourful pots. I have over 20 of them placed around our property. 4 of them hold beautiful arrangements of fake flowers. No one can tell the difference! If you choose flowers that look as real as possible you can enjoy them all year round or change them out with the seasons. I take them all in for the winter and get a good many years out of most of them.

  • Inetia Inetia on Aug 27, 2018

    You can trim the lower growth from the shrubs and keep any grass or weeds trimmed around the trunks. I don’t have to worry about snakes but I’ve put in sand and rock walkways with sitting spaces to reduce maintenance and water use. (Got the rocks free on Craigslist). They’re the perfect format for container planting’s. Do be careful when repotting; dump the pots cautiously in case snakes have taken up residence in the bottom of the containers. I would cover the drainage holes with small mesh wire and weight it down with rocks before adding soil and plants. You can install a snake fence to help deter the scary belly-crawlers.

  • Inetia Inetia on Aug 28, 2018

    You can get wire-mesh snake fencing at Lowe’s or Home Depot. You must get quarter-inch mesh or baby snakes can go through it. It should be 2 to 4 feet tall and buried underground or secured to the ground with stakes.


  • Ken Erickson Ken Erickson on Dec 17, 2020

    I would put in flowers and bushes and irrigation system. Then mulch the area to keep weeds down. Grass would be a pain to mow in those areas.

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