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Getting Ready For A Lawn


We're preparing to start a dreaded but necessary project: landscaping.  Luke and I have gotten very good at remodeling just about any part of a house but lawns have always been a struggle for us.  Despite occasionally working as a florist I do not have a green thumb.  Growing anything other than weeds is a challenge for me and having dogs does not make it any easier.  So here is what we are facing:

We saw the house last Memorial Day after a hard winter.  There wasn't much growing and the house had so many issues that we didn't really notice the lawn anyway.
 Since we were still living in Washington we made a trip out over the 4th of July to make the house habitable.  The grass had grown considerably and my grandpa spent a few days trying to get it under control.
When we finally moved to Butte in August the yard had baked for lack of water.  According to the neighbors the previous owners never watered so it probably looked like this every August.
We haven't done much with the back yard other than pour some concrete and move a few fences.  The front yard greened up a little this year, but the grass is still sparse and we have huge bare areas under the junipers.
The back yard was really bare
 We may not have much grass, but our yard has a wealth of broken glass, metal and toys.  We have removed buckets of glass and bolts from the yard but every time it rains more is exposed.  We have decided that our best option is to till both yards.  This will also help with our soil problems.  The surface is very granular, almost like sand, but we have good dirt several inches deeper.  Luke rented the most powerful tiller he could find and set to work.  One of the previous owners parked and RV in the back yard.  It made the tilling very difficult.
Back yard tilled but not raked
Front yard tilled and raked
And because we're gluttons for punishment we spent our 4th of July digging trenches for a sprinkler system.  By hand.  Between the two of us it took about twenty hours to make our front yard look like this.

And added some serious speed bumps to the back yard.

We bought all our sprinkler supplies so hopefully we can get the entire system installed this weekend.

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