Changing Seasons And a Great Time to Install Turf

Posted on 2nd April 2014 in Installations, Installing, Sir Walter Turf, Turf

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This cooler weather is the perfect time to install some turf.

It will grow well before winter, you can avoid the heat and your lawn will look great.

Give us a call for a free quote. We can usually give you a pretty good estimate over the phone and then can measure up if we are looking like going ahead

How to Cut Turf to Size

Posted on 14th August 2013 in Installations, Just For Fun, Products, Turf

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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…

The Hottest Summer on Record

Posted on 11th March 2013 in General

Its been a busy summer and a hot one too – in fact the hottest one Perth has ever known which would explain why by this time of year we are a little weary!

If you are considering installing some turf then now is a fantastic time to do it, but I’d move quick before winter hits and we enter the season where lawn goes dormant.

We are still busy but have definitely noticed the slow down with the cooling weather.

Look forward to hearing from you

My Lawn is Dying! What Do I Do?…

Posted on 12th January 2013 in General, Local Knowledge

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After the recent run of crazy hot weather all around Australia there is a fair chance your lawn will be looking the worse for wear.

I have seen a number of browning, ‘crunchy’ lawns lately and it seems that the weather is simply getting the better of the two day/week watering regime. When the temperatures are as hot as they have been and we are only allowed to apply 10ml of water twice a week then your lawn just won’t like it.

The good news is that you can handwater to keep it going – which obviously isn’t ideal, but occasionally it is what’s needed.

The other thing to consider is that your lawn may have a disease. Black beetle is common at this time of year so you may have an infestation and will need to treat it for this.

As a general rule if the area in question is getting wet from sprinklers then the issue is not going to be one of water. It is going to be something else. So go to Bunnings and get some Confidor and get spraying!

Preparing The Ground for Turf

Posted on 13th April 2012 in Sir Walter Turf, Soil, Turf

You can lay turf on ‘dirt’ but we don’t recommend it.

Usually it is best to get a bobcat in and excavate the dirt and replace it with decent soil.

At least 20-4ml will give your turf a good start and it is also a lot easier to screed than dirt and rubble. If you’re on a really tight budget then you can skip this, but having seen the difference in lawns with good soil v dirt… I’d recommend you don’t.

How To Lay Sir Walter Softleaf Buffalo Turf

Posted on 16th March 2012 in Installations, Installing, Turf

If you have been considering laying some turf then we can certainly recommend Sir Walter softleaf buffalo as a brilliant product that looks great when it goes down and that will continue to look good if maintained correctly.

Below is a job we did yesterday in Yanchep where we installed reticulation and then laid 200sqm of Sir Walter.

It came up looking stunning and the client was very pleased with the result.

The key to getting it right is preparation.

You will need to bring in at least 40ml of good soil, and then finish the level 40ml below your paving to ensure the turf sits neat and tidy.

Some good organic fertiliser spread before laying and then a good soak will get the ground ready for the turf to be laid.

From there we lay the largest slabs around the perimeter and try to minimise the use of smaller pieces of turf as these dry up easier.

Once laid and cut in to the sprinklers and shape of the land we run the compactor over it to ensure the roots make good contact with the soil.

Another drink and the retic set for the watering exemption and you’re pretty much done…

 

 

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We Chose Velvet Buffalo

Posted on 21st November 2011 in In My Own Backyard, Installations, Installing, Turf

We moved into this place 4 months ago and have been working on the backyard ever since. This is the start of the retaining walls with all the dirt, rubble and rubbish still in place.

 

This is today

There is still some work to be done, but this is now retained, reticulated and turfed.

We ended up choosing velvet buffalo. Originally I thought we would go for velveteen which is a beautiful soft lawn, but being a cooch variety we ended up deciding not to. We didn’t want the ‘grass in the garden beds’ issue.

So we got some velvet buffalo, a top notch softleaf variety that is available locally.

You can buy velvet buffalo at Joondalup Turf Farm, or you can call us and we will come and install it for you and turn your backyard into something beautiful too.

Here are some photos of it going in…

Weeds and mess about to be cleared, filled and levelled by the bobcat

The bobcat goes to work…

Screeding to get things level

This is my labourer

My kids worked hard today to make the transformation

We can do this to your yard too!

 

 

 

In My Own Backyard – Sleeper Retaining Walls

Posted on 6th September 2011 in In My Own Backyard, What's Going on There?

When we bought the house we were aware that some of the retaining walls were around 20 years ago and had either completely fallen over or were in need of repair.

We were faced with the choice of doing it all again in limestone blocks or rebuilding the sleeper walls. In a perfect world with endless $$ we would have chosen limestone, simply because of its permanence. But limestone was going to cost around $20K installed and sleepers around $1500 (if I did the work). To DIY with limestone it