See that big space in the middle of the yard plan that is green?
Yeah…the one that looks like a four-year-old colored it in?
Yup…that’s the one. It is supposed to be grass.
Barefoot, dust-free, roll-around-while-you’re-naked-and-get-some-blades-between-your-cheeks kinda grass.
But we are too lazy to seed an entire yard. And we are kinda addicted to instant gratification. I blame the digital cameras. Plus, our yard is still a little slopey…so I am sure that the seed would wash away unless we laid hay, netting and prayed for zero heavy rains. Therefore, sod was an obvious choice. And I was up for anything that would bring a little green into our barren front yard.
First, we needed to prep the entire ground. Preparation involved raking the surface free of any small stones or weeds or sticks that would inhibit grass growth. The prep is one of the most important steps for laying sod…so we took an entire day to ‘play in the dirt again’.
Raking, gathering and evening out little dips in the ground was hot, dusty, back-breaking work. If I weren’t such an uber-cheapskate, I would have hired this job out faster than you can say “minimum wage”. Good thing we had help.
Oh did I mention that? Jeremy’s father – let’s call him Pastor Dad – and his wife, aka Nurse Vicki…came to help for an entire weekend. (!!!!)
Seriously the amount of sweat that poured out of us was enough to fill a two-litter.
Did you get a mental picture of that? yum.
Pastor Dad was burying the power lines for the sprinkler system while us girls picked up loads of rocks, sticks and weeds. Jeremy raked… and raked…
…and raked. Just look at those sexy legs….wa-to-the-hoo 🙂
We finished up the day by respraying the lines for the sod. This is our edge line. On the right hand side of the line will be grass…on the left – a garden bed.
Then Santa came.
It might as well been Christmas…I could barely sleep. And I think I heard someone singing a carol or two. That someone may have been me. Maybe. Sortof. OK – I like the hippo song, so shoot me.
and what did the fat man bring us?
Ten pallets of bermuda sod. We figured that this hardy grass that can take the Georgia heat would be the perfect fit for our yard. We actually got to choose where the heavy crates of grass would be delivered. This was a great help later when we were tired of lugging the sheets of sod around.
Unfortunately, we only needed 6.5 pallets. We are such rookies. But all is well…since we got them at wholesale price of $90 each (including shipping) through Eric the Yard Guy, we saved a bundle of money. Usually they are $250 each with installation in our area. So even though we had a bundle of leftovers, it ended up being in our favor.
Plus, when we realized that we over-ordered, Jeremy quickly posted a Craigslist ad for the extra three pallets. By the next day, all three were sold and out of our driveway. No harm, no foul 🙂
Now to get that grass on the ground…
First we edge the yard. Basically we learned that it was best to edge the sidewalks, the garden beds and the stone wall with a row of sod first.
And then you get your hot redneck workers to do rows with the ‘waterflow’. Our flow was perpendicular to the street. These boys really knew how to move it…move it….
And who are these fantastic friends that would give up an entire Saturday morning to lay sod?
Well, there is Billy Gore…remember him? Yup he just had a little baby. Well, not him but his wife. Him having a baby is kinda Oprahlicious to think about.
and there is Torrey. He is a good friend. He’s almost like a brother to Jeremy.
Like a brother from the same mother. With the same father too. Like that kind of a brother.
Here he is attempting to steal some thunder from my main squeeze in the header. Not even close Torrey. Flex all you want…it’s not even close 🙂
Back to the sod. We edged it out and then laid our first row. Then you start the next row in a staggered situation. We laid it this way so that the seams wouldn’t line up (the grass can merge together easier this way).
Cutting around the sprinkler heads was no prob bob. We just had to make sure that the tops were not much taller than the grass. Afterall, we didn’t want to damage our sprinkler system when we mowed the lawn. And when I say we, I meant my lovely boyfriend.
Finally, we soaked it. We were told that the best way for us to grow the sod was to drench it everyday for two weeks. I mean DRENCH. Basically we need a swamp in our front yard. And we weren’t allowed to walk on it.
