Asked on May 19, 2019

How do I fix up my backyard?

FlipturnWilliamRobyn Garner


I covered my backyard with cardboard to kill the grass and it looks like a junkyard!!! What’s next before HOA charge me with littering!!! I’m actually scared to be seen in my yard. Landscapers want to charge $5,000!!!!

Cardboard growing on my yard.

Recently had deck power washed and stained. Need yard to be pretty too!

View of backyard from my deck. I’m scared to go down there. I have nightmares about my yard!!!!!

9 answers
  • Patio200
    on May 19, 2019

    oh my, i would be afraid of this too! get rid of the cardboard and all the junk!!! rake it all up, put down new top soil, don't want grass? dont plant any, use white vinegar and baking soda to kill weeds. put down stone, mulch, something, any thing is better than this mess. glad i am not your neighbor. hope it works out for you.

  • EJ
    on May 19, 2019

    I used cardboard to cover weeds, but I followed up with landscaping cloth and then put down red mulch. No one can tell that I used cardboard.

  • Adele DuranGO
    on May 19, 2019

    This is actually a good start to a wildflower garden that will show your neighbors you had a better plan all along. Check out the plentiful advice and show these pics to American Meadows ASAP and follow their instructions.

    I believe they will tell you to

    • finish killing the grasses with a spray that will not prevent the new seedlings from starting.
    • Rake 4-6 inches deep.
    • Throw seeds.
    • Water twice a day.

    In a couple weeks the seedlings will sprout, water daily.

    And in late June, July and August.... your yard will be the envy of the neighborhood. and a joy for you.

  • Sheri Riehl
    on May 19, 2019

    Right around the patio area on the left one foot around it. Dig down and remove weeds. Edge with red brick to match. Plant your favorite perennials. Along front area, toward gate. Put in stepping stones toward gate. Add black liner for weed control on both sides. Add soil and throw out grass seeds or sod it. Buy two large Planters and place on each side of the front part of the Patio. Plant with flowers. Buy a table with two chairs and make a sitting area on the patio. Not scary at all.

  • CraftyMomma
    on May 19, 2019

    I agree to cover with say, shredded hardwood mulch or pebbles asap. Get rid of all that unsightly cardboard first. You can get rolls of dark landscape fabric that block weeds and put that down held by these pins called earth stakes and then right away put down pebbles or mulch to completely cover the landscape fabric in all the areas you don't want to fight grass or weed growth. Looks like alot of shade in this yard and in my area it would be a struggle to maintain grass. Some people use several newspaper sheets instead of landscape fabric but they will degrade and the weeds will return faster, and it also takes a lot of mulch to cover the bright paper.

    I think it looks like you have some stepping stones and if you want to mulch around them it would look nice. Browse some stepping stone pathway ideas for that area.

  • Trudy
    on May 19, 2019

    The cardboard is supposed to smother grass and let no sun light in. Open up the boxes so you have only one layer of cardboard. Then soak it with water and tread on it to flatten it down on your grass. Wet it everyone once in awhile to ensure it stays down.

    If you don't want grass you could lay down cement square pavers. They aren't expensive, plus you can carry and install them yourself.

    Someone else commented that you need to get rid of the junk. I agree! Buy a hose hanger or hose pot. If a shed is too expensive install one fence panel near the fence or our side wall to hide your stuff behind.

    You could powerwash the fence, too. But beware you don't ruin something of the neighbors because of the spaces between slats.

    Don't have nightmares, DREAM about what it can be.

  • Robyn Garner
    on May 19, 2019

    Yikes! You'll need to spend time picking up all the paper, cardboard & trash. Remove any dead vegetation. As stated above, looks like a great deal of shade. You can purchase some realistic looking outdoor grass carpet for no future care! Put out some planter pots with shade-loving flowers, perhaps some stepping stones or a rock path through the artificial turf. Hang art on the fence and the result will be low maintenance and very lovely!

  • William
    on May 19, 2019

    All great suggestions. Clean up the cardboard and get rid of it and all the trash. Pull and rake as much of the weeds you can. To kill the weeds mix two cups of vinegar, two cups of salt to two gallons water in a garden sprayer. Spray down the weeds till dripping wet. Should be dead within a week. Then decide where you want to go. You'll have a blank canvas. Lay down some landscape to smother and prevent future weeds.

  • Flipturn
    on May 19, 2019

    Agree with everyone who has said

    • remove all the cardboard and junk
    • kill and pull out all the weeds and remaining grass
    • lay down overlapped pieces of landscaping fabric
    • put bricks or stones to hold fabric down
    • get a load delivered of landscaping pebbles, or similar
    • this covering layer goes on top of the fabric to hold it down

    The longer you keep the situation the way it is, the more invitation for vermin and other critters to come on in. And yes, it will take only one picture from the HOA and they could have reason to fine you for the condition of your yard.

    At this point in time, I would not think of planting anything more. You need to take immediate control so that the state of your yard is clean and presentable.

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