Thursday, February 19, 2009

Extreme Sod Makeover!

Let's just say that the guys who lay sod for a living have a whole new level of respect from me! I see it every week on Extreme Home Makeover, when they redo these yards, and now have even higher regards to those who lay sod in cold weather, rain, and heat.
The story goes as follows:
After the Farm Show this last week,we found out that some of the exhibitors sell the sod that they had on the site of their displays. My parents backyard has not had grass on it for at least 15 years because they had leveled it and hadn't re seeded it. So as one of our remodel projects was to landscape the back yard. So I asked around what happens to the sod. Well it turned out it is brought in by different people, and we found one guy and asked him about it and he sold us some that would fill a little over half of the yard, and we thought we would seed after that. The problem is some people tend to walk off with it we were warned so on a rainy Friday my dad and I loaded up just a couple of 6 foot rolls of sod while it was raining. We didn't realize how heavy sod becomes when it is wet (LOL) So any how we decided that we would have to come back the next day (Saturday) and start rolling up the sod and put it in Matt's truck and make several loads. Which was great because it wasn't raining. We had a friend watching the kids, thank heavens, so that we could work and travel back and forth to Tulare.
We got started and learned a few things like if you cut it in small rolls it is easier to handle, and a sharp knife if very great tool. You can't leave it rolled up to long or it rots. So in all of this learning process we learned that we have to work quickly and get all of the sod laid out again. We also found out that we could leave the sod laid out, until we were ready to lay it down, but we still had to hurry, because we didn't want anyone taking the sod we bought.
So back to the story, the stuff we bought we knew would not fill the back yard because it is 75 x 150 and the site only had about 75 x 25. So we came home with the first load and started prepping the ground by rototilling it to get rid of the weeds, and smoothing it out (that took a little bit to figure out too) and that way when we brought the next load home we would be done and we would have a nice section of grass, with the thought of seeding the rest of the yard. didn't quite end up that way. On our next trip back after laying the first load, the site a couple of sections down from where we bought our first sod, we saw several pallets of the same grass and asked if it was for sale also, because wouldn't it be great to just do the whole back yard it would be so much easier and look great. Of course it was, so we made a deal with them and ended up buying 26 pallets of sod!!!!! Now as I mentioned before the sod rots faster if it is folded or rolled up (like in 24 hours) so now we were under the gun. 1. because of the sod needing to be laid as quickly as possible. 2. The farm show grounds closed at 6 and would not be open till Monday (way passed the 24 hour time frame for the sod) and it was 2:00 and we had to hurry. Urgent calls were made to my father to get trailers and trucks so that we could have the fork lifts to put the sod on them. Calls to my mom and sister to help with babysitting, because we promised to have the babysitter home by 5. It worked out, great thanks to all of their help.
We were able to get a large tractor trailer, and my dad's work truck to pull that one. And then my dad's old blue truck (nicknamed mator by my kid's) and the trailer for the sprayrigs we used to haul on it. So now properly equipped we headed back up to Tulare and loaded up the pallets on the trailers. There was so much grass we literally had to drive 25 miles an hour home because they were soooo heavy (not recommended) When the fork lift put the first two pallets on the small trailer I swear you could hear the truck moan!! Your killin' me!
Well as you guessed we figured out that we needed a little more help now because we had a heck of a lot more sod to lay in a short amount of time and also had to prep some more ground. We called in some awesome re-enforcements, and learned a few more things about laying sod from them. We also called my dad in for one more favor, to borrow a fork lift, because after seeing how much sod there was and how many trips we would be making from the front yard to the back with a truck, we got scared! These pieces were sooo heavy because of the rain.

We finished it finally! Took four days to do it,(we were able to do that because we left the other sod we bought on sight laid out on the ground and picked it up when we were ready) a lot of sore muscles, great memories and ended up with more than we needed and ended up doing our friends yard too that had helped us lay our backyard. It was a lot of sod! It is a very hard job, but oh so worth it. The pictures are before and after. The spot where the cars are right now is going to be a RV cement parking, and the L shape is my new garden area.
But like I said, I have a whole new appreciation for sod laying guys!!

1 comment:

The And Fam said...

I commend you on even taking on this adventure! Your work paid off though, the yard looks fantastic!!! It always amazes me that we have such wonderful friends and family - yours surely pulled through. Can't wait to see you guys again!