Rolling out the green carpet (and a bit of red)

The folks at the Friends of Washington Market Park sent these pictures of the yearly installment of sod (doesn’t the lawn look funny naked?) on the same day I skipped through the park checking out gardener Richie Haugland’s tulip display. I think it’s safe to say he’s outdone himself this year. Thanks, NYC Parks.

FYI, the sod needs about six weeks to fully knit and grow before it can be used, otherwise it will die early in the season. Parks estimates that our lawn is one of the most heavily used in the city, and while as a rule the department does not like to sod, this allows for the lawn to be open much more of the year than if we used seed. (As I walked by, this was Richie’s final instruction to the crew: “Put the brown side down.”)

PS: The last picture is because I couldn’t resist another rolled out carpet just on the other side of BMCC.



  1. I love how fine tuned the grass laying process is. The whole team is on board. I take extra care to keep my pooch away from the little grass rolls!

  2. While an update on why we have to keep off the newly planted sod is most helpful, I am most appreciative that you included photos of those tulips. They are indeed pretty awesome. I was an early WMP gardener back in the day and the best I could do was tomatoes and basil. With a few iris plants we all shared. Congratulations, Richie.

  3. I strongly question the judgment of resodding this field year after year. It takes the field out of commission for a full-two months (prep work and then waiting for sod roots to take hold) during the spring and into early summer. Our community and its children would be far better served having an artificial turf field open year-round.

    Who makes this decision?

    • It is Parks Department property. The sod decision was made because the lawn used to be closed from Nov. 1 to May 1 to grow grass from seed.

      • @FOWP
        It would be wonderful for kids to run on green grass and fish in the river and bike on the streets. But this is New York City in 2019 where the rivers are grossly polluted, the streets filled with unsafe traffic, and the grass doesn’t grow properly — particularly here given the funky drainage. Your faux- idealism is costing our kids at least 1/6 of the year using this field and 1/3 of the warm months of year.

        They see and play on grass in Central or Prospect Park — 20 minutes away. Or countless other places. Why should they have to cross the highway where multiple pedestrians have been killed to have a catch? Open the field, put down some turf and call it a successful day of providing public access to a public park instead of a 1% out of touch solution. This is not the sole oasis of grass in this city but it is the closest ball field for our kids to play on.

    • You don’t think it’s wonderful for children to have fresh grass to play on? There are plenty of turf areas in the neighborhood- a true real grass lawn truly makes the park our own backyard!!

    • You can go to Pier 25 for artificial turf. In my opinion, it would be an abomination to put plastic grass at Washington Market Park. That park has gorgeous natural plantings which are what makes the park so special…

  4. The tulip planting is stunning. Go see it before it is too late. It will lift your spirits.

  5. Thank you very much for the photos of the tulips! They are lucious!