Hello I’m Carl the landscape guy. Nice to
have you back with us today. This house’s backyard area only goes up to this fence here.
For this video, the area behind the fence is to be mowed, tilled, leveled and sowed.
So in the end, there will be a nice large open lawn, that flows seamlessly from the
existing yard. And without the fence, it will create a bountiful park-like atmosphere. The
area has not been mowed for decades and has thus formed a thick matted layer of grass.
In addition, wild blackberry vines and weeds have heavily overrun the area. Over the years
compost, soil and sand have been dumped in the area, which has led it to be very uneven.
It is therefore unsuitable to mow it with a tractor. Right behind the fence, there’s
also a rather steep, downhill slope. This terrain edge should be flattened to connect
both sections fluently. I will carry out this project predominantly by hand with only small
machines. I’d like to show you how to do such a job at a manageable cost. Alright then let’s
get started, because there is a lot to do. First of all, the entire area of approximately
1000 square meters has to be mowed. For this, I use my Stihl brush cutter FS350 with a brush
knife. The entire above ground overgrowth is cut and shredded. Not just the long grass
but also the blackberries, stinging nettles and everything else that’s growing here,
has to go. It’s also important that you cut down the matted layers of overgrowth that
has accumulated over the years. The lower you cut everything off, the easier the following
work steps will be. It makes sense to carry out this work in the cold part of the year,
outside of the growing season. In summer, the blackberries will be especially problematic.
Their long, green shoots can wrap themselves around the knives, jamming them up. In winter,
preferably during a frost, is the best time to chop them. So I work systematically throughout
the entire area. If some places are particularly overgrown, you can go over it twice. The advantage
of the brush cutter, is that it can also be used on bumpy terrain. Once the area has been
trimmed down, all the clippings must be removed. This is done by hand with a rake, fork and
wheelbarrow. We bring the shredded matter to a desolate area on the property. And since
it doesn’t have to be driven off to a different location, it saves on cost and effort. It
also ensures that the plant seeds in the biomass can re-establish locally. Even for small animals
and insects, the layer of shredded mass is a welcome habitat. And this is how the area
looks like. Next, the fence is dismantled. It is a chain link fence with recycled plastic
posts. I will disassemble the fence in such a way that it can be used again. Saving and
reusing materials saves resources and protects the climate and your homeland. The advantage
of these recycle posts is that they are very durable and do not rot compared to wooden
posts. The wire mesh is coated with plastic and durable for decades. Ok the fence is removed
and now I mow the lawn as short as possible. Now the tiller comes into the picture. I have
an old Agria 1800. This machine is very old, but also stable. The heavy design makes them
a bit unwieldy. The working width is 80cm. Newer tillers are much easier to operate.
I would advise you to borrow a tiller. You can also buy one, but beware, cheap models
will quickly reach their limits on harder soil. Regardless if it’s new or not, these
machines are to be used with caution. The strong tilling machines are very dangerous.
In any case, get detailed instructions on the machine when you buy or borrow one. For
safety reasons, I’m wearing steel-reinforced safety boots. But letting a specialist do
the tilling, is probably in most circumstances, the best solution. So I go over the surface
multiple times with the tiller, until the ground is nice and loose. The biggest problems
in this case are the long roots from the wild blackberries, which frequently get tangled
around the knives. I have to stop the tiller a few times to remove the roots from the knives.
But for the most part, the tilling has worked relatively well with this old machine. Yet
that always comes down to the soil. Here we have a rather stone-free, humus soil. The
area is now completely tilled and we can move onto leveling it out. In this area, there
are small lumps and holes. I want to balance this out as best as possible. By the way,
after tilling not only stones and parts of plants have come to light. But also garbage
like wire and plastic. I would like to ask everyone to not throw garbage into our environment.
Plastic remains in the soil and water for hundreds of years, harming every being. The
tiller has already spread the soil quite a bit, but now it’s time to level the rest by
hand. Where there is too much soil, I take some away and fill in the holes. The correct
distribution of the soil is a matter of practice. But if you get close to the ground and look
over the surface evenly you can usually see pretty good where soil is missing or where
there is too much. At this point, you have to ask yourself how perfect you want it leveled
out. For large volumes of soils, moving it with an excavator makes sense. But this time,
I’m doing it with a wheelbarrow. In some spots there are still a lot of roots in the
soil. If these interfere with planing, flattening and leveling, you can get them out well with
a fork from the loose soil. Otherwise, I leave the roots in there. But more on that later.
So now that the amount of soil is evenly distributed on the surface, I try to even out the height
transition between the two lawns. The next step is compacting the loose soil by foot.
As a result, small bumps are immediately visible. If you just let the loose ground sink over
time, it usually becomes uneven. We want to avoid that. After that this wide wooden rake
is used. It is light and it can produce a fine leveled out area with a little practice.
That’s how I work the entire surface. Everywhere, all sorts of roots still peek out of the ground.
But that does not bother me, for this particular project. When leveling out the ground is done,
the grass can be seeded. It has rained in between and I’m roughening up the surface
again, so that the seeds get better contact with the topsoil. Before laying the grass
seeds, I also planted some trees here already. There will be more videos about that coming
up. For the lawn you can use a simple lawn seed mixture. Seeds should always be a broad
mixture of different grasses. But obviously, the most suitable grass for this particular
location will prevail the most out of the lawn mixture. Since we have a bunch of different
grasses and herbs in the soil anyway, I use cheaper grass seed. Bear in mind that grass
seeds do not germinate well while there is still night frost. It makes sense to wait
until it gets warmer in spring. Of course you can also seed earlier, but then it won’t
turn green until later. But there is a risk of birds picking the seeds or the rain washing
them away. If you want it to be dense and green fast, use about 25 grams per m². I’m
only using 5 grams per square meter here because I want to test out how fast the grass gets
thick. The seeding is done quickly. Simply apply full handfuls and it will be spread
fairly even. I’m not pressing it or rolling it either. The surface is relatively flat
with no steep slopes. Otherwise, I would recommend rolling. After two weeks, the surface looks
like this. It is still relatively cool out, but the area is already quite green. Personally,
I think you should always start mowing as soon as possible. From early cutting, the
grass will branch out sooner. This helps the lawn get thicker faster. But be aware, if
you mow too early, the mower can rip out the young grass seedlings and then you’ll have
to seed again. Now about the weeds in the ground; I wanted to give up the use of poison
and it wouldn’t have made sense financially and environmentally to do a soil exchange.
The weeds, blackberries and the rest will initially grow again. But from regular mowing,
the unwanted growth will gradually disappear. Because with the exception of grass, none
of the other plants are tolerant to constant cutting. This means that most of the weeds
will have died after one year. Until then, the blackberries will try several times to
grow again, but with each mowing, they’ll be cut off close to the ground again. You
can remove all kind of weeds slowly but surely this way, without poison. Now two months have
passed and I am very satisfied with the result. Here and there are still small bald spots.
Here you can easily reseed again or just have a little patience and it’ll grow by itself.
I did not apply fertilizer and mowed the area once a week. If you want to have a perfect
lawn fit for a queen, you’d go about it a little differently, but for sports and for
kids to play on, it is more than adequate. I hope this video for making a flat, level
lawn is interesting and helpful. I wanted to show you how to do manual work and still
get there. The use of large machinery isn’t always necessary. Especially with damp soil,
the use of heavy equipment quickly leads to irreparable compaction of the subsoil. And
saving on diesel and emissions is always a good idea. The new lawn is now happily used.
Here are some before and after shots again. I’ve planted many interesting and useful
shrubs on the new lawn. Have a look at the videos. These and many other videos can be
found on my channel. When you subscribe to my channel, you support my work for free.
Thank you for watching and see you next time. I’m Carl the landscape guy.