A Sad Sod Story: How DIY can actually cost you more money

I am not a DIY’er, I do not enjoy outside work or manual labor, but I made an exception in this case because I thought I had what it took. Oh how wrong I was. My sad sod story was a disaster from the beginning and I regret not seeking professional help from the start.

Sod appears happy after being installed, though the color is off a bit, I was reassured that the grass would "perk up" in a few days by the big box store I bought it from.

Sod appears happy after being installed, though the color is off a bit, I was reassured that the grass would “perk up” in a few days by the big box store I bought it from.

(Written as someone was speaking to the sod)

It was 2 weeks ago today that I brought you home from the store to come live at my house. I did everything the people at the home improvement store said to do to prepare for you. And I did these things a week ahead of time to make sure your area was ready to go when you arrived. I asked for specific directions because the people at Lowe’s know I’m not a master gardener, not because they think I’m an idiot, but because I told them that I was when it comes to plants. I followed their directions to a T. When I picked you up, you were heavy and your color wasn’t great, but they told me when you were laid down, you’d perk up and to be sure I gave you water every single morning. So I did. Every morning I watered you, I cleaned you off when a duck would leave poop on you. I cleaned off any debris that had fallen from the trees that towered over you. I made sure that the area you were being placed in had an appropriate mixture of sun and shade throughout the day and carefully planned everything out.

Duck pen sod

Sod appears to be getting sad….

Unfortunately, none of that was enough. I started removing your neighbors one section at a time when I saw that you were in distress. I’m sure you noticed that the patch beside you was gone….and I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to save you. I tried. I moved unhealthy patches and put them in a better place in the yard to ensure they could flourish and grow. And even though they were in uninhabited areas with no ducks (or pigs) they still slowly died off even with my aggressive intervention.

sod removal

Large sections are having to be removed to help neighboring pieces thrive.

sod removal

Removed piece of sod

Today I finally realized that I also cannot all the rest of  you despite my very best efforts.

3 week old sod

95% of the 3 week old sod is a slimy mess. (THREE weeks)

I was very proud of you for thriving for the one day you did, considering everything you endured and suffered through, but the ammonia and food particles from the duck poop and probably the displaced eggs that were discreetly laid on you finally took the last bit of green you had left. I hope and pray that the next yard you’re able to grace is able to provide you with nutritious soil and no heavy traffic so you can be as glorious as I know you can be. Until then (or until I can afford to spend another 500.00 to buy more) I will wipe away the tears when I see the dirt spots in the duck pen as I remember the day I lost 3 pounds in 105 degree heat making sure the area was graded to facilitate drainage and the day I installed yard drains to be sure you didn’t drown.

I was hoping that the ducks could roam around their pen without the fear of any of them getting bumblefoot from the clay undertones and small rocks they kept digging up, but without you, I will not have peace of mind. I do hope that you find a patch of green in the sky, and until we meet again, I thank you for your short lived service to my duck pen. Since you were not with us for very much time, I cannot discuss any grand gestures made, or life changing events that took place because of you….only what my dreams were. Tonight you will be placed in the compost bin, this is something that I know nothing about, and have never used, but it felt more appropriate than dumping you in the trash. RIP sod.

RIP sod

Just gross. The sod is dead. RIP sod.

If you want to attempt something yourself and you’re unsure how to do it properly, just don’t. Hire professionals. Basnight was able to fix my yard and I am forever grateful. Thanks Basnight Land & Lawn! My sad sod story allowed me to speak on behalf of other inexperienced people who may be thinking of tackling similar projects on their own. Save money, save time, hire a professional.

Written by Brittany S. (a non-DIY homeowner)

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