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Backyard fix

I am trying to decide on the best course of action for a rocky yard. The yard is a great size but it's basically rock, dirt and clover/weeds (not even grass). It's also uneven, but not in a very major way. My husband and I are trying to decide if we should hire a landscaper to fix it or if we would be able to do it ourselves. If we were to do it ourselves, what steps would we take? I would assume we would need to rent some equipment, but I'm lost as to what it would even entail. Any guidance would be appreciated!
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Posted 2015-07-15T14:23:34+0000  by disneymom28 disneymom28
I should mention I live in PA
Posted 2015-07-15T14:25:03+0000  by disneymom28

Hi disneymom28.


Thank you for your question and welcome to the Home Depot Community.  Your first step should be to decide what you want to do with your back yard.  Have a plan and draw it out.  Maybe even make some alternate choices. Since you have a lot of rock in your yard, I suggest that you pile them in a corner for use later on as part of your landscaping.


Although this job is not complicated, it can be labor intensive.  A rototiller may be a good tool for you but you will also need to dig up the larger rocks first so not to damage the rototiller.  Use the Rear Tine Rototiller for best results. Check with your local Home Depot Tool Rental for availability. 



The best tools to use to dig up your larger rocks may be a Garden Fork Also known as a Tilling Fork, Spading Fork or a Manure Fork.  Depending on how big your stones are, you may also need a Pic/Mattock to help dig up the larger rocks.


You also need a Wheelbarrow to help haul some of your material.  You can use your extra soil to start a compost pile for later use. The 6 cu.ft True Temper Steel Wheelbarrow is a good value and will be adequate for your project.



This will probably not be a weekend project, depending on the size of your yard.  The type of landscaping you choose will depend on your location.  Out here in the more arid areas of the West Coast and adjoining spots, Drought Tolerant Plants by Smart Planet have become very popular.  This does not mean just rocks and cactus but you can also have some very beautiful looking and flowering plants that will grace your yard. Check with your local Hone Depot Garden Department for availability.

One thing that you will want to keeping mind about Drought Tolerant Plants is that, they must develop their root system first before they become drought tolerant.  This process can take up to 6 months.  During this growth time, these plants will require regular care. Check your Plant Tag for more ionformation.


If you have very sandy soil, you may want to amend you soil before planting so that the moisture from watering will stay with the root system longer.  Sandy soil has a tendency to drain very fast and does not contain much organic material. Soil amendments will vary by region.  Check with your local Home Depot Garden Department for recommendations. 

When planning your back yard, you may want to consider adding some trees for shade.  Select the trees according to your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone so that they will be compatible with your weather. 

 Let us know what your Planting Zone is so that we can recommend some appropriate plants for you.

Be sure to take pictures of your project before, during and after and share them with us on the community.


Please let us know if we can be of further assistance. 



Posted 2015-07-21T18:41:38+0000  by Rick_HD_OC
Hi again disneymom28.

OK, did not see your PA location.  Winter time temperatures may be an issue for you.  Easiest way will be to match up your plant hardiness zone with the zone on your plant tags and use that as your guide to what plants will work for you.  The picture is more of a South Coast view and your area probaly has more rain than we get out here.  The concept remains the same though.

Please let us know if you have any further questions.


Posted 2015-07-21T18:53:32+0000  by Rick_HD_OC
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