Welcome to our small homestead in Sweden

Creating a Lawn

Grass covered the entire area in front and back of our house. However, the layer of soil was thin. The driveway which continues into a dirt road on the other side of our plot, had previously passed in front of the house. It was still possible to drive on the lawn, something we did whenever we had something to unload. But it was also possible to drive behind the house and we wanted to create a garden without motorised traffic.

Yet, we still wanted to be able to drive up to the entrance but not to continue onto the lawn, which often looked like a mud puddle whenever it rained. Our garden slopes quite a bit, so the solution was to rise the level of the lawn from the level of the driveway. The lawn will never be completely level, but another goal was to get rid of the dandelions that covered it.

Several work operations

Before we could create a new lawn, we needed to raise the ground of our back garden. The soil for this came primarily from the creation of a parking space for our electric car. We did that two years earlier and the pile of dirt had almost disappeared under a number of self sown weeds.

Our first task was to lower the area in front of our terrace. With the help of our tractor that went smoothly. Another task was to create a level between the driveway and the lawn, something we needed solid materials for. The solution was to collect wooden power poles. The Swedish power company Vattenfall is digging new power lines in the ground and lots of old poles had been left alongside the road. I guess they are considered to be dangerous waste, but since they’re already there, we figured recycling must be better better than destruction.

Building steps

The next task was to create a level between the driveway and the new lawn. The difference could not be too large since other parts of the garden, like an old flower border, as well as the terrace limited the height. Neither could we remove more ground to the west since there is rock beneath the surface of the top soil. We ended up with two power poles, which gave two steps from the driveway to the lawn, and we are happy with the result.

Problems

After we had separated the two zones, we started filling up soil in the area above the driveway, as well as the terrace to the west. That was fairly straightforward work with the tractor. We also bought some soil to create a better top layer since our soil consists of clay that tends to be hard as concrete when it’s dry and slippery like mud when it’s wet. However, we only added a couple of trailer loads, which was far from enough to cover the entire area.

Yet, we sowed grass, watered and waited. After four weeks the area had changed colour from brown to green, but we didn’t see any sign of grass. The area was covered with both familiar weeds and weeds we hadn’t recognized before. It was disheartening. All that work, and the lawn looked even worse than before.

Buying turf

Frank and I viewed the depressing result and separately began to investigate the cost of buying turf. To our surprise, it was less expensive than we thought. We measured up the area and ordered grass from a supplier called Vedum Gress.

The turf arrived within a week, but before we could lay it, we had to remove the weed that covered the area. It rained heavily when we worked with the turf. The turf rolls estimated to weigh 18 kilograms had sucked rain and weighed near the double. Carrying and laying them was back breaking work, but when the night fell, we had covered the area.

Our measurements turned out to be slightly optimistic and we had to buy another half pallet of turf. A couple of days later , we’ve covered the area (as far as we can right now), and we only had to water and wait. We invested in a robot lawn mower and are very pleased with the result.

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