Spring has sprung, and not a moment too soon! I have impatiently been waiting for the warmer weather so we could lay our new lawn. Not only will we have a backyard in time for summer BBQ’s, but our little man has become a crawler in recent weeks, so having the extra space for him to move around will be awesome.
During the 8 months of renovations, our backyard became a dumping ground. No joke. Check out the photo below…
Everything from concrete, bricks, timber, tiles and sand, to paint-tins, packaging and screws a plenty. We moved into the house while the backyard was in this state, and had to look at it for weeks before we had the time to clean it up. And by “we” I honestly mean “we”. No outside help was hired, as we were skint on funds after the reno. So Matt and I got our hands dirty.
Our local council requires new homes/renovated homes to install water tanks that hold at least 1200L of rainwater. For using on the garden and for washing cars etc. There are several shapes to choose from, but we went with this “slimline” tank. Since it is tall and narrow, we were able to set it up against the fence so it wouldn’t take up too much of our backyard.
In the months to come I plan to grow a vine over it – my pick would be jasmine. It screams Aussie summer to me and I love the smell of it.
I originally wanted to just hire a skip bin, but the skip company convinced me that their heavy duty skip-bags would do the trick. I wasn’t so sure and regret listening to the dude on the phone, as the materials were too heavy for the bags.
This meant we had to spend another weekend unpacking them and buying more skip bags. I have filled many a skip bin in my life, so I should have trusted my gut and gone with the bin. Lesson learned.
Here are the steps we followed to prepare our yard for the lawn:
1. Loosen the Soil
Once the rubbish was gone, the next step was to loosen all the soil using a hoe. After months and months of heavy trucks backing into the yard, the soil was very compact and almost like cement in some parts.
At this point in the story, I would like to add that Matt and I took turns doing this. One of us would mind Jack and try to stop him from crawling into our warzone of a backyard, while the other hacked at the soil. You’d think the outdoor physical labour would be the harder job. You’d be wrong. Whoever was minding Jack would always be the first to crack and shouted out “SWAP”, well before the other one.
2. Fill in the Dips and Remove the Mounds
Once the soil was all loose, we could start pushing it around in order to level it. There were many mounds and dips so we often used a shovel to move soil from one spot to another.
3. Level the Yard
I nearly threw this trusty timber plank out with the council clean up, but Matt saved it from certain death in order to level the yard. It was too heavy for me, so Matt did this by himself. He dragged the plank from one end of the yard to the other, and across ways as well. This ensured the yard was as even as possible.
4. Wet the Soil
Give the soil a good hose down before the lawn is laid, it will give the grass a good start to life in your yard!
Once the backyard was level, we were able to order our brand new lawn! I knew exactly what type of turf I wanted – Sir Walter soft leaf buffalo grass. I have actually laid this grass before and I love it. It’s thick and lush but also really durable. We ordered ours through Millers Turf and they were awesome.
They are based in Windsor (the lawn capitol of Australia, in case you didn’t know) but they deliver all over Sydney, regional NSW and the ACT too.I can’t speak highly enough of them. They were lovely to deal with, were available exactly when I needed and the two guys that laid our lawn took time and care to do a really thorough job.
To be honest, I didn’t realize they actually prepare the soil for you as well, by raking and smoothing it over. So we really needn’t have done that ourselves. DOH! Ah well – we learned a thing or two in the process.
FYI – Miller Turf have a huge range of different lawns that you can chose from, not just Sir Walter Buffalo.
Also, Lawn Solutions Australia handpicked a group of leading turf suppliers in Australia and offer their customers a 10 year warranty on all turf supplied. Millers Turf are one of those companies, so we are guarenteed that our lawn is weed and disease free and will thrive.
And so it begins..
Jack the foreman supervises while Mum has a cuppa on the couch.
I can’t get over how quickly these guys laid the lawn – it was done in less than 2 hours!
What a difference a bit of lawn makes hey?!
Now I need to stay patient and not walk on it for a few weeks while it grows, and I must remember to water it daily for a few weeks too. But boy – I am thrilled with the end result. Cricket anyone?!