Am I the only one who thinks “laying sod” sounds like a euphemism? Partner it with “spreading mulch” and “digging post holes”* and you have a party, mister.
But this laying of the sod is in the literal sense and I began the journey the way I begin all journeys these days: a Google search. In my experience you can figure out how to do pretty much anything through Google connecting you to some industrious person who has taken the time to document it online. According to my research, laying sod can be done fairly quickly and efficiently. And the hardest part—digging up the existing grass—has already been done on my behalf.
Yes, that is actually how my little patch of front yard looks right now. And I blame it completely on the dogs each of whom I’m making chip in $20 toward the project. How else are they going to learn responsibility?
My plan is to sod the main area and rope it off to force aforementioned labs to use the little section to the side while the sod takes root. Eventually, I hope to find some impervious groundcover to plant there or maybe some kind of Xeriscape/rock solution. For now it will remain bare.
Measure the area
The sod I’m buying, and maybe all sod?, comes in 10 sq. ft. rolls. So I just walked around with a tape measure and determined that I will need 13 rolls total.
Prepare the soil:
I was anxious to see an instantly lush, green lawn but then I read I needed to first test the soil pH. I used to be a step-skipper but I’ve realized that, while you get things done faster that way, you are probably going to end up re-doing it anyway. So I wished for patience and read more about what that entailed. There were a few options, ranging from having the county extension agent come out and do it for you (2 weeks) or buying a test from Home Depot ($10). I kept going until I found an organic and free way to handle it using household items I already had on hand (smiles into camera.)
It was easy, though a tad messy:
• don adorable gardening gloves
• dig up soil sample
• separate into two containers
• mix first sample with 1/2 cup vinegar (if this fizzes, your soil is alkaline and needs sulfur)
• mix second sample with 1/2 cup water + 1/2 cup baking soda (if this fizzes, your soil is acidic and needs lime)
The baking soda (right) puffed up our soil sample like a pan of brownies. So I added lime to the shopping list while also realizing there was no way this was going to happen before Monday’s party.
removes adorable gardening gloves
*An aside. Have you ever been on the site cakewrecks? It makes me laugh out loud. One of the author’s pet peeves is inappropriate use of quotations on cake inscriptions. Like “Happy Birthday” Susan. As in “I don’t really want it to be happy” and, “as a matter of fact?, I poisoned your cake.” That site alone has made me question my use of them. I keep going back and forth on how I’ve handled it in the opening paragraph. So in case it’s not clear, I was shooting for “rife with innuendo.”
It occurred to me that, for pure shock value, I could show the lint I cleaned out of the dryer vent like those lemonade cleanse participants who post photographs of what they expelled from their colons hanging from salad tongs. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, trust me that you shouldn’t explore the topic further.
But I decided, instead, to show a few of the ridiculous things I found while cleaning out the laundry area.
1. Empty plastic mini Reese’s peanut butter cups bag
2. Piece of wood, indeterminate origin and species
3. Envelope for a parking ticket from the City of Los Angeles with an envelope for a parking ticket from the City of Boulder sealed inside it. Both were wet.
4. Crushed box. Empty.
We’re actually pretty neat folks, it is just silly how easy it is to accumulate and stack stuff up and never think about it again.
Here’s the final result with the caveat that this is one of the areas we hope to majorly renovate. So, for now, we’re limping along with this wee little mismatched washer and dryer shoved into a closet. I really hope we don’t have to replace either of them before we’re ready.
One down. Three days to go.