Backyard improvements (Sod)

For the longest time the area in the very back of the yard was left untouched (about 1 yr). Chris covered it with plastic and weed barrier to keep the weeds and blackberries from taking over the area again. We decided that we would put some grass there as a place for the kids to play. This describes the 3 week project of putting grass in the back are (about 400 sq ft).

We bought a rototiller to turn over the soil. The previous owners had done lots of construction (they rebuilt the house and garage) so there was a fair amount of construction debris and other stuff in the soil (rocks, concrete bits, glass, nails). It took a few days of turning over the soil and stopping to pick out this stuff to get the area prepped.

The soil is pretty clay-ey and we added some soil amendments (sandy loam soil and compost) to help improve drainage for the grass.

The ground was quite hard and Sierra was helping to incorporate the soil amendments.

The back part of the yard is higher than the front part so we built a step/short retaining wall to keep the back part of the yard level. These are concrete retaining wall blocks from Home Depot. The ground below was tamped, leveled and then crushed rock serves as the base. The blocks were joined using construction adhesive.

Here’s the ground after it’s been amended, cleaned, leveled and rolled (to compress the soil). Prepping the ground definitely took the majority of the 3 weeks.

We bought sod from a local place. It is Dwarf Fescue grass which is supposed to be slow growing and has low water requirements (for grass). Apparently you only need to cut the grass every 3 weeks. We bought 44 rolls (440 sq ft).

The grass comes in 10 sq ft rolls (2′ x 5′) which weigh about 4o lbs each. Here is the first roll going down along the side fence.

It went down pretty fast. It only took about 2 hrs to lay all of it (Chris did the first half by himself) then Rob, Jen and Skya helped for the 2nd half. It was then rolled and watered to make sure there’s good contact between the sod and the underlying dirt.

Two more views of the new lawn. It’ll take a couple of weeks for the roots to really get established. Lots of water in the first two weeks and then not so much.



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