Sodded the Back Yard

For about 12 grueling hours, two in-laws, my wife, and I sodded the back yard with Palmetto St. Augustine grass.

At 7:45 AM Miller Grass delivered six pallets of sod. Each pallet is 63 square yards, or 567 square feet. Six pallets are a whopping 3402 square feet!

Our Palmetto pallets are the rearmost ones on this truck:

Here’s what the yard looked like before we started (click on it for a larger version):

Notice the playground area and other junk on the yard.

Here is a progress check at around 2:00 PM:

Did you notice that the playground area is gone?

As we got through the first pallet, I noticed that it covered disturbingly high percentage of the yard. I freaked out and estimated that I somehow bought 50% more sod than needed.

We took a careful look at this playground area and decided to just rip it out and grass it over. The equipment was decrepit anyway, and the playground area’s mulch was mostly worn out and eaten up. All the junk on the right side of the yard is from this playground area.

Even after making this decision, I was still concerned that we would be left with two unused grass pallets. I called Miller Grass and asked if they would buy back the two pallets, but they were understandably not interested. Sod is like take out food. Once the food is prepared for you and it’s in your possession, you can’t just take it back. Miller Grass referred me to a landscaper who needed two pallets of grass for Sunday. I called the landscaper, and he offered me 50% of my cost for the grass.

Fast forward to 6:30 PM:

We’re done, and better yet we used every last piece of grass! The landscaper didn’t get to buy a thing.

My original plan was to solid sod a third of the yard, checkerboard sod another third (the area already had some grass), and leave the rest alone (the remainder had healthy St. Augustine or was the play area). Well, it turns out that after sodding the playground area, we had exactly enough grass to solid sod the entire yard, not including the area with healthy St. Augustine. What incredible luck! For a price that I thought would give me enough to halfway finish the yard–and leave a trashy “playground” in the middle of it–I now have a stunning back yard. The difference between before and after is astounding!

The thing that I am most proud of is that I personally unloaded at least a third of the grass from the pallets into the back yard. It was one of the most difficult jobs I have ever done, and I am exhausted. But considering that 3½ weeks ago I was in the emergency room after a bad crash, this is a major accomplishment.

By the way, that grass stunk of cow manure.

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