Monday, May 21, 2012

First cut

Three weeks after getting our sod, I was forced to give the lawn its first cut over the weekend. I purchased one of these bad boys from Amazon [link]:

It's a 19-inch cordless mower. I've used gas-powered and corded electric mowers before, but this was my first time using one with batteries. To do the entire lawn required the equivalent of four batteries. The mower comes with two Lithium-Ion batteries that each take around three or four hours to fully charge. The mower worked very well indeed. I spent about four hours actually cutting the grass and it again struck me how unexpectedly large our yard is.

One thing that irritates me a bit is that it seems like some of the rectangles of sod are not the same. Obviously different areas of the yard will grow in different ways depending on shade, water and wind; however, it was clear that the type of grass was not consistent. With seeding and feeding over the years, this problem will sort itself out so it isn't really a big deal. Another problem is that the landscapers did leave some rather large gaps between some of the sod rectangles. Again, seeding and feeding will solve that problem.

Friday, May 18, 2012

What are these?

Please excuse my complete lack of a green thumb, but can anyone identify these two plants for me?



Here's another picture with both in:

Examples of these were planted in the front of our house by Ryan Homes' landscapers. I can just about tell the difference between trees and grass, but that's about it. I know that at least one of you fine folks can help me out here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sod and landscaping

After what has seemed like an age we finally have our yard sodded and landscaped:

The finished yard looks larger than we expected it to, which is nice. Our old home had almost an acre of land and our new lot is only supposed to be roughly one third of that, yet it seems like we have almost as much lawn. Perhaps it is just a welcome optical illusion!

Watering takes roughly four hours. The water pressure isn't that great here, so I can only run two oscillating sprinklers at a time. I bought a couple of those one-into-four adapters with four little shutoff taps so that I can switch the flow between several sprinklers. As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm worried about the giant water bill we are going to get. I woke up this morning literally overjoyed that we'd had overnight rain. I reckon rain saves me about $8.

The landscaping looks pretty good. We have a corner lot, so the landscaping company gave us quite a few little shrubs and bushes to go down the street sides of the property. Our front porch is flanked by two magnolia trees. I hear they can grow to be quite large, so I will have to learn how to properly trim them.

We are still waiting for Ryan Homes to come and do our exterior painting. Various areas of the two porches need white paint, the exposed foundation walls need painting (I didn't realize they would be doing that) and our shutters need to be painted to match our front door. When it's warm enough, we are supposed to be getting our driveway finished with a finer asphalt. Next time you hear from me, I hope to have a couple of pictures with everything finished!