Simple, Easy “Do-It-Yourself” Projects

Simple, Easy “Do-It-Yourself” Projects

Sod University
yard Maintenance

Simple, Easy “Do-It-Yourself” Projects

Ever wanted to tackle an outdoor project, but simply couldn’t get up the nerve to try? We are prepared to help you add character and enjoyment to your yard with three easy-to-complete projects. You may not fully realize that you have what it takes to make your property an outdoor oasis.

 

Adding character and value to your property is easier than you might think. Plus, completing these three easy weekend projects will impress your neighbors and your family in no time.

water feature

Water Feature

The sound of water movement can create a tranquil escape in your yard and can wash away the stresses from the day. The good news is that this small, but welcoming, water feature is just hours away using this step-by-step process.

 

Supplies you will need:

  • Pointed shovel
  • Thick plastic liner
  • Standard water filter (available at most hardware stores)
  • Pump (simple water pump)
  • 6’ Level or just a straight 2 x 4 x 8

 

Step 1: Find an area in your front, back, or side yard that would serve as a great location. It is best if you select an area that is level and drains well. Proximity to an outdoor outlet is ideal, but with the help of an outdoor extension cord, virtually any location could suffice.

Step 2: After you have finalized your location trace out the area with a garden house or piece of rope. Determine the shape that you prefer and that best works in that area.

Step 3: Using the outline, begin to break ground starting from the outside working in. It is helpful to dig (1) layer at a time; each layer is roughly 6-8 inches. With this approach, you can control the amount of depth each area of your water feature.

Step 4: Before laying the liner, inspect your newly dug pond for any sharp sticks or stones that may puncture the liner. Place a layer of sand or loose dirt in the bottom of the hole. Now spread the liner over the hole. Do not be afraid to double up the liner. Once spread over the entire surface, smooth out all of the creases until it fits perfectly.

Step 5: Place large bricks or stones along the outside of the pond to hold the liner in place. They will also give the pond additional character. Ensure that there are enough stones to hold the liner in place.

 

Step 6: Install the water pump and filter. Connection and installation will likely vary, depending on what brands you ordered. Place the filter in between a few rocks and have the spout end pointing back towards the pond so that water can easily recirculate.

 

Step 7: Surround your new water feature with plants and stones. You may even want to place fish in your pond.

 

Enjoy! You can be sure that the rest of your family will.

retaining wall diy

Retaining Wall

While also enhancing your garden’s appeal, a retaining wall will help prevent erosion and control water drainage. These detailed instructions will help you to transform your garden or flowerbed.

Supplies you will need:

  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Soil Tamper
  • Building Material (i.e. stacking stones, bricks, slate, or whatever material you choose)

Step 1: Identify the proper location for your retaining wall. Outline the area using a rope or garden hose. Areas that benefit from retentional walls are gardens on uneven ground and areas where sediment has been washed away.

Step 2: Dig a small trench slightly larger than the building material you have selected. Then, level the trench and make the area as firm as possible using the soil tamper to compact the soil.

Step 3:  You can begin placing the first layer of stones down. The majority of your first stones should be below ground level, creating a firm base for your wall. Continue adding layers of stones, offsetting them from the layer below towards the garden, until you have reached your desired height. It is recommended not to go over (3) feet.

Step 4: Consider placing topper stones on the wall. Finishing the project in that manner will result in a more decorative look.

Step 5: Backfill the wall with dirt until your garden is level with the top of the newly created wall.

Enjoy your new retaining wall.

fire pit

Fire Pit

Sitting around the fire pit is a perfect way to entertain guests or relax with your family on a cool evening. Following these steps will help you to integrate a custom-built fire pit into your lawn or patio.

Supplies you will need

  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Building Material
  • String
  • Spray-paint

Step 1: Outline the area for your fire pit. Place a stick in the middle of the desired location. Attach a piece of string to both the stick and the can of spray paint. Extend the string until it is taut and then slowly make a circle while spraying the paint on the ground.

Step 2: Use a shovel to dig out a trench for the bricks or stones. You will want to make the base layer as level as possible with the majority of the first layer below ground level. Make sure the ground is compact and as level as possible before laying your first stone.

Step 3: Use stacking stones that fit tightly together in order to prevent heat from escaping through the cracks. Offset each layer as you go, building up until the fire pit is at your desired height.

Step 4: Consider placing a metal grate or more stones at the bottom of the pit to provide a firm surface to build your fires upon.

Get set for many enjoyable nights in the front of a cozy fire.

These three easy projects promise to transform your yard into a very welcoming place. Each will create a more relaxing environment. When completed, you’ll be anxious to take on even more challenging projects.

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