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Grading a backyard

I need to grade my backyard and I am looking for the best way to do it. I have about 1/4 of an acre, and it is higher in the back and slopes down to my house. I don't know if I can just rent a tiller and smooth out the yard, because I have a chain link fence that is a lot higher in the back than it is in the front. I am willing to do it myself, (frankly because I don't want to pay a landscaper a couple grand) but Im not sure of the best way to go about it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Re: Grading a backyard

The first thing to do is see how much grading you are talking about. Find the highest spot and tie a string on the fence at that point. Measure from the string to the ground. stretch the sting to the house, hang a string level on it and raise the string to till level. Mark that spot on the house and measure down the same distance as the measurement at the fence, mark that spot. Then measure from the spot to the ground that will show you how much you will need to build that end up or dig out the other end just to get to level.

Re: Grading a backyard

Ok, so I actually cleaned up my yard today, and its not as bad as I thought. The house we bought was a foreclosure, and was vacant for a long while, so you can imagine what the yard looked like. Once I raked out the 3 feet of leaves that were piled up against the fence, I realized that there wasnt much of a slope after all. And the yard actually looks like it has a natural diagonal slope that would keep water away from the house. But the center of the yard does have a couple of dips that I would like to remove. (Previous owners tore down a pool) Can I just use a tiller and spread the dirt around to level it out?

A. Spruce
Re: Grading a backyard
crystals82 wrote:

(Previous owners tore down a pool) Can I just use a tiller and spread the dirt around to level it out?

Yup. Be prepared that where the pool was placed that there may be a layer of sand. Not a big deal, but something you'll want to scatter around the yard so that you don't have a weird water catcher or low nutrient spot that will cause erratic grass growth.

Assuming you'll be renting a tiller, get a rear tine, they work the best and the easiest. Buy or rent a landscape rake as well. While you're at it, this would be an excellent time to amend the soil with compost or manure.

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