Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Clear an Overgrown Backyard

By Tucker Cummings
An overgrown yard is unsightly and takes up what could otherwise be useful space.
Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images

If your backyard is an overgrown mess, there are a number of ways to clear the land. This will give you more acreage for gardening, building a play area for your children, installing an in-ground pool, or building a patio for entertaining. But before you are able break ground on one of these exciting new projects, you will need to clear your overgrown backyard of tall grasses, weeds, wild plants, underbrush, and similar plant matter.

Clear all grasses and small plants. The fastest way to do this is with a line trimmer. However, if you are looking for a greener alternative, you can clear the land over a period of a day or two by allowing livestock such as goats to graze there. You can find a goat breeder in your area using your local Yellow Pages, and negotiate the cost of renting his goats to clear your land. Goats are also useful if the terrain is hilly and you are afraid of falling while weed whacking. According to the Wall Street Journal, it may cost around $200 for goats to clear 1700 sq. ft.

Walk through the cleared area and remove any large objects such as logs, branches, meta, or debris. Haul these items away by hand or in a wheelbarrow. You may also collect grass clippings for use in compost.

Till the soil. This will aerate the soil, redistribute nutrients, and help to destroy any root systems from invasive plants.

Pull up any large root systems that were not fully chopped up by the iller and dispose of them. This will prevent problem plants from growing back.

Rake the soil evenly to smooth out the surface.


Things You Will Need

  • Line trimmer
  • Livestock
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Tiller
  • Rake

About the Author


Tucker Cummings is a freelance writer based in New England. She holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of New Hampshire and is a member of the Association of Professional Business Writers. Cummings is also a food writer and curates the blog, Brave New Breakfast.