A Bit of Sod for a Big New Space

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To wrap up a week full of outdoor posts, here’s another outdoor post!  We can finally taste the end of the backyard project.  To recap, we started with this cute little patch of grass with aspirations of a nice yard for our playscape and for the girls to run and play.

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It was one of those yards that was more decoration for when you’re spending time on our huge patio/pool deck – not our speed at all.  So after pushing the fence out, taking out some overgrown plants, and leveling with a truck-full of “chocolate loam” topsoil, we had room to plan and set up or reasonably-sized playscape.

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We very seriously considered using synthetic grass.  It’s a great idea, in theory.  You never have to water or mow it, it’s green year-round, low maintenance, and great for pets & plays capes.  You can even install padding underneath it which gives a nice bounce and a ton of fall protection for the kiddos.  That isn’t just a selling point, we’ve seen it first-hand ad the new playgrounds being installed at the local elementary schools.  They are amazing!

We priced it several ways.  We priced the materials alone which came to around $2500-5000 for this area depending on options and accessories.  We even looked at using used turf from school football fields which would cost around $1000 delivered.  We also priced turn-key options which ranged from $7000-12,000 depending on if it was a landscaper or professional playground installer.  None of these were our speed this time, so we opted for the pallet of grass for under $200.

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I hear how hard it is to install sod.  I’ve also installed sod multiple times.  I have no idea what’s difficult about it.  One pallet was enough for us – or at least it will be after we pick up another 10-15 additional pieces when grass is “in season” at the Big Box.  One pallet = 450 square feet and we only needed grass for the new section of the yard and where we had taken out plants.  We did it in an hour or so with the girls in tow.  I started before Jason got home as Chloe was oddly very excited about “her” new grass.  She had spent the last few days asking me to “go buy grass at the grass store”.  We loaded up a dozen or so pieces at a time in our garden wagon (we have this one and use the heck out of it).  The girls had their toy rake and shovels and were out “working” alongside us.  I love that we’re instilling the can-do DIY spirit in these girls!

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When Jason got home he took over hauling the sod around the house while I paced it.  When he was finished, he took care of the areas that needed grass cut (he uses this style utility knife).

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The best part about sod is it’s easy to install and looks incredible when it’s fresh and new.  The worst part, at least here in Texas, is having to water it non-stop in the first weeks.  We set our irrigation to just that zone to go off early in the morning and it has worked great.  Now we need to baby the old grass that has been trampled so it can look as nice as the new.

20131004-103646.jpg Okay, so we had a little help with the watering from Snow White Chloe.  That’s right, we managed to make grass a special present and get her to practice responsibility by watering it herself.  That’s a parenting and DIY win – a perfect example of why you should get even little kids involved somehow when you can.

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When it was time to enjoy the new play yard, she couldn’t want to share it with all of her “babies”.

What do you think of the transformation?

 

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