How to go about cleaning all this stuff out of my yard?

Sep 13, 2001
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#1
Between my hard and my neighbors, there is just a bunch of "crap" there. It goes from little bushes/trees to these little ground cover things.

I've included some pics of it.

I'm just wondering what type of work would be needed to just get rid of all this crap.

I realize I'd have to manually go in and pick it all out and stuff, but as far as the bushes/trees, how much of that do I have to get out? Do I have to dig out the root, if that's even possible on those things? What types of tools would be needed for this kind of crap?

Same with the "bigger" weeds/trees/stuff. Do I have to completely rip out the roots and stuff?

Ideally I'd like to just clean all that crap up, fill up 30 HD bags, and then plant grass there.

Here are some pics.





 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
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#3
Keep in mind that one thing the more bush-like plants with roots do, is reduce soil erosion down the hill.

Some of that doesn't look alive. I would start by pulling/digging out anything you think a mower can't handle then mow the rest down. Anything else that could be a tripping-hazard or pucture cheap shoes or bare feet should also be dug out.
 
Jun 2, 2000
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#6
Rototiller is nice if you have access/can rent one, but a bit of vigorous shovel work should take care of it.
 
Sep 13, 2001
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#7
I can rent a rototiller from Home Depot or Lowes I think.

I've never used a tool like that. Is that something I can literally just run over all that stuff and it will loosen it up so I can then just bag it? Or would I have to clean it out a bit first before doing so?

Obviously those bushes would have to be cut down a bit and stuff, but I just mean everything else.

I also don't mind mowing on a hill, my whole front hard and some of my backyard is a hill. I prefer the cleaner look of grass than ground cover.
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
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#8
Show the picture to Homedepot/Lowes workers and ask them what kind of rototiller you need.

 
Aug 30, 2000
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#9
Get a shovel, pick mattock, gloves and garbage bags (the thick ones) and have at it. Rip it all out. Like Greenman said, probably a day's work at most.
 
Jul 12, 2006
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#10
I've always been a big fan of controlled burns....

but seriously I'd just get a mattock and shovel and spend a day on it. Also agree that with that slope, you're at least going to want to replace with some ground cover because both you and neighbor aren't going to like erosion. ....maybe also consider digging and installing a french ditch at the bottom of that hill? Are you the lower house or the upper house? How has the runoff fared doing these recent soakers?
 

bigi

Platinum Member
Aug 8, 2001
2,095
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#11
A day? LOL.

I've gone through this kind of stuff. If you are alone, w/out any helpers, a week minimum to do it properly.

Roots will get you. What you see above ground is not that terrible, but those roots will take time to dig out.

This is about a grand where I live.
 
Aug 30, 2000
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#12
A week for a few shrubs? Maybe if they were trees.
 
Jul 12, 2006
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#13
^some shrubs have some nasty roots that will snake all over a large area, but that's sort of the thing--yes, you can spend days "properly" dealing with all of those roots, but it probably just isn't worth it. Best is to just dig them out a bit, chop them up and drill them in places as best you can, dump some boiling water/root killer and hope for the best. At some point you just have to call the job done and move on with your life.

Even with extensive root systems, a lot of decorative shrub roots aren't going to sprout like they are bamboo or maybe palmettos or anything like that. They are more likely to just die when buried....or it becomes someone else's problem ~10 years later. :D
 

bigi

Platinum Member
Aug 8, 2001
2,095
18
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#14
OP, curious about your time/money investment to get this done. Update?
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
4,516
72
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#15
I can rent a rototiller from Home Depot or Lowes I think.

I've never used a tool like that. Is that something I can literally just run over all that stuff and it will loosen it up so I can then just bag it? Or would I have to clean it out a bit first before doing so?

Obviously those bushes would have to be cut down a bit and stuff, but I just mean everything else.

I also don't mind mowing on a hill, my whole front hard and some of my backyard is a hill. I prefer the cleaner look of grass than ground cover.
If you were planning to start a crop, a rototiller might be the right option, though it is going to be slow, and you'll need a big one, and you may still need to clear out the larger brush and roots first, with a shovel or stump grinder or ??

After thinking this over a bit, I would use a herbicide to kill everything, so no new growth from any roots left behind, they'll just rot over years of being dead and in damp soil. Use whatever you want as long as the half life of it isn't too long so you can wait, then seed grass or whatever.

As far as clearing it all, if there are any larger (near 2" or above) diameter trunks you may still need to cut them off at ground level, or below with a stump grinder, but in general to clear an area like that you would want to rent a brushcutter, for example Billy Goat makes some and they may be available at your local tool rental place:

https://www.billygoat.com/na/en_us/products/brushcutters.html

There are also large bush hogs you can pull by tractor (powered by the tractor PTO) or smaller ones you can pull by riding mower or ATV (have their own gas engine), but an all in one seems the simpler option for that small(ish) area.
 
Last edited:
Oct 15, 1999
13,534
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#16
A day? LOL.

I've gone through this kind of stuff. If you are alone, w/out any helpers, a week minimum to do it properly.

Roots will get you. What you see above ground is not that terrible, but those roots will take time to dig out.

This is about a grand where I live.
Don't ever go into landscaping.
 
Aug 30, 2000
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#18
Jose will take care of all of it in a few hours for less than $100.....
 

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