Grass, Grass, Baby!

Alright, here’s what I know about grass: I don’t prefer Bermuda. Why? No good reason. It’s just so annoying with its crazy root system. In fact, it’s actually a weed.

It’s wonderful for Oklahoma. It does well in heat, drought, and sandy or clay soil. I have it at every home I own and probably everywhere I’ve ever lived in this state. It’s definitely the most popular choice in this part of the country.

But, I don’t like how it feels (rough and prickly) or how the roots invade everywhere. Just a personal preference. Not one that’s a big enough deal that I’m going to re-do all my lawns. No way!

Since we had a patchy lower yard full of weeds anyway, it was completely realistic to get rid of the Bermuda and start all over here.

We have Fescue up top because of all the shade that the upper yard gets. I love it! It’s so green and soft and, thanks to seeding half a dozen times the last couple of years, thick and lush. We’re still working on a couple of areas, but for the most part, the yard is all grass. A million times better than when we bought this house.

We can’t use Fescue on the lower yard, though, because it gets too much sun. I was tempted to try it anyway, but people who know better than I do keep telling me it won’t survive. I don’t know everything, but I do know to listen to people who know more than I do. Especially when it involves time and money.

So, I don’t like Bermuda. Fescue won’t survive. There are a couple of other options that might survive in Oklahoma (Ryegrass? Kentucky Bluegrass?) if we were willing to spend the money to water the lawn five times per day. I guess there’s also St. Augustine, but I read that it wasn’t very durable to foot traffic.

That pretty much left Zoysia, which is supposed to be similar in color to Fescue (darker green). Plus, I read that they both make great turfgrasses and lush lawns. Sold!

I wasn’t expecting them to look exactly alike, and most people with areas of shade grass have multiple types of grass in their lawns, but I would prefer they not be extremely different in appearance. I hate when there’s such distinct differences in one yard.

Before we got any sod, I googled images of Fescue and Zoysia just to make sure I’d like them used together. Again, I’m no grass expert….

grasses

…but I can’t really tell those apart.

So, what about in real life?

Well, when the hubs brought it home we both thought it looked a whole lot like Bermuda. I went to my closest sod place and talked to a guy (got my first ticket in 17 years on my way there) about the differences.

He showed me both grasses in stock, and was very helpful. Turns out that Zoysia’s root system is similar to Bermuda’s. Hmmm. Who knew?

Though they root the same, Zoysia will be darker, thicker, and softer. Which is what I had read previously. Also, it’s more carpet-like than Bermuda and resists weeds better. Woohoo!

I’m not sure. All I know is that it looks a lot like Bermuda right now. But I’ll trust the people who know this stuff since I know nothing.

lay sod

Remember the stairs we were going to add to the retaining wall since you currently have to walk all the way around and up the driveway to come up to our door (or climb the retaining wall, which is what the kids usually do)?

Well, it only seemed logical to have some sort of stepping stones from the sidewalk to the steps. And it made complete sense to lay those before the sod went down so that we didn’t have to dig out for them later.

My tallest kid did a spacing test for us.

stepping stones

I’m not sure how normal people go about this, but we used a hand saw to cut around the flagstone. It worked.

pavers

We used this flagstone from Lowe’s. It’s much lighter in person than on their website (I bought online and then picked it up), but I still liked it. There are several places in town to buy flagstone, but only Lowe’s lets you purchase online at 2am, and that’s how I roll so they got my business. But if you’re planning to do a larger project, definitely look around for different sizes and color variety. I only needed a few stepping stones and these are great for that.

flagstone

I measured how much square footage of sod we needed. Also, my son (who has an excellent math teacher) confirmed the amount. The hubs ordered what we told him to. Well, we could tell towards the end that we had more ground left than we had sod (we bought enough for a strip by the driveway, too, and we ran out before we even finished the front). That seemed strange considering we ordered at least 20 square feet overage.

The hubs then measured and got almost exactly what my son and I had originally measured. What the heck? So, we then measured the size of the “squares” (they’re rectangles) of sod.

sod square sod measurements

I’m going to assume that 29″ is supposed to be 30″, which means these “4 foot squares” are actually 18″x30″, which according to old math is 1.5’x2.5′. That means these “squares” are not 4 square feet, but only 3.75 square feet. When you’ve bought more than 300 square feet, that quarter of a foot starts to really add up over time.

Now, I’m no sod expert. I don’t know anything about sod measurements. Maybe sod squares are like 2x4s, which aren’t 2×4 at all. I’m thinking about suing the sod farm for millions, in hopes that they’ll settle for at least $1.6 mil.

In the mean time, I guess we’ll go get some more sod. Grrrr.

While we’re here, check out how great our upper yard is looking. So green! (I’m not sure if you can tell by the pictures, but that bright green is sun shining through the trees, not dead spots. 🙂 )

fescue fescue kids

We need to get those steps finished and cap the retaining wall. Then, we only have a million more railroad ties to cover in other areas of the yard.

Have a great weekend, you guys!

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