Backyard Design help, Ideas


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I dont have much experience with landscape and i am designing my own backyard. I have this backyard that is located in Sacramento. The soil is clay and relatively flat in the middle and slope of about 12' wide along the fences. This is a new development house and drainage was placed by the builder around the house (horseshoe) with 4" corrugated pipe, the layout of the house and a preliminary design is attached. I have also designed the sprinkler system for the lawn as shown. I need some help to determine the following:
  1. Do i have enough sprinkler to cover the lawn area and dont have dry spot? sprinklers radius is 16', total area is approx. 1500 sqft
  2. Should i use rotors or sprinklers and what is the recommended type?
  3. do i need to add topsoil under the lawn?if so how many inches do i need?
  4. do i need drainage in the Lawn area? how many?
  5. do i need to add drainage at the bottom of the slopes? the slopes will be covered with 50/50 soil and cover with bark and will be for planting (shrubs and flowers)
  6. what is the slope that i should use for lawn?
  7. do i need to add drainage in the playground area (covered with bark)?
  8. what is the recommended type of drainage pipe to use? corrugated or PVC(styrene)?
  9. I will use drip system for the planting areas around the slopes, can i run one or two tubes for the whole area or do i need more?
  10. Any ideas about the type of trees, shrubs, flowers to use in the planting area will be helpful.
I highly appreciate all the ideas and helps that will be provided.

Thanks
 

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Is it this one? it has been a year, so is it built yet? What themes do you see in the neighboorhood that solve your issues? What plant types? Just grass?
Screenshot_20180726-081255.png
 
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Yes, this is it.. it is already built and all the neighborhoods is brand new so there is nos theme i see clearly.. however city landscape are more colorful and shrubs type some other area are desert style. I am planning to use grass in the middle (dark green on the layout) and shrubs, trees and flowers on one side of the planting area and the other one is fruits and vegetables ( not sure of what types that best fit me) some help would be great
 
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So did youindicate summer and winter sun angles and any shade areas ie morning shade afternoon shade for plant types? Usda zone info would be helpful and a height elevation or ground based set of photos helps.
 
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House is facing North, so we get sun in the morning and all the way till 4-5 pm after that it is partially shade in front of the house.. so for the planting areas it have to be full sun.

Thanks
 
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Could you share some photos of the property as it is today? Also, are you aware of biochar as a soil amendment?
 
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What plants have you grown on your own? Not to be insulting, but in Cali that house might be a Million and you have servants.
 
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I have not did anything in the backyard... and no its not a million dollar house as you mentioned, its more than half that number and i spent all the money we have on the house and don't have money to get servant or landscape person to do it .. so that's why I'm doing everything my self and asking for HELP!!
 
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I have not did anything in the backyard... and no its not a million dollar house as you mentioned, its more than half that number and i spent all the money we have on the house and don't have money to get servant or landscape person to do it .. so that's why I'm doing everything my self and asking for HELP!!
Well ok then! Join the club!. Do you want this project to be organic or are you a child of modern chemistry?
 
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Hi Tommy -

I have some modest experience with landscape design, irrigation design and plant selection... Some of the things being asked here would require one or more of the following - hours of work, testing and or a site visit. Many of the questions you ask are large topics unto themselves. Ths is not laying out a raised bed or revamping a planter, this is a large scale design and build project you asking about.

With the irrigation requests... Are there enough? Lots of diffent kinds of sprinklers and they can require different pressure at head and have different throw distance. How many valves, where are the valves, what is the pressure at the valves. All this would have a bearing on the number and selection of the sprinklers and emmiters. California has drought issues, can you afford all the turf, do you have a water budget, in terms of both water and money? Some commuities HOAs limit the can limit the amount of water used.

While less knowledgable about soils, with the drainange questions, understood it clay, how well does it drain? How long for a 1'x1' water filled hole to drain? Are the drainage questions related to irrigation water or rain, or both? Say turf requires X" of water a day in that climate, how well does a inch of water drain... What is annual rainfall and roughly when it rains a daily average.

What kind of plants? What type of enviorment do you enjoy? Do you or do you not want to attract wildlife? Are you going to spend time in that area sitting - relaxing or is it more just a visual point of interest. Xeriscape - drought tolerent plants, a water trade off for the turf? You will need to consider hydro zones, i.e plants with like water requirements per valve, you don't want thirsty plants and drier plant on the same valve. Close neighbors, does some plants need to function as screening?

What I would suggest is identify a (build) prioritized sequence of steps. (This would be a viable thread in itself)
Water and monitary budget
Impact of drainage and sloping
What type of enviorment would you like... including budget considerations
Irriagtion...
Plants

Then identify what should be done by a professional
What you can do if you want to educate yourself by reading and learning (not just question on the internet)
What you can doing knowing what you know now, make up as you go, asking others.

It seems you have a nice fairly new house. I'm sure your glad your contractor did not rely on asking questions on the internet to build it. While a yard is a little simpler, it not that much different. Decide what you can - need to hire out. Decide what you can commit to really learning about and understanding. Decide what your comfortable winging and learning as you go.

While I did not answer your questions, I hope above helps you in moving forward and having a yard that meets the needs and you enjoy. Happy to answer any "in context and scope" questions you might have. :)

PS - Many books Sunset for example present a good primer of many above topics in addition to the general plant information.

PSS - Sorry for poor spelling
 

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