Lawn Furniture for Literalists

couch.jpg(ReadyMade) How much oxygen did your furniture produce today? In our version of the future, the things we loaf about on indoors will be as beneficial as the stuff that grows out back. In the meantime, sculpt lawn furniture from the lawn itself. Unlike your standard-issue sofa, this lush greenery is totally organic, requires no synthetic finishes, and can be brought to life, Golem-style, from salvaged dirt. St. Augustine tiles create a seamless, living upholstery, or try wheatgrass for a durable alternative. Ask your nursery about planting tips unique to your sod. Note: Couch may require mowing.

Mystech: Because you’ll need furniture in your newly woven/grown treehouse.

couch-plans.gifBefore you begin, figure the dirt you need by multiplying the dimensions of the couch you plan to make (ours was 8′ x 4′ x 4′, or 128 cubic feet). Next, put on some old clothes things are going to get messy and locate a suitable spot. Placement is key: There’ll be no moving once you’ve begun. Clear the area of grass and weeds until you have a level swath of dirt, then use a stick to sketch the shape of the couch into the dirt with a stick.

  1. Drive the wood stakes into the ground along the perimeter of your sofa-shaped sketch, every 18″ or so, to a depth of about 12″. These will secure the form.
  2. Attach the waferboard to the stakes to create the walls of the form (see illustration). Use a handsaw to trim the waferboard to size. Drive in a nail every 4″ along each stake to secure the boards.
  3. Start shoveling dirt into the form. Here’s where things get messy. Once a foot of dirt is in place, water lightly and compress by stomping around on top of it.
  4. Once the basic shape is in place and secure, carefully remove the form works.
  5. Mold the shape to your liking. Remove any loose debris and sprinkle the sofa and other areas you’ll be sodding with a healthy layer of fertilizer and gypsite. Water lightly.
  6. For extra support, lay strips of poultry netting over the arms and back.
  7. Lay the sod. Press down the edges to create a smooth surface clear to the ground. Stagger the rows so the seams don’t fall in a line, and use chopsticks or planting stakes to keep them in place over the wire.
  8. During the next few weeks, water your sofa often, soaking it thoroughly. Once the sod has taken root, remove the chopsticks or planting stakes. Trim as needed.

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