ORC Round 4! And Lawn Prep

It’s the hubby’s favorite time of year again! At least it’s not like I come up with random projects that don’t actually need to be done, right? The One Room Challenge is once again being hosted by Linda at Calling it Home and partnering with House Beautiful. Can I just say how excited I am about the new site?! All things ORC, guys. It’s wonderful. And I am so excited to see what everyone is planning on doing this season. I am hoping there are some fun, out-of-the-ordinary rooms to follow! ORC-Guest-400white

Last season I didn’t even come close to getting where I wanted to. To be honest, I don’t even think I posted a final reveal. I mean, there really wasn’t much to reveal past week 5. I’m going to go ahead and blame it on the wintry weather. But I think this time around there will be an awesome reveal at the end! We have a half-decent starting point, but there is definitely a lot of work we need to do.


If you’ve been following along, you know we have been working endlessly on our backyard. If you want to catch up, you can see some of our progress here, here, and here. And while its a huge improvement, its definitely not done. We basically have a huge mud pit where our lawn should be, and the bar needs some sprucing up. Plus, I love getting everything ready for spring and summer. Bring on the warm weather!

Top left to right: Photo 1; Photo 2; Photo 3 — Bottom left to right: Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3

So, in the next six weeks, I plan to have this yard whipped into shape. Here’s our grand list of plans, which I will be super bummed if we don’t finish every single one of these:

  • Lay sod
  • Spruce up the bar
  • Seal our copious amounts of concrete patios
  • Plant some plants

And here are some of the things that I am really hoping to do, but I’m not entirely sure we will have time (within the next 6 weeks):

  • Plant more plants
  • Paint my craftroom
  • Decorate hard core

Of course, I plan on doing some decorating within 6 weeks. But we definitely have a few more permanent-type decor in mind. Hopefully we get to it!

For the sake of honesty, I have to say that we kind of already started. I guess you could argue that we started last ORC season, but still. We got going on our irrigation this past week because it is super dependent on weather. And I am doing all kinds of no-rain dancing over here for this weekend. I don’t think it will work though…. It shouldn’t mess us up too badly, but if the ground is super muddy we can’t move forward as quickly as I would like.

Anyways. since Loki ripped up all of the existing irrigation, we have to install everything new. Here he is giving zero cares…and yes, that is all dirt on half of his face.


Like I said, the lawn area is a hot mess, so it was more work than maybe it should have been. We first took down the dirt level so that the lawn would be level with the patio. We rented a sod cutter and the hubby was able to basically separate the top 3 inches of dirt from everything else. It had just poured like 2 weeks before, so the ground was perfect. Not a major mud pit, but definitely not bone dry. We did read that if your ground is bone dry, the sod cutter would never work. Yay for rain (in moderation)! It took the hubby about an hour to cut down 1500 square feet. Poor Kona didn’t understand why he wouldn’t stop to throw the rope for her.


The part that took the most time was shoveling the top layer off the lawn and into the flower beds. We were all surprised how much dirt the flower beds held. We tossed the rest to the side, so now our future flower area surrounding the yard is raised up a bit. Not too high, so we will just smooth it out eventually. By the way, it was so satisfying to shovel off the top layer of dirt and have the new dirt be perfectly smooth. Like those videos of kinetic sand. I just spent way too much time finding an example



We also wrapped up the beginning portion of our irrigation system. Originally, the irrigation ran straight from the main water line to the valves, and then split off to the different zones. We are keeping the same amount of valves, but are replacing everything. A while ago, we put in the new valves, but we didn’t connect them at all. Before, they were in a huge box, above ground, and right in the walking path to get to the side yard. Now, they are in-ground and snug against the house. I swear, our yard gets bigger and bigger with each little project.

This past week, we cut off the connection from the main and added in a whole new line. The original was all metal (maybe copper? Not sure). The hubby and my dad were able to unscrew it with brute force, so now we had a good connector for the new line.



We used PVC pipe to run the water from the main to the valves. We also installed a backflow preventer, which is now required by code. We chose to go with a double check assembly preventer (DCA) so that we could install it in-ground instead of 12 inches above the highest sprinkler. If you’re looking to update your irrigation, definitely look into this. I used this and this as my main resources, but also a whole lot of google searches. We might have gone a different route if we didn’t have the flower beds, but those are about 18 inches above ground, so add another foot and the backflow preventer would have been way too high.


Once we installed it, I slowly turned the water back on. And then got sprayed in the face. Apparently that can happen, and you just have to adjust the check valves on the backflow preventer. Can’t believe nobody warned me. But now you’ve been warned at least!

We continued the irrigation all the way to the valves (so, like, another 2 feet), and the called it good for now. We still need to run all of the lines, but at least the front end is done!

Hopefully by the next week, or two if this rain destroys us, we can get the sod in!

5 thoughts on “ORC Round 4! And Lawn Prep

  1. Best of luck, Andi! We only mow what grows (Actually we have lawn mowers for that, now — 4 acres takes too long! — but I *used* to mow what grew!), so you have my inordinate admiration. Will be watching and learning!

    1. Thanks!! We have nowhere near that much. I always say I want a riding lawn mower. But more just to drive around. I’m kind of jealous of all your acreage! Thanks for following!


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s