Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lawn Makeover

It was just over a year back I blogged about my 'ugly' lawn and my desire to replace it but was discouraged by a landscape contractor. In the year I took over mowing my own lawn I also watched the weeds gained greater control over the host grass until I no longer feel watering and fertilizing the lawn does it any good. I'm not going to feed weeds, you know what I mean.

During the Chinese New Year trip home to visit my mother last month I bought a bottle of weedkiller solution said to effectively knock off common weeds in my garden. That's what the seller told me confidently. A week after I came back I bought a pressure sprayer and hunted down the weeds square foot by square foot. For a week nothing happened, then the grass began to turn yellow then brown. A month later 90% of the lawn was gone but slowly revived. Sadly not with the host cow grass. The new emerging green patches here and there are actually WEEDS!

I admit it has been a losing battle and felt the landscape contractor wasn't realistic when he told me I would get back a good lawn with proper care. What he didn't say was the weeds like cancer has metastasized and need 'chemotherapy'. In lay term, replanting is the answer.

My grandkids have reached outdoor age, that it they prefer to be doing things outside the four walls. Like cycling and bouncing the basketball hoop. I realized that my lawn need to be kid-safe and that means a makeover is due. So I called another landscape contractor Alex who came by this afternoon. He didn't try to push away my business. I guess he was more pragmatic and even if he did sound like my lawn can be saved I'll still tell him to replace with new grass.

He was armed with a measuring tape and a writing pad. And a smartphone with a calculator app. With his nephew helping they measured the lawn which totaled 1800 sq.ft. Close to my estimate of 2000 sq.ft. Actually my figure is correct because about 200 sq.ft. had to be deducted for existing planted area that doesn't require re-grassing as well as a patch I want cemented.

He quoted RM1.50 per sq.ft. run to cover the cost of pure instant cow grass carpets, removing the existing grass (read weeds) and soil, treatment to kill residual weeds, laying new sandy soil, leveling, another round of weed treatment before laying the new grass in close turf to prevent weeds from growing within the gaps, fertilizing the grass and cutting it a month later. This job will set me back by just under RM3,000 but in exchange I'll get a brand new lawn. After 13 years I think it will be a good investment.

The inconvenience is dusty compound and untidy garden as well as off limit to garden activities for 2 months to allow the grass to be firmly rooted. After that the garden will be a playground that my grandkids can safely romp about.

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