In a month or so, Eric the Yard Dude is coming back out to roll it…which means that he is gonna take a heavy roller thing and compact the top soil that could be uneven under the grass. Sounds to me like the perfect thing to do with a keg. But that might be this redneck town talking.
Now for the instant gratification.
Here is our WAY before shot.
And our previous yard:
And introducing our newly soded front yard!
Before we had zero curb appeal. But it is amazing what a difference a little grass can make. It’s like paint for your yard.
Looking at the yard now gives me hope. Now all we need is plantings.
Isn’t it funny how projects or rooms or even yards are never done? It’s like we are wired to say that the grass is greener on the other side…well, technically it is now 🙂
Stay tuned for more to come as we tackle our front yard renovation. And if you missed a step in the curb appeal journey – here are some posts from the very get-go.
Grand Master Sensei Kick-A Garden Plan
Little Grasshopper Kick-A Garden Plan
Amy @ Renovation Innovation says
Great transformation Katie – can’t wait to see it when you finish putting in the flower beds. I have a question for ya – is/was there a reason that you decided not to completely level the land when you did all that grading?
Well Amy – the thing about living on a slope is that you…always…live…on…a…slope. There were many factors in why we chose only part of the ground to be graded…the fact that we wanted to keep our big beautiful oak tree and our current driveway, the fact that our slope was very drastic and building a huge retaining wall on the low end and filling it with topsoil was out of our budget, and not to mention that water drainage planning is more difficult with a bigger space and we wanted to ensure that we were doing the right thing for our micro-environment. In the end, we realized that with our budget we could probably fake a flatter yard with plants and it would be much more responsible than grading the entire space. Hope this answers your question!
XO – Katie
That’s a lot of sod lady! Looks fantastic. If you find that some spots don’t take as well as others (we just went through this last year), don’t fret. Just wait for fall and seed those spots, pour some good dirt over the top of them to keep them from washing away, and it’ll look fantastic next year.
Your yard is looking GREAT!
wow! congrats. it looks wonderful! all that hard work definitely paid off!
Katie, I love how $$ friendly your project is – despite the sweat, heat, and sheer conviction that you’re going to pass out from it all, I’m sure.
I can’t decide if it makes me glad we don’t have a yard in Berlin or makes me wish we had just a little to roll around in.
wow that looks great!
You have some pretty great in-laws to come to help with yard duty all weekend! It looks great!
Thanks Em for the tip – I will definitely have to file that one away for fall! I am sure that my naked sunbathing will burn some of that grass 🙂
And yes Lindsey – I couldn’t have asked for a better family to marry into… Pastor Dad, Nurse Vicki and of course, Mama Jill (Jeremy’s mom) are amazing!
XO – Katie
Ah that brings back memories! We had too much top soil so I went across the street to see if the neighbors wanted it. The wife was on the phone and told her husband to, “show them where to dump it.” Um… excuse me, I’m giving it all to you – the least you could do is come get it! Well, he did help, but it was mostly me, hubby, and my mom!
Amy @ Renovation Innovation says
Makes sense Katie – thanks!
Your yard looks great! I’m impressed by all your hardworking friends and family.
ps. Torrey is way cute…
Wow – you have some seriously amazing friends and family – that looks like it was a lot of work! It looks great – can’t wait to see the rest of your plan come to life!
This is an amazing transformation!!!! I can’t get over it. Silly question though: I was wondering where is your driveway?
Hi Gillian –
Actually our driveway is really hard to see in these photos because of the angle…but it runs along the right hand side of the yard…it basically is our property line. You can kinda see it because of the cars in the fourth photo from the bottom. There is more to come on that topic though…we have a drainage ditch that we spruced up and can’t wait to share! So expect lots of driveway shots in the future 🙂
XO – Katie
looks soooo good!
It’s gorgeous! You guys are really moving along on this kick-A yard plan – great work. I can’t wait to see it with the flower beds and new plantings.
It looks so awesome! How exciting.
- Sarah :-) says
Looks AHmazing. I’m a bit – okay a TON jealous… and I only own a townhome!