A beautiful landscape can increase your home’s value by tens of thousands of dollars, so I hope I can help you find a solution you’ll love!
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- 1 Lay Down Some Sod
- 2 Plant An Alternative Ground Cover
- 3 Or Plant A Garden
- 4 Enjoy The Many Benefits Of Wood Chips
- 5 Gravel Is Also Good
- 6 Make A Zen Garden
- 7 Make A Path
- 8 Make An Outdoor Living Space
- 9 Build A Water Feature
- 10 Your Yard Has So Much Potential!
- 11 About The Author
Lay Down Some Sod
Sod is a good yard cover if you just want your lawn to look the way it used to. Keep in mind, however, that a square foot of sod tends to cost about 8-35 cents. Be sure to figure out the square footage of your problem area so you won’t be surprised by a large bill.
You will also need to prepare the dirt before you lay sod on it, but this isn’t difficult to do on your own. Just be sure to till it, level it, and moisten it for your sod’s future roots.
Plant An Alternative Ground Cover
If sod is over your budget, there are cheaper and prettier ground covers to consider. A few options are creeping thyme, candytuft, mini Kenilworth ivy, and blue star creeper.
You may even be able to get free cuttings from a generous gardener. If you can’t, you can grow your own cheaply from seeds.
Or Plant A Garden
Grass is nice and creeping thyme is nicer. But if you have a passion for planting, let your bare patch of dirt or mud be your canvas!
Obviously, if nothing is growing in it, you should probably amend the soil a little bit. But if you have a green thumb, you already knew that.
If you’re new to gardening, soil preparation isn’t that hard. For the most part, you just need to mix in some compost and make sure the PH is right for what you’re planting.
When you’ve planted what you wanted to, make sure you cover any exposed soil with a weed barrier and some mulch to prevent weeds. Cardboard makes a nice, organic weed barrier and you can use a neighbor’s discarded leaves or pine straw as free mulch.
Enjoy The Many Benefits Of Wood Chips
Of all the materials you could use as a yard cover, wood chips are especially great for organic gardening and tight budgets. Not only are they multifunctional, but you can also often get them for FREE from tree removal businesses or your local electric company.
If you only want to hide dirt, a thick layer of wood chips may do the trick for several years, as they biodegrade at a snail’s pace. And pet owners rejoice — certain varieties of wood, such as pine cedar and cypress, can also repel fleas, ticks, and gnats from your yard!
If you have a green thumb, you have even more to gain. Wood chips can transform your lifeless dirt into rich, fluffy, and absorbent soil that could host a pumpkin patch. See what woodchips did for this man’s garden:
Gravel Is Also Good
Though extremely beneficial to soil, wood chips don’t last a lifetime. You may never have to replace gravel if you install it correctly and it has its own ways of improving your yard or garden.
Though gravel isn’t nutritious, that’s exactly what makes it unattractive to pests and fungi. And like wood chips, it can protect plants from extreme temperatures by insulating the soil. The weight of gravel makes it good at preventing erosion and reducing rain runoff.
However, it isn’t completely immune to erosion or rain. If you plan to cover your dirt or mud patch with gravel, it’s very important to prepare the area beforehand.
Erosion can gradually spread gravel so thin that weeds can get through, as well as cover gravel with dirt from the surrounding area. If your gravel gets mixed in with soil, it’ll stay that way until you sift it out!
To enjoy trouble-free gravel for many years to come, follow the advice of Thomas Lowe:
To summarize what he says, you need to create a retaining wall to keep your gravel in one place. One way to do this is by digging a shallow depression. The other way is to place a wall or edging on top of the ground.
When you’ve made the retaining wall, you should lay down weed fabric and secure it with pegs. This way, the gravel will stay pristine.
Make A Zen Garden
In Western cultures, we tend to think of gardens as lush and leafy. Dirt is what you grow plants in. There’s a reason you’re here for backyard ideas to cover dirt — dirt can’t be beautiful on its own, can it?
Of course, it can. An overgrown lawn can be an eyesore. Untrimmed hedges look unkempt. But manicure either and they suddenly look yard-worthy. Dirt, too, can be shaped to your liking.
Zen gardens usually contain sand, on which you can trace beautiful lines. If your patch of dirt is sandy, you can achieve the zen look without spending a dime.
And if you are trying to cover some other kind of dirt, it shouldn’t be difficult or expensive to lay down a weed barrier and pour sand over it.
When you’re ready, just take a stick or rake and draw to your heart’s content!
Of course, a zen garden doesn’t look complete with just sand. You can go the dirt-cheap route by getting some free rocks and shrub cuttings, perhaps from generous neighbors.
But if you want to make it as obvious as possible that your zen garden is a zen garden, you can buy some traditional zen garden decor, such as pagoda lantern statues.
To give your zen garden a polished look, consider framing it with rocks or edging.
Make A Path
If a part of your lawn is already bare, this is a perfect place for a new pathway. It can be a walking path or be purely cosmetic.
Walking paths not only hide bare areas but prevent new ones from forming. This is because a common cause of bare spots on a lawn is heavy foot traffic. If you create an official path through your lawn, you’ll have a way to walk through it without harming it.
Options abound for creating a walking path. You could make it out of concrete, stepping stones, mulch, gravel, or whatever else you can come up with. If you’d like some examples, there are a few in my article on beautiful ideas for landscaping with mulch and rocks.
Dry River Beds
The mere impression of water can make a yard so soothing. A dry river bed is what it sounds like — rocks laid in a path to resemble a dried-out river.
Because it requires large stones, this type of path isn’t comfortable to walk on. But if you ask me, its beauty more than makes up for its lack of functionality.
Need some inspiration for making your own dry river bed? Check out my article on 31 examples with images!
Make An Outdoor Living Space
Your yard is meant to be enjoyed, so why not create an outdoor living space?
There are many ways you can go about it — including adding a picnic table, a deck, or a gazebo:
A picnic table is a simple and charming way to hide dirt and make your yard more inviting. Buying one new can be pricey, so here are some free plans to help you build your own.
A deck is very versatile in what it can be used for. You can use it to host a barbecue, sleep under the stars, play games at a table, or anything else you can come up with.
Here are some free plans to help you choose a design and save money.
A gazebo has all the benefits of a deck, plus a roof! This way, you can enjoy being surrounded by rain without getting soaked. Additionally, the shade of its roof makes a gazebo a sun-safe option for limitless summer enjoyment.
To build your own gazebo, check out these free plans.
For even more ideas on how to make your yard cozy, check out my article on inspirational ideas with pictures showing how to do backyard landscaping on budget.
Build A Water Feature
Have you always wanted a pond in your yard but never got around to building one? That unsightly bare area won’t go away on its own. You may as well make your dream come true!
There are different types of water features and different ways to create them. Some options are fairly cheap and others are very expensive.
Whatever kind of water feature you create, you’ll at least need plastic pond liner and some heavy rocks to hold it down.
An example of a cheap water feature is this pump-free wildlife pond by Tony O’Neill:
But if the price isn’t an issue for you, imagine having a waterfall like this one by Atlantis Water Gardens!
Your Yard Has So Much Potential!
You asked “how to cover up mud in backyard” and I hope you’ve found a solution here that you like. Whatever you’ve chosen will surely add beauty and value to your yard.
What are your thoughts about this list? Let me know in the comments. If you enjoyed it, please share it!