My preparation included fertilizing the grass before it got too cold. The last time I cut the grass before winter, I spread fertilizer and weed killer on the freshly cut grass. It rained a couple of days later so that was good. I have a truckload of mulch (anyone want some? Seriously, you can have it.) to spread on the very back of my yard. Grass doesn't grow well there because of all the trees back there. They are old trees and the combination of their shade and the fact that they take pretty much all nutrients from the soil mean that grass just doesn't stand a chance.
My next step is going to be to buy some sort of vegetation killer. I have lots of vine/ivy/kudzu-type foliage growing wild in the very back, which makes things look very messy. I'll follow up with some pictures later this week. After that, I have to remove the remainder of an old and rusty chain link fence since my next-door neighbors put up a wooden fence. I need new stepping stones because one is now cracked in half.
I also need a solution for this piss-poor grading job. They graded my land so that a moat has formed around my house. It's so stupid and it makes me mad every time I have to jump across it to reach my house in order to not get my feet wet! My dad suggested pouring sand in a little bit at a time because he says the grass can grow up around it and that it will level the land. Do you have any suggestions for me?
Finally, I want a vegetable garden. I don't care what's in it. Just something that will grow successfully. I think I have the opposite of a green thumb so something very hardy would be in order. I learned last year that I had two fig trees. I don't like figs, but I am excited about having fruit trees so I will definitely pick them this year. Who knows, I might take them up to the farmer's market and sell them! Haha :) I'm going to buy another fruit tree this spring, haven't decided exactly what, though.
If you have any landscaping tips for me, or if you know of any plants that grow well in the South, let me know!