This week I did a front yard makeover in Joondalup. It involved removing the old lawn/weed, installing some new retic and then laying some turf.
The existing turf had turned to weeds and looked almost impossible to revive, so the process was:
a) Spray existing turf / weeds and kill off what is there.
b) The bobcat came and removed existing stuff to a depth of around 100ml and then filled with special lawn mix so that it was 20-30ml below kerb level.
c) Reinstall retic and ensure all is getting covered. This involved placing sprinklers around the perimeter of the property spraying in as well as in the middle spraying out. The previous system had a row of sprinklers down the middle and consequently missed much of the lawn. I also installed a new Hunter X Core to make watering so much easier.
c) Screed and lay the new wintergreen lawn.
The budget for a project like this is usually around $3000.00.
Here’s a before and after shot so you can see the difference
When it comes to retic in Two Rocks, especially on an established property, you need to be ready for some serious digging and some hard yakka. As the suburb name suggests there is a lot of rock up there and sometimes you just have to go around what you can’t go through.
I did this job last week, installing a whole retic system – 200m of PVC – to an established property. There were lots of roots and rocks to contend with but also some nice long sandy patches. Thankfully the faithful trencher didn’t let me down and I managed to get it all done in the day.
Without the trencher there would be 2-3 days of work in this one. I used a combination of MP rotators and precision nozzles to get it all done on 3 stations.
Sometimes it can be difficult to install a system when there is no way of running wire from the control box to the solenoids. Maybe the liquid limestone went in too quickly and people hadn’t considered the future problems.
It may not be all over…
There are a couple of battery powered solenoids models available that require w ater supply, but do not need a control box positioned on the wall. We prefer to use the Hunter Node for reliability and ease of use. It functions in much the same way as the X Core controller and had the option of installing multiple solenoids, so even if you can’t access your water meter or get power to your solenoids the ‘Node’ may still allow you have a functioning retic system
Sure – this is Hunter propaganda, but in my experience MPs have proven themselves to be top quality nozzles over time. It is not uncommon for me to return to a house I installed MP rotators in after 3-4 years and see them performing as well as the day we installed them.
If you’re laying turf then inevitably you will need to trim it at some point.
There are many ways to do this, but we have found the steak knife to be the most effective way. But not any old steak knife. Most knives will cut wintergreen and the softer turfs, but if you want to cut thru Sir Walter then you will need something more solid.
We have found homemaker knives from K Mart to be the best as they are a strong one piece stainless steel knife. But good luck finding any as they seem to be a discontinued line. I bought the last 26 boxes in Perth!
By my reckoning there should be another 7 years of turf laying left there…
Any time lay lawn we will set your retic control box for you, but after that its up to you to make sure it is actually working.
Different controllers respond differently to power outages and occasionally controllers can ‘die’, leaving you with no water. A recent turf installation we did in Brighton came close to tragedy.
The house was uninhabited and the person responsible for it lived in the country. After laying the turf we set the control box and left, only to discover two weeks later that the control box had faulted and the lawn hadn’t been watered as needed. It was close to dead and was going to need some intense watering to bring it back to life.
At last inspection it seemed that the lawn had a chance of making it, which is very fortunate. A dead lawn doesn’t just cost money to replace. It costs to remove and tip, so in the end the exercise costs even more than double.
So please please please – check that your lawn is getting watered as it should be. And if its not then call us straight away so we can help you sort it out!
I managed to get a hold of one of these babies for home the other day. On a quarter acre block it’s a bit of a pain running back and forth to test the stations so a remote comes in handy – and its even better when you need to change a nozzle.
Now its no longer a case of unscrew, flush, test while running back to the control box each time. Now you can operate the controller while standing next to the sprinkler. Much easier!
The remote allows you to operate your stations for a run time that you choose. Its really simple to install and use.
For some reason my first attempt at installation resulted in some bizarre error messages and strange behaviour by the system. The controller worked fine without the remote attached, however when I wired it up I discovered that 3 stations were coming on at once. There was power (23v) coming from pump, the actual terminal in use and two others.
It was a mysterious problem and I thought the controller was at fault, but I disconnected the remote wires and reconnected… and then all worked fine. I’m not sure what the issue was but its sorted now.