When weeds took over our lawn

When we were looking for our house, I was leaning towards the ones with a big yard. Universe heard my wishes, God heard my prayers and we got a house with with a big yard. We moved in, in the fall. Next spring we hired landscapers to straighten out the lawn, that was untouched for years. They sodded the lawn. They helped me prepare the vegetable garden bed with organic soil and humus. It was a perfect yard with fresh lawn and a beautiful flower and vegetable garden.

Then last year, weeds took over our yard. One side was invaded by clovers, and the rest by crab weed. Adding injury to the insult, our neighbors’ cats marked out pitiful lawn as their litter box. It was not only terrible for the remaining lawn, but also we had to tip toe around the cat poo. That left us the hopeless yard as seen above.

So I decided for a lawn makeover, but I couldn’t afford the landscapers for another round. I declared my decision to my husband. He agreed to help, so we rolled our sleeves. First, I set out to rent a sodcutter, which was extremely hard to find. As a side note, the hardware and home improvement store staff I inquired around were really reluctant to even provide me information, commenting that I -as a woman?- would not be able to operate a sod cutter as it was really heavy and cumbersome. I had seen how it was operated by the landscapers who worked with use before. So eventually, I located an available sodcutter at a Home Depot far away from house and even helped load into our minivan.
Apparently, the store staff who were looking down on me were the ones who had no idea how to operate the sodcutter, so at first we couldn’t get the knives under the grass. Thanks to youtube, we figured the trick with the specific model we were working with and got rid of the old grass in no time. Sodcutter is superior to a traditional tiller to get rid of the old grass and the weed with the roots in one single step. With a tiller, you still have to clean the weeds by hand. We rolled the old grass patches and put them away.

We cleaned the rest of the weed and gravel with the help of a rake.

After I returned the sodcutter, I rented a tiller/cultivator. The first round was a bit hard as we were trying to break the compacted soil.

The second round was a breeze that even kids helped us. The soil became as fluffy as a down pillow.

When there wasn’t any grass or weed that a naked eye can see left, I leveled soil with the back of a rake. The whole process lasted about 2 weeks because of the unpredictable spring weather.

The birds flocked to our yard as tilling process brought the worms and even some grubs out of the soil. I actually picked out the grubs by hand and put them aside to help the birds feed and I clean up the soil for the lawn.

I will explain, in pictures, how we laid the sod by ourselves, in my next post.

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