At long last, you’ve settled into your new home. So…now what? How about doing something with that sweet new backyard? Sure, it’s pretty, but backyards are meant for more than grass gazing. Put that thing to work for you. Check out these three easy DIY backyard projects. They’ll make your landscape more functional, and they don’t require intense handy(wo)man skills. Promise!
1. DIY Raised Garden Bed
There’s no better way to enjoy your backyard than to eat what grows in it. You’ve seen your friends’ Instagram shots of their homegrown crops—and maybe you’ve hit that heart button, but deep down you were a little jealous. But guess what? You don’t have to have the world’s greenest thumb to start Instagramming your own tomatoes and cucumbers. To do-it-yourself, all you need is:
- a flat spot of sun-lit ground
- a rake, a garden tarp (aka weed barrier)
- a raised garden kit, a few bags of potting soil, and whatever seeds you would like—flowers or veggies.
Keep in mind that you should construct your raised garden away from fences or walls. You’ll want to be able to reach all the plants once they start growing. You’ll be floored by how easy it is to set up your raised garden.
2. DIY Fire Pit
The best thing about having your own fire pit is that you don’t have to go on camping trips to roast marshmallows over an open fire. It’s a DIY backyard project that’s both beautiful and practicle. There are a kazillion (yes, with a “ka”) different ways to build a fire pit, but this method might be the easiest. It ends up looking pretty, too.
- First, you’ll need to make a run to the closest home and garden store for a few supplies: gravel, wedge-shaped building stones, a level, and a shovel.
- Next, pick the ultimate fire pit spot in your yard. Usually, these spots are flat and don’t have any tree limbs directly over them (only you can prevent forest fires). Clear and level the area where you’ll be spreading gravel, and once you’ve got the gravel down, start laying the building stones flush with each other in a circular pattern.
- After each round of building stones is laid, make sure they’re level before proceedings to the next round. You’ll be chowing down on marshmallow and chocolate goodness before you know it. S’more, please?
3. DIY Compost Pile
Oh, let us count the ways composting is awesome! Among other things, it creates rich nutrients for your lawn and that raised garden bed you just built. It eliminates your reliance on chemical fertilizers, and it helps save the planet by recycling kitchen and yard waste. It’s also probably the easiest of the DIY backyard projects. If you really want to dive into compost (but, like, not literally) and understand more about what exactly it is, check out this awesome post from The Loyal Gardener.
- Start by selecting a composting spot a good distance away from your house—if you have a back fence line, somewhere close to it is ideal. Don’t lay any garden tarp down, since you’ll want to compost on the bare ground so earthworms and other critters can aerate your compost.
- After you lay down a few inches worth of twigs or straw for drainage, you can start layering compost materials, alternating between dry and moist goods. Click here for a list of the best compost items and best composting practices.
- Make sure your pile stays moist, and add grass clippings and clover when you can, as they’re a nitrogen source that speeds the compost process. Keep your pile covered, and then turn it with a pitchfork every couple weeks.
- Once the pile is established, you don’t have to worry about layering anymore, as long as you rotate it periodically.
Enjoy this healthy and natural alternative to feed your prosperous garden and to amplify your green thumb.
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