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My husband and I are BIG do it yourselfers. We find that by being handy we are able to do more projects to our house than if we were to pay someone else to to them. Also, I’m so lucky to be married to such a handy person! After building our house in the winter of 2014, we couldn’t stop dreaming about our plans and projects, especially for our backyard. In the spring/summer of 2015 we added retaining walls, cement pads, a deck, grass, a hot tub and a fireplace (see the full transformation here). I’d say we accomplished quite a bit for our first year, and now that warmer weather is coming back we are looking forward to finishing those projects so we can go back to enjoying all of the spaces we’ve enjoyed creating. First up on the list were the finishing touches on our deck and repairing wear-and-tear (and a few bald spots) in our lawn. I picked up some Scotts® EZ Seed® Sun and Shade the last time I was at Walmart and couldn’t wait to repair my lawn with it.Initially when we planned our backyard, we laid the sod about one foot away from connecting surfaces and planned to have cement curbing done around the entire lawn, then we planned to fill it with gravel and/or small rocks. Well, after using the space all of last summer we decided that we didn’t want to go that direction, and instead have the lawn go right up to the areas with high traffic (instead of having to deal with gravel and rocks getting kicked around). The cement blocks (off to the side) were the make-shift stairs coming off the deck all of last summer.
Last week he built steps coming down to the lower level where the fireplace is. Because of the angle of the decks edge, we used the shorter angle to connect the steps to, but still had a twelve foot section where you could see under the deck, and it wasn’t flattering. I pitched the idea of adding a twelve foot planter box, and after explaining the perks of having a beautiful (and very low maintenance) hedge, he agreed to build it for me (insert happy dance here).
He started by enclosing the deck with 2- 2 x 6 x 12 pieces of pressure treated wood and used 5- 4 x 4 posts to secure it into place. We decided it would look best to build right up to the steps because we didn’t want a gap for little ones to fall into, and aesthetically we could hide the visible cement footings under the deck. Once the back was securely attached, he dug out and moved the sprinkler head closer to the corner. Then he dug out a 10 foot strip of lawn (where the box was going) and transplanted that sod to the side where there wasn’t any (connected to the cement pad).
Next he built the box, cutting any over-hang with a hand saw. This planter measures 12 feet across by about 13 inches wide and 15 inches deep. We found these wood like sheets of white vinyl that we used as toe-kicks to go under the steps, that really gave it a finished look. Using a detail nail gun, he covered the exterior of the planter box in the same faux wood/vinyl. He purposefully positioned the top piece so it would sit a couple inches above the planter he built, so once he added the black soil on top, you wouldn’t be able to see any of the pressure treated wood.Next we used some of the dirt removed to level the inside of the planter box and evened it out to a level height. It took about four bags of soil (3 cubic feet each) to fill the box.
The next step was buying the shrubs and planting them. I went with larger boxwoods because I want them to eventually grow in thick and all together, so I can square off on the top and sides. This was my favorite part of the project because once it was done, it looked so much better than I imagined in the beginning.Next it was time to repair the lawn. Because we were transplanting sod and had quite a few bare spots and seams, Scotts® EZ Seed® was the all-in-one combination of mulch, seed and fertilizer I was looking for.
The application was as simple as sprinkling a generous amount of EZ Seed® in the needed areas, and generously watering to activate it. I’m totally going to be checking on it every hour to see if its started growing yet, but once it does I know I’ll have an even and green lawn all summer.Outdoor entertaining is what I look forward to all winter long. I love having our yard in great shape and having friends and family over to swim, play lawn games, eat fresh summer foods and just enjoy being together, creating lasting memories outside.
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My Walmart had a few different sizes of Scotts® EZ Seed® that I found outside in the garden center. What projects are you working on to get your yard summer time ready?