Sore Muscles & Dirt

Trough filled with large river rock

The pathway & lawn are done. I may have killed El Granto in the process, but they’re done.

No really, El Granto is a wreck. I think the sheer amount of sunlight, heat & heavy lifting was too much for the poor Englishman. He’s got a bit of heat exhaustion, and is spending the day in the a/c topping up his fluids. I feel like a bit of a jerk, cause my girly muscles couldn’t really help him as much as I would have liked.

Here is what we accomplished, although it doesn’t look like much, it was an absolute ton of work.

Backyard Progress
Backyard Progress

Recap from last weekends progress: We took up the path, laid down new rock bedding, and re-laid the pathway, this time with the concrete pavers upside down.

Now, here’s what we did this weekend:

We rented a rototiller, and tilled the whole lawn. Yep, the whole thing, even where we had bits of grass growing. We wanted a fresh clean start, and to get our really packed down lawn a loosening up, and re-grading.

El Granto rockin the rotatiller
El Granto rockin the rototiller

While we were tilling, we ran into a few bumps err rocks. As I started to dig further to get the rocks out, we realized the back half of the lawn was filled with rubble, and then topped with a tiny bit of topsoil. We’re not talking a few stones, we’re talking a bunch of whole bricks, chunks of concrete and other junk. We dug them all out, and bagged them up. They will go out with our trash in our Bagster in the next week or so.

Bricks, concrete, random rubble.
Bricks, concrete, random rubble.

After we tilled and removed the junk, we dug out a trough beside the pathway.

Digging Trough
Digging Trough

We edged it with plastic edging, and lined it with landscaping fabric.

Trough & edging
We used 4 1/2″ wood blocks as spacers to try to get the edging laid evenly. That plastic edging however does not like to lay straight.

We then filled the trough with large river rock. This will not only be good for drainage, but it also gives a nice custom look to the otherwise cheapo concrete path. Like putting lipstick on a pig. You know its still a pig, but at least you’ve got something else to look at.

Trip to the garden center for 13 bags of large river rock. All told we have 25 bags of rock under and beside the path. Wowza.
Trip to the garden center for 13 bags of large river rock. All told we have 25 bags of rock under and beside the path. Wowza.
Trough filled with large river rock
Trough filled with large river rock

After the rocks were laid, we raked and re-graded the lawn, and seeded it. We used a combination of sun/shade grass seed and white clover, and used an old EZ seed container we had laying around to distribute the seed.

Seeding Lawn
Seeding the Lawn (and looking awkward.)

After we seeded, we raked over the lawn, and have been watering perpetually ever since. It isn’t ideal to seed in July, but we will try our hardest to make this grass & clover grow! For the next couple weeks, Odin is blocked from the yard, and we will have to do walks for all his dog needs. Hopefully this will actually give the lawn a shot to get going!

Path + Rock Edging + Seeded Lawn
Path + Rock Edging + Seeded Lawn

A full reveal is a few weeks away. We’ve gotta turn this dirt patch into a lawn. You can follow along on grass watch 2014 on Instagram. Cause you know, watching grass grow is super interesting. We know how to party round here!

We also got started on our deck pergola. An update will come on that later this week!

Excuse me while I go mow down on copious amounts of ibuprofen.



Author: Kristen

Kristen & her husband El Granto & their Vizsla Odin live in a converted Storefront in downtown Toronto.

18 thoughts on “Sore Muscles & Dirt”

  1. Oh the rototiller, my muscles are sore just reading about it!!! And we have the rocks and rubble under the surface of our property too, even the kids don’t enjoy being paid to dig it up and cart it away 🙁 Good luck with your lawn!

    1. Thanks Becki! It’s making progress. Man is landscaping a ton of hard work and $! Would love to have incorporated some lighting into the rocks, and some more landscaping around the garage and ivy, but for now, this will do! How is your deck coming along?

  2. Water the shit out of that grass seed!!! Two years ago we grew grass on approximately 1 acre of land in one of the worst drought years we had, we watered every morning and every night and then seeded more and more. You probably don’t get much wind back there but we had that issue. But the grass grew and we had the best grass on the street! Everybody else had yellow grass!

    Also, that river rock looks awesome by the stone!

    1. Oh that’s great news! Everyone was telling me I was ridiculous to seed in the summer (but I am not waiting another year!). You have given me a ton of hope, and I will water, water water!

  3. that is a lot of work, but once it all grows in it’ll all have been worth it! we too have clover mixed in with regular grass and i just love the way it looks!! my green thumbs are crossed for you! XO

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