Once a yard is allowed to grow wild for a season, or worse, for several years, taming it back can seem impossible. However, with the right tools, you can make quick work of an overgrown area and have it looking trimmed with just a few hours of labour. A yard can be cut back at any time of year, although doing it in early spring or early summer will give it a chance to come back that year.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Heavy duty weed eater
- Brush cutter
- Weed killer
Spray any existing weedy areas. Use a commercial weed spray and follow the instructions on the bottle carefully. This should only be sprayed directly on the weeds as most weed killers will also kill grass. Allow the spray a few days to work to make it easier to cut the weeds down. Some weeds, especially those that have been established for a long time, may need more than one application to kill the root system. If the weeds do not die off within three days of using the spray, reapply it as necessary.
Hack down tall weeds and grass. Use a machete for this work if you prefer, but a gas-powered heavy duty weed eater is recommended for amateurs for safety reasons. If you do use a machete, grasp the top of the plant with your free hand and hack at the bottom of the plant in a motion away from your body and legs.
If the weeds and grass are over 3 feet tall, consider renting a brush cutter from a local hardware store. This will make the entire job easier to tackle and will cut down on the amount of time necessary to complete the project. Work in a small section and clear it completely before proceeding to the next section.
Mow the yard down to even out the appearance. Once all the large weeds and tall grass have been removed, the yard will appear a little choppy looking, particularly if you used a machete. Use a lawnmower, either a walking or riding model, depending on the amount of ground that needs to be covered. Set the mower to its lowest setting to cut everything as close as possible. This will help the yard grow back uniformly and ensure that everything unwanted is removed.
Tips and warnings
- You may notice that your grass appears to die off after clearing the yard. This is normal and to be expected. Water the grass and, if necessary, fertilise it to jump start it back again.
- Never use a machete if you are not coordinated or have no experience in clearing brush this way. Serious injury can occur.
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