Sand spot in Yard
I am renting a house and not looking to spend a whole lot of money, but I live in a house that is at the bottom of a hill (if someone let off their brakes in my driveway, they would come right through my living room!). But we have grass that grows all around our house, but there are two spots where it will not grow. The first spot is more of a concern. It's in front of the porch (assuming that this is because of drainage from hill because it is all mud and sand) and it concerns me because the sediment is about a foot to half foot below concrete and is about half a foot lower than sidewalk leading to the front porch, and it's literally being washed from under the sidewalk. The second spot is one I would really like changed. Over the summer they built new decks much smaller than the old ones, so there is this huge sandy/muddy spot from where the old deck used to extend to. I really hate this because my dog gets in it, and it's extremely unattractive because, like I said, we live at the bottom of a hill so all of the trash from campus tends to end up blown in my backyard, and that sand spot is a magnet for trash. I hate not being able to walk around in my yard. Now the backyard is relatively flat, but the sand spot is kind of sloped from coming out of the house, so I don't know that I could plant something there. Please help me. I want to know if there are plants/trees that I could plant in these areas. In the backyard I don't know if I want a tree right there, but it could be an option, and since it's in the dead center and we already do not have much of a backyard, I don't know if I would want to plant something that would have to be walked around. But I am open to ALL suggestions to get rid of that awful spot! Also, I do not know if I should possibly put grass in that spot and try to regrow it, although I think this might be a difficult time, being December. But, like I said, I am on sort of a limited budget, and especially since I am only renting this house.
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
You have a few options. One is to plant a ground cover there. Vinca minor or ivy will do fine in that area. The nice thing about ground covers is you can buy (or just dig up a bit at a friend's house) and it will spread on its own. Here are some other suggestions: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/slope-hill/hill-ground-cover.htm
This article will have some suggestions for more traditional plants if you want something more like a flower garden there: http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/HO_225.pdf
I don't think that you will have much luck getting grass to grow there. Grass is actually pretty finicky and delicate. It sounds like those spots need something with a bit more root system to hold onto the area.