Welcome to our backyard improvement article. In this article we will be giving you a laundry list of things you can add to really spruce up your backyard, from simple DIY projects to much more major ones. Depending on your level of handiness around tools, or just how much additional investment you want to put into your backyard, we are confident that you will take away at least one useful idea from this article. Let’s begin.
Build a Fire Pit
Anyone who’s gone camping before, especially as a child, will probably remember with nostalgic fondness the experience of sitting and bonding around a nice campfire, huddled around its heat against the cold of the night. Well, by building a fire pit in your backyard, you too will be able to recreate the experience, minus the hassle of actually going camping. And while you can certainly go out to the store and purchase a fire pit, fire pits are actually one of the simplest DIY projects you can undertake. Here’s a basic formula: using a charcoal grill, concrete tree rings, and some pebbles, you can create your own DIY outdoor fire pit for less than $100.
Add a Tire Planter
Another simple DIY project that can add some life to your backyard. All you need are a few old tires, plants, some paint and BAM, instant awesome backyard ornament! And don’t constrain yourself with the boring old ‘two tires stacked on top of each other’ formula, although that certainly works as well. Do a little searching and you’ll come across and absolutely astounding variety of tire planter designs, some of our favorites that we have seen are the ‘tire planter frog’, the lady bug, tea cups, the wishing well, and lastly, love it or hate it, a Minions tire planter. Maybe don’t use that one as your first tire planter!
Grapevine It Up
Grapevines are a great way to add a touch of nature and shade into your garden. You’ll be thankful for them when the peak of summer hits and if you get the kind with fruit, it makes for an even better atmosphere. If you already have awnings (if you don’t, then that’s another great idea for your backyard!) then just start growing some grapevines on them; you can also intertwine them with flowers such as jasmine or roses, which look just absolutely beautiful.
Build a Chicken Coop
Does this suggestion seem to stand out from the rest? No doubt a chicken coop is a much more major undertaking then all the ideas previously listed, but with a more major investment comes more major rewards. In this case, of course you would only build a chicken coop to house actual chickens, and that is where the real reward comes from: a constant supply of fresh eggs and possibly meat (if you so choose) that are hormone and antibiotic free for you and your family, plus the nice feeling you get in your heart from not contributing to barbaric factory farming practices.
Now before we explain further, we will go right ahead and say it: yes you can indeed buy a fully-completed chicken coop right off the market, if you so choose (there are also chicken coop kits that you can buy and then assemble, similar to IKEA furniture). However, based on our personal experience if you have the necessary handiwork skills, then building a chicken coop may be one of the more rewarding DIY projects that you can undertake. While you’re here, take a look at these 2017 best chicken coop plans which has everything you need to know about planning and building a chicken coop! Let’s take a look at what each chicken coop needs.
First, it needs to protect your chickens from predators. Go for hardware cloth instead of the often recommended chicken wire as larger and more persistent predators WILL tear through chicken wire to eat your chickens. And don’t forget to bury the hardware cloth too; wily foxes and weasels will burrow underneath to get to your chickens if all you have are above ground barriers. Don’t forget that protection from predators cannot merely be limited to the chicken coop itself; you are also responsible for providing sufficient protection in the ‘chicken run’ or outdoor space where your chickens will roam.
Second, it needs to be of adequate size; 2 to 4 square feet of coop space per chicken in fact. Why the large range? Well, that’s due to the large range in sizes of the various chicken breeds. And don’t forget the outdoor space! That’s a further 6 to 12 square feet per chicken.
Third, it needs to be adequately ventilated and possibly insulated. Ventilation is an absolute must, make sure all sides including the roof have at least one ventilation panel. Lack of ventilation can cause a buildup of ammonia which can be detrimental to the health of your flock. As for insulation that depends on how cold your region is; anything with a US Hardiness Zone 2 or below will need extra insulation or heating.