How to Reclaim an Overgrown Backyard

overgrown yardMost people move into their homes with the best intentions of enjoying their backyards. Unfortunately, time can get away from them and their backyard becomes overgrown before they know it. Here in the Bay Area, following a relentless rainy season, vegetation is growing at a rate not seen in years.

It’s also possible that the house sat uninhabited for months with no one to tend to the back yard. Instead of relaxing on lawn chairs at the end of a long day, they head back inside within minutes due to mosquitoes and other pesky insects. The family pets can’t enjoy the backyard either due to tall grass and parasites. It will take some hard work, but homeowners can make their overgrown backyard inhabitable again with these tips.

Gather the Right Tools

A typical lawnmower may not work to tame an overgrown backyard full of knee-high grass and weeds. It’s best to avoid the risk of damaging the mower and rent or borrow a brush mower instead. If the area is walkable, a push brush mower should work just fine. Otherwise, it’s necessary to use a tow-behind model. These powerful mowers can easily cut through weeds and grass more than three inches thick.

Some homeowners must deal with several unwanted stumps if clearing the backyard involved removing unwanted trees. Getting rid of them is simple with a quality stump grinder. This method is far superior than trying to eliminate stumps with chemicals or digging them out by hand.

A brush grubber is the ideal tool to remove a single sapling or a section of brush. It’s impossible to remove either one with a lawn mower or chainsaw. With the brush grubber, the homeowner places a set of metal jaws containing spikes around a stump or small tree. After attaching a chain to the other end, the homeowner can pull the section of brush or sapling out with a truck, tractor, or ATV. This tool pulls out everything, including the roots.

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Steps to Getting the Overgrown Backyard Clean

Walking through the yard with several trash bags is the first step in regaining control. Homeowners should throw away any small items they don’t want to keep. A wheelbarrow comes in handy to transport larger items to the trash. People who know they want to eliminate some trees or plants should mark them with a ribbon and come back to them later. Other plants, shrubs, and trees could benefit from professional trimming. Homeowners who want to do the job themselves should ensure they have the right tools, including pruning shears. It’s also essential to throw away yard waste immediately.

When mowing the lawn with a regular mower, homeowners should choose the highest setting. Walking in half-lines instead of full lines the first time through saves wear on the mower. The next day, lower the setting and mow the lawn again. Rake and remove grass clippings from the yard right away to allow the new grass to grow without any restrictions. If the yard has a garden or landscape beds, rake them to remove any weeds and then re-establish neat borders.

Breaking down the tasks from most important to least important makes the whole project seem less overwhelming. This is important to keep in mind at the start of clearing an overgrown backyard as well as throughout the project.

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