Y'all...This has been one of our longest spanning projects to date. We wanted to work on our backyard almost immediately when we moved to our house in June of 2015 so we could enjoy our summer outside. Our entire backyard was zeroscaped, which means there was no grass. This is very popular in Denver because most people have small yards and prefer low maintenance. However, we have a dog, Trigger, and really wanted to have grass for him. Also I grew up with grass backyards and really love the lush look!
I mean come on...How could you deny this puppy grass?
But due to so much going on last summer and just lack of understanding how long this would really take we were not able to complete this project last year. The deck took so much more time than expected. You can read about that here. We were determined to complete this project early this year!
Step 1: Rock Removal
We started out ambitious last summer and posted on the neighborhood social media site Next Door about "free rocks!" the only catch was they had to come and shovel the rocks and remove them from our yard. This worked at first but then winter came and the appeal was lost. This year, we started aggressively shoveling rocks and dumping them in that lovely dumpster behind us. This is hard work, the rocks are very heavy and unfortunately I am just not that strong so we needed help! We are so thankful for our friends who helped us and Ben's parents who we shamelessly put to work almost every time they are at our house! I don't mean to underestimate this step by not discussing it more but basically this took the majority of our time to actually remove every single rock & all of the weed barrier beneath the rocks.
Rock Removal Complete:
Step 2: Tilling, Leveling, & Soil
On Memorial Day weekend, my husband and I decided we should try to knock out the rest of the backyard, We had fun during this stage of the project! We rented a tiller from our local Home Depot ($47/day) and got to tilling up the land! It was quite easy to use and even I was able to use it. We went over the soil until it was noticeably the texture of sand. We had two mounds that made our backyard uneven. So after tilling up the ground we would take turns using the rake to level the ground. This wasn't too hard but took some time to make sure it was how we wanted it. This took about 2-3 hours. We then laid down fresh soil & some compost to help the grass thrive. Ben did most of the soil sprinkling, I just helped manage.
Step 3: Sod
After our lunch break, some friends came over to help us with the process to lay sod! We all rode to the Home Depot and bought a pallet of the Colorado blue grass, the only grass that grows in Colorado apparently. Each roll is 2 ft by 4 ft, so 8 sq ft and each roll was $5.98. We have about 440 square feet in our backyard that required sod. Thankfully we have a truck and were able to load all of the sod into the bed of the truck. The guys at Home Depot were so helpful and helped us load it all. Next - the boys started to lay the sod from the back to the front and from the fence towards the sidewalk. You are not supposed to walk on the grass for at least a week so that it has time to take. It only took the boys one hour to lay all of the sod and make all of the necessary cuts. We actually had about 60 sq ft too much so we called Home Depot to see if they would take it back and even though they usually don't take back live products they were nice enough to let us bring it back since it had only been 2 hours since we left the store! Also they may have felt bad for us because we were at the same Home Depot about 6 times over the holiday weekend and saw all of the same garden workers haha.
Tips we have been told about the coming weeks after you lay fresh sod:
- Don't step on it or let your dogs on it for one week. We are going to wait 2 weeks just to be safe.
- Water, water, water. We water about 20 minutes twice a day.
- Don't mow for 3-4 weeks after you lay the sod even if it starting to get wild looking.
- Due to so much watering, it is recommended to use a fertilizer a few weeks after laying the sod.
We are beyond excited about how this turned out! We can't wait to let Trigger run loose back here.
I even managed to plant a small herb garden on our deck since I was feeling the green thumb! We are growing cilantro, oregano, rosemary, & parsley. Pray I don't let these roast this summer!
where the green grass grows -