We moved into this house in July 2015 and the lawn looked pretty good despite being pretty much all crab grass. One of the reasons that it looked so good at the time was because it was the wettest year on record. In fact we received 18 inches of rain in the month of May alone. In this first picture you can see the way the backyard looked before we moved in. It didn’t look too bad at the time but was pretty much all weeds at the time.
The second picture was taken in August 2015 when our storm shelter was being installed. The lawn was torn up pretty bad with the use of a large back hoe digging the hole. They piled this dirt and then left the pile when they left so we had to decide how to move the dirt in a way that would not be such a mess.
In the third picture you can see how they left it. A huge dirt pile in the middle of the yard. They didn’t even offer to take it away. I was a little overwhelmed with how to deal with this pile of dirt. It is much larger than the picture makes it look. In fact it was about three feet tall and about 12 feet wide.
In the fourth picture you can see that I initially did a pretty bad job of dealing with the dirt pile. I got a dirt rake and I left the pile where they laid it and just spread it out. It doesn’t look that bad in this picture but believe me, it was an absolute mess. Notice the concrete barrier around the fence is actually covered with dirt. This dirt is slimy clay when it is wet and hard as concrete when it is dry. Once it rained a few times this mound was a mess. I had no experience dealing with this sort of thing so it was learning experience over many months.
This picture shows the next episode of destroying the lawn. In April 2016 we had a concrete pad installed that took 5 1/2 yards of concrete. It was 6′ x 6′ and 4′ deep. This was the pad that would hold our ham radio tower. I initially got a quote for the concrete to have it pumped to the site from the street. A couple days before showing up, they called and said they forgot to and the pump truck into the quote but said if we let them fill the bucket of a Bobcat dozer, carrying the load to the backyard, they could do it without extra cost. I soon found out what a mistake this was. The night before they showed up, we had three inches of rain. It took them 15 trips from the street to the backyard to fill that hole. In the picture below you can see what the lawn looked like when they were done.
In the picture below you can see a partial repair of the lawn after the concrete pad was installed. My wife and I bought a roto-tiller and tried our best to level the ruts in the lawn. It was such a mess that I never thought it would be back to normal. This picture shows that we did get it semi level but the grass was all gone.
In the picture below you can see in February 2016 we had a new fence installed. This was just one more episode of destroying the lawn. I can only imagine what the neighbors were thinking by this point. We were in Tucson, Arizona on a work related trip while this installation was being done so we missed out on some of the work. My son took some pictures for us to show us how it looked.
Still later in April of 2016 we had the lawn torn up again! We had a sprinkler system installed in the yard so that required some extensive trenching of the lawn. I am sure by this point the neighbors were convince that we were credentialed lawn terrorists. Despite the constant destruction of the lawn over and over again, there was an end game. The overall goal was to have a nice lawn as some point.
The last picture was taken yesterday, July 15, 2017. I just realized that yesterday we have lived in this house for two years. While the lawn is not perfect, it has vastly improved on what it was. It is our hope at some point that our neighbors realize that we are not intent on destroying the neighborhood. We would like to be a good neighbor and keep the lawn looking presentable at some point.
I know this is not a comprehensive photo album, though we have taken several hundred pictures over the last couple of years. Hopefully the lawn will continue to improve and then at some point we can start working on that flower garden in the front yard. 🙂