Winter is approaching, and with it - maybe - some rain. For us and our Newfies, that means mud season in our abysmal back yard. But now there are Eight Paws of the Newfpocalypse, so we decided to install a lawn (and underground sprinklers).
Here's pretty much what the yard looked like before:
That darker patch in the middle used to be a planter bed, which was super successful last year but not so much so this year. Yuki's puppyhood took a toll. Anyway, I used a Ridgid digging fork for the demo (about $30, bought to replace a crappy Craftsman fork I finally got my money back on. The Craftsman was the second free replacement after the original conked out). Here's how much fun hand turning soil is:
It is good exercise, though, and the rental rototillers were heavy and our CRV lacks a trailer hitch. I think the whole demolition/grading (with a rake, mostly) took about six hours for 450 square feet. Hey, small yard. But small yard full of junkola. I found a bunch of former paving in part of the yard:
and smaller odds and ends, too. This place would have been a good archaeology lab, though it is too rich in artifacts to be realistic.
Anyway, here's a view of the prepped yard, and the big stack of sod (About $95, including sales tax and a $5 deposit on the pallet):
At this point, I hadn't laid in the sprinkler, but I squared that away in about an hour using flexible PVC, a couple of sprinkler heads (our side yard is too small to irrigate without watering the porch and/or driveway). The pipe, sprinkler heads, joints, timer and such cost about $130, so besides time, this project was pretty inexpensive. The labor was laborious, though:
You lay sod just like flooring, really:
And here's mostly finished:
I misunderestimated on the square footage, so I ran out just as I finished the yard. As in, I ran out of sod at the same time as I ran out of places I needed to put it. Now all we need to do is see if it takes, and holds up to the canines, and the winter, and...