Thursday, March 31, 2016

How to Put In a New Lawn

Today the Home Made Austin reigns are going over to my awesome, handy husband Andrew, who’ll be talking about our latest home improvement project, re-doing our front lawn!  He’s been working on this perfect-for-spring project over the last few weeks & our front yard is starting to look soooooo good. It’s been really fun hearing the tips & tricks he’s learned, so I asked him to share them with y’all too!  -Krystal





Hello! I’m Andrew, the husband and home project coordinator of the house.  

I want to share my experiences in re-sodding the front yard.  It was just done and still has to grow to fill in, but is on track to be a beautiful lawn.




When Krystal and I bought this house, one of the things we both liked and disliked about it was the yard.  It was a smallish front yard (about 300 sq. feet), and a decent-sized backyard split into 2 levels because of a big hill.  There is a park behind our back fence which we love, and lots of trees as well.  However, the grass situation was very poor in both the front and back yards.  We loved the privacy, the view, the trees, and most of all, the opportunity to improve it and make it our own.

Our Lawn Before

Our Lawn Before

This winter we seriously started discussions on a complete re-sod of the front yard.  The size was small making this a cost effective project, and the grass had never grown much over 2 summers even with watering and care.  Perhaps the multiple years of lawn watering restrictions due to the Texas drought hurt, but there really wasn't much there to start with.  So I researched several types of grass that sounded like they would grow in our specific conditions.  I read about grass hybrids, seed vs sod vs plugs, optimal climate and shade requirements of dozens of grasses.  Turns out that was a waste of time as none of the local nurseries we visited sold any grass and the only place I could find any sod was Lowes and Home Depot, which sold St Augustine and Bermuda grass only.  We decided to go with the St. Augustine squares at Lowes for $1.99 a square.  They measured 2.5'x1.5' and I cut them into halves before sodding them.
St. Augustine is a beautiful grass that grows lush and thick in Central Texas. This variety of grass likes a lot of water, it's true, but the drought conditions have changed in the past year, so we’re not too worried about it being a problem.  
The next step was to till up the yard.  Luckily my dad has a half acre garden where he grows lettuces and greens, and could provide not only the tiller, but the expertise and operating experience.  With the right equipment, we tilled the yard with 2 sweeps in 20 minutes total.  We also tilled the area between the sidewalk and the street for a flower garden while we were at it. 

Since I also had bought 35 paving stones to extend my driveway by a foot, I dug out the space for those at the same time and put those in first.  I will go back and put sand down below and between them to level and finish them after the yard has dried out a bit and the stones have settled.






Grass sod was actually fairly difficult to find in South Austin in March.  We went to 2 garden nurseries and called another one with no luck before we found it at one of the big box stores.  But the price was right and they had it in stock.  Turns out each store gets a delivery on a specific day of the week and sells out usually within 48 hours so if you don't get enough at first (as I didn't) then you have to go back next week.  I ended up buying 60 squares over 2 weekends at $1.99 a square for a total project cost of $130 after tax.  I won't count it in the cost, but I went ahead and bought a new sprinkler and new hose too.



Sodding the squares was pretty easy once you get the hang of it.  I decided to cut each square in two, and leave 8-10 inches between them to maximize the space I could cover with my materials. Because the grass should spread pretty fast, I only had to level off an area half the size of the big pieces.  You want the level of the soil attached to the grass to be about the same level as the yard so each area has to be dug out 1/2 inch or more.  The corners are the most important. The technique is to dig the area a bit too deep, then add in extra dirt to the lower areas to level out the final product.  You really have to watch for high corners or low patches right in the middle.

If you think one piece is too sunken a day or two after setting the sod, you can still pick it up and add dirt to the low spot. After the first week you don’t want to disturb the rooting process so try to set them as level as possible the first time.  

They need a lot of water at first, so be prepared.  Water daily the first week, and then every 2-3 days after that until you are really seeing the grass root and spread.  After the grass starts to settle in, you can stick to watering once a week or so. 

I just finished laying down the last pieces a few days ago so at this point I just hope it does well, and grows beautiful and green. It’s been a good, fun project and I’m excited to maintain it and see how it continues. I also hope it gives us a place to play in the grass!





Thanks for reading, I will post more pictures of the lawn once it has grown and filled in!


-Andrew



17 comments:

  1. Found this by googling How to Put in a New Lawn. My husband plans to redo our backyard, which is all weeds, by covering it with black plastic and straw for a couple months to smother the weeds, then sowing grass seed over it (after removing the straw and dead weeds.) How does this plan sound? Do we need to have it tilled? Since it’s been a couple years, how is your front lawn now? Can you post a photo?

    ReplyDelete
  2. The other category falls under those that work under negative pressure meaning they can collapse on themselves if when the pressure is imbalanced, they are called suction hose pipes. discharge hose

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. It is the old what goes around comes around routine. oil transfer hoses

    ReplyDelete
  4. I admit, I have not been on this web page in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues. hyatu

    ReplyDelete
  5.  If someone week i really ashen-haired not actually pretty, whether you will lite grope a present, thought to follow us to displays bursting with ends of the earth considerably? Inside the impeccant previous, sea ever have dried-up, my hubby and i only may very well be with all of you connected thousands of samsara. Tony And Joes

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have bookmarked your website because this site contains valuable information in it. I am really happy with articles quality and presentation. Thanks a lot for keeping great stuff. I am very much thankful for this site. Interior painting cost New York NY

    ReplyDelete
  7. While you are looking for this type of fencing on your nearby hardware shop or online, the list of colors is great. In case you need to intensify the look of your yard, incorporating a formidable color choice to your selection need to do wonders for your fence website.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is very interesting content! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your points and have come to the conclusion that you are right about many of them. You are great. Dslr camera price in pakistan

    ReplyDelete
  9. I was surfing net and fortunately came across this site and found very interesting stuff here. Its really fun to read. I enjoyed a lot. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information. CutTheWood.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Home improvement loans can suck the life out your house hunting experience. Find out why my site loans suck and what you can do to stop the suck.

    ReplyDelete
  11. These days the term cottage frequently refers to a summer home or vacation home. glam tabletop

    ReplyDelete
  12. “Sometimes I feel like if you just watch things, just sit still and let the world exist in front of you - sometimes I swear that just for a second time freezes and the world pauses in its tilt. Just for a second. And if you somehow found a way to live in that second, then you would live forever.” More information

    ReplyDelete
  13. Much like pool lighting, total pool mortar completes produce luxuriously hued pools. Pool mortar shields solid gunite pools from harming, however new mortar innovation has grown substantially more stylishly satisfying options in contrast to exhausting, white Marcite mortar. pool services company

    ReplyDelete
  14. While picking the best pool for you by and by and your friends and family, it is essential to arm yourself with satisfactory learning. With that, I've given 5 hints to remember as a top priority: salt water pool maintenance

    ReplyDelete
  15. Can't sit tight for another blog by this essayist.
    Engineered Flooring

    ReplyDelete
  16. What is good food for irritable bowel syndrome? What is bad food for irritable bowel syndrome? Why does it even matter? By answering these questions properly you are reinforcing your lifestyle and protecting your happiness even further with knowledge and tools at your disposal for reinforcement for overall better living. easy recipes for two

    ReplyDelete
  17. Paint the outside and the inside of your home. A crisp layer of paint is a basic home improvement venture that will give your home another spotless look.check this website

    ReplyDelete