What To Do With A Dirt Backyard? 12 Cool Ideas

improvedyard.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

No one wants a dirt backyard. They’re boring and they don’t make for the most enjoyable outdoor space. Unfortunately, not everyone has the time or money to put into making their yard amazing. But there are still plenty of things you can do with a dirt backyard! We’ve compiled twelve ideas that will help transform your backyard from blah to beautiful in no time at all!

1.Lay Sods

Lay sod on your dirt backyard to make it look more lush and green. It’s a quick way of adding some color, texture, or depth without having any major work done! 

Sods can be expensive and the costs can run up quickly, but they’re a great way to add some life and color back into your backyard.

A cheap way of getting sods is by looking like something like gumtree.

You may get lucky with someone looking to offload old turf that they have taken up. The downside of sods is that they can be difficult to maintain and may need watering more often. 

2.Concrete Slab

Having someone come and pour a new slab can be a great way to make your backyard look like it’s worth something.

The downside of this is that you need someone with the skills and equipment necessary for pouring concrete, which can be expensive or difficult if they’re not experts in their field! 

However, paying slabs can be a much cheaper alternative and you can make it a DIY project. Laying paving slabs is not easy, but it is possible and you can get the job done with a little bit of patience.

3.Plant An Alternative Ground Cover

Dirt can look boring and untidy but something like creeping thyme, candytuft, mini Kenilworth ivy, and blue star creeper can all be used as ground cover and will make your backyard look a lot more interesting.

If you want to take it one step further, planting some succulents or cacti can also help with the aesthetic appeal of an otherwise boring dirt yard! 

If you are looking for a much cheaper alternative then growing from seed is a great option. You can find seed packets for most types of plants at your local garden center and they are usually quite inexpensive!

4.Artificial Turf

A grass yard may look great but they take lots of upkeep, which means more effort on your part to keep it looking good all the time… artificial turfs are another option for those who want their backyard without having any maintenance worries at home.

The excellent thing about the best artificial grass is it will look great for years to come without any work on your part.

The downside is that artificial turf can be quite expensive and it may not look as good in the long run, but if you are looking for a quick fix this might just do!

The costs of installation can be very expensive however, the installation of a artificial grass putting green can easily become a DIY project. I installed my own artificial grass and it took me a long weekend and I was done.

5.Mulch The Area

Having a dirt backyard might not only look bad but all that dirt can find its way into your home. The best way to keep the dirt from getting into your home is by mulching. 

Mulch will not only help with keeping all that soil in place but it also looks great!

Mulches come at a variety of prices and you can find one for any budget, so don’t worry about breaking out those credit cards just yet because there’s a mulch for everyone.

Mulches are also great because they can be used in a variety of ways, not just to cover up dirt! 

You could use it as an underlayment on your patio or even line the bottom and sides with them so that you don’t have any weeds coming through those cracks either.

6.Build A Small Deck

We have all dreamed of sitting on a deck sipping a cold drink on a hot summer day. 

Installing a deck is an excellent way of covering up a dirt backyard and it can be done in just one day.

A wood deck is not going to be cheap at around $1000 for a small deck, but it will last for decades.

A composite material is a good option if you are on a budget and want something that looks like wood without the cost of $1000+. 

It’s going to be more expensive than dirt though! You can also use an old pallet or two as your base instead which would save some money too.

7.Lay Paver Stone

Paving stones are one of the biggest items to be given away on websites like Freecycle. 

Dumping pavers can be expensive so people prefer to offer them for free to save on the charges. 

You can also buy paving stones at a discounted price from places like Home Depot or Lowe’s. They will be delivered to your home for free if you spend over $250 on the purchase of them!

They are also relatively inexpensive and easy to install on a dirt backyard, but they will require some work with the shovels! 

If you want something that looks more like a natural stone then there are always concrete pavers which can be expensive depending on where it’s from though (around $25 per square foot). 

8.Make A Zen Garden

Within Western cultures, we think of yards as lush green spaces but in Japan, they have a different idea of what an ideal yard should look like. They often use rocks, sand, and water to create the perfect Zen garden!

Japanese gardens are meant for relaxation so there is no need or desire in them being lush green spaces. Because it would be too much stimulation which can cause people’s minds not feel calm enough when sitting in the garden.

Creating a Zen garden can be relatively simple. You just need to find a place in your yard that is relatively flat. Then you can start by placing some sand on the ground, followed by rocks of different sizes. Until it looks like an interesting pattern or design for people’s eyes when they walk into this area.

9.Cheap Plants or Free Plants

One of the best ways to cover a dirt backyard is with plants. 

However, if you’re on a tight budget or looking for free plants then there are some options to consider:

The first option is using succulents in your garden because they don’t require much water and can survive the dryness of dirt backyards well! 

The second idea would be planting herbs like rosemary which also doesn’t require much water and can be used in cooking.

The third idea would use cacti which are also low maintenance plants that don’t require a lot of watering or sunlight!  

The fourth option is using vines like ivy, jasmine vine, etc because they grow quickly on fences with little care required from you as the owner.

10.Wood Chips

A cheap option that looks great is wood chip mulch.

The chips are usually made from pine, cedar, or fir trees and can be found at any home improvement store for a reasonable price!  

The best part is that they’re easy to install because you just dump them on the ground in your backyard. You then rake it over with some soil so there’s no need of digging up dirt which is a huge time saver.

The downside to this option is that it doesn’t last as long because the wood chips will eventually break down. They will need replacing every year or two but for most people, they’re worth their weight in gold!

11.Kids Playground

If you have kids you can turn your dirt backyard into your very own kid’s playground! 

There are many different ways to do this, but one of the easiest is by using rubber chips for a soft surface.

Another idea would be building them their very own sandbox or putting in some swings and slides. So they can have hours upon hour’s worth of fun playing outside with friends. 

On what was once your dirt backyard all summer long without you having any worries.

This is a great idea for parents who don’t want to worry about their kids playing in the dirt and getting dirty all summer long!

12.Backyard Picnic

Covering over what was once a dirty backyard with a picnic area is a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

The best part about this idea, it doesn’t require much work at all!  

All you need are some chairs and tables for your guests so they can sit comfortably while enjoying their food in style with friends or family members by their side as well.


We would love to know some of your ideas for what to do with a dirt backyard! 

Feel free and share them in the comments below. 

We would love your input on this topic as well, so please don’t hesitate if you have any ideas or questions about it at all either.

We hope that these 12 cool ways to spruce up your backyard have inspired you to get started on making it a place that is both functional and fun!