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Create a circle lawn with brick mow strip

fresh Sod Circle Lawn

Weeds, weeds, and more weeds. My lawn is all Bahia which is a great grass for farmland pastures. I am not a lawn person, so I don’t place emphasis on the grass and I don’t fertilize or put herbicides on it to kill weeds. But, I have been studying garden design and have become enamored with having a circle lawn surrounded by flowering plants.

The first step was to measure how large I wanted the lawn to be. I laid out a hose and decided on 16 feet for the diameter. I then calculated how many bricks I would need for the perimeter and purchased them.

Next, I dug a shallow trench where the bricks would be placed and filled the trench with crushed concrete. I left enough height to lay the bricks so the tops would align with the top level of the grass. This would allow me to mow the grass without breaking my blades.

In the meanwhile, I turned over all of the weeds in the center area of the circle, taking much of them and the dirt out with a wheelbarrow.

Since it was winter, I wanted to wait until the summer rains to help the new lawn establish. By that time, the weeds had grown back, with sparse areas of grass and tons of beautiful purslane (especially in the rocky and sandy areas where a former river rock path got swallowed into the earth). So, I had to dig the area out yet again to prepare the circle to receive fresh sod.

I thought long and hard about getting a variety like zoysia but when I called around (near the July 4th holiday), either vendors were on vacation or the only grass in stock was Floratam, St. Augustine… so that’s what I got. Zoysia would have been a special order and I was told that it took three months to establish, whereas, St. Augustine would root in three weeks. SOLD!

circle lawn st. augustine grass lawn sod on trailer (12 a palette or 230 sq. feet)
st. augustine grass lawn sod on trailer; i did notice one chinch bug as I got closer to the bottom. YUK!
circle lawn st. augustine floratam sod
st. augustine floratam sod

We calculated that we needed half a palette and had it loaded on our trailer from a local supplier. While there, of course I also picked up a bunch of crotons and schefflera. I asked the guys if I needed to put down good dirt and they said it wasn’t necessary but that I would need to water the lawn in the mornings for thirty minutes daily for at least three weeks.

sloppy painter croton
sloppy painter croton
crotons and schefflera
crotons and schefflera

It was a little tough to do with a puppy Australian shepherd but someone I got through. It was also an extremely dirty job since I’m positive it is grown in cow poo. Not only did I clear weeds and soil, but I also leveled the ground with a hoe.

I used my handy dandy Japanese gardening knife to cut the sod edges to conform to the circle. It worked like a charm! The pieces were laid like a brick floor, staggering the joints in each row.

I managed to get through half of the sod one day, and the rest of the sod the next. I was sure to water all of it by taking it all of the trailer and laying it out on the lawn. That way I could run a sprinkler for half an hour before calling it quits for the day.

circle lawn laying the sod in a circle lawn st. augustine floratam sod
laying the sod in a circle lawn st. augustine floratam sod. i was making a mess with the dirt and waited to mow the lawn until after everything was cleared so this looks like a terrible mess!
circle lawn before weeds with purslane and after st. augustine in circle lawn
here you can see the before: weeds with purslane (left) and after: st. augustine (right)
circle lawn
circle lawn

I adjusted the bricks as I went so they were level and aligned properly.

At this point, the St. Augustine appeared to be very yellow to me and the weeds and purslane looked a luscious green… so I was starting to have second thoughts!

Don’t worry. No purslane was injured during this project… I was psychotic about painstakingly transplanting every last piece!

A nest of fire ants wound up taking refuge under some of the bricks… which was not good for my poor feet and ankles. YEEEE-OUCH!

nearly there! screaming yellow, huh?
I came up shy a couple of pieces and couldn't finish until
I did come up short four pieces which was bizarre to me because I thought I would have a lot extra…
so back to the sod place I went.
fresh Sod Circle Lawn
fresh Sod Circle Lawn

I did fertilize the fresh lawn with new sod fertilizer that I threw down with a spreader. Between that and the rain, it greened right up! I’ll post better photos in a month so you may see the progress. I plan to put a path around the right side and to the back. I also plan to plant more landscape specimen around the circle and outside the path but it’s blazing hot out right now so that project will have to wait.

Honestly, I love my new circle lawn but I will never, ever lay lawn again myself. It was a lot of work… even though it seems like a pretty small space.