The ability to access a backyard is an important feature in the lawn care industry and should be a consideration for homeowners when buying or designing their landscape. I also wish landscape designers and home builders would read this post and think about some simple changes they could make to allow for smarter and easier access to some of the properties they build or design. It might seem obvious, but we have encountered houses that have inaccessible backyards or are extremely difficult to access. This is what every lawn care provider wished builders and landscape designers would consider! Below are some examples of yards that are NOT designed with any consideration for practicality and functionality.

Trees planted on both sides of the house on a very narrow lot with very large landscaping rocks : This property has two strikes against it. 1) The landscape designers or homeowners have planted trees on both sides of the house and the lot is extremely narrow. 2) The slopes are extremely steep and contain very large river rock. The lot on this property is very narrow as well. The trees and very large rocks make it impossible for a machine, commercial fertilizer spreader or perhaps even a lawn mower to go down over the rocks without damaging the machine or causing damage to the landscape. We had two properties on this street that inquired and neither one of them has acceptable access to their backyards. We did not send them estimate or pursue them as customers.

Spruce trees are planted up to property line and behind them is the air conditioning unit.
This side looks “better” but the very steep slope and large rocks makes it impossible to push a spreader or ride a machine down there without causing damage to the machine or spilling fertilizer out of a spreader.

Backyards with retaining walls and/or only steps : We have encountered backyards with retaining walls and/or stairs going up or down as only way to access. I have always wondered how a homeowner mows a backyard with steps as only access point. Here is one answer!

EcoTurf asked : It looks like there are steps on one side leading down to the backyard – is there a way to get to the backyard on the other side? No obstructions, retaining walls, etc – could you clarify that a ride-on machine/spreader can get to the backyard please?

Homeowner’s response : No, there is no other way to get back there. Any lawn fertilization equipment would need to be carried down/up the stairs. I have two lawnmowers for this reason: one for the front yard and one for the backyard! 😳

Needless to say, we took a pass on this potential customer.

Here is another example of a poorly planned landscape for maintenance and accessibility. Stairs on one side with trees next to the stairs and large landscaping rocks which are difficult for machines to traverse. Other side, trees and shrubs block access from front yard and a large berm with a large shrub planted at the bottom would not allow a machine or spreader down this side of the house. We do offer liquid fertilization treatments but traversing these types of landscapes with hoses and no direct access to the backyard is inefficient and difficult.

This side of property is stairs going down a slope to backyard with trees planted next to stairs too.
This side of the property has trees and shrubs planted and no access to backyard from the front yard.
This angle shows a large berm that blocks access to backyard on this side.

The next door neighbor is a great example of an ideally planned landscape that can easily be maintained! They would be an ideal customer! A gentle grassy slope to backyard is practical and accessible.

Below is another problem situation. Very small lot, sloped yard with a large window well that extends almost to the property line on this side. The other side is similar with the air conditioning unit blocking access. Now the empty lot next to this property has a home on it and access to backyard is blocked.

This property has 3 problems. Gate is wide enough but the builder put the 1) cement slab from garage and the 2) air conditioning unit on the same side as the gate. 3) The homeowner stacks all sorts of items in front of the gate too. This backyard is NOT accessible for machines or even a push spreader!.
Imagine carrying a 36 pound commercial spreader (without fertilizer in it) so over 50 pounds with fertilizer in it through this section to get past all the stuff, slab and air conditioner. Less than ideal. If possible, we recommend potential customers in this situation to put gate access on other side. WIth this property because it is on a slope there is a retaining wall and cannot have a gate put in.

The above pictures show another tricky property. Steps on one side and a long winding sidewalk with landscaping bushes at the bottom without direct access to the turf at the bottom. I measured approximately over 50-60 feet to the turf. Why do we give these examples? Having landscapes that aren’t very accessed means it limits what the homeowner can have done. If a business can have customers with accessible landscapes versus some that take extra planning and logistics because they can’t go on any route, then they might have a harder time finding a service provider.

EcoTurf of Northern Colorado

1101 Automation Drive #664
Windsor, CO 80550

Servicing Northern Colorado including Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Windsor, Eaton, Evans, Johnstown, Severance, Timnath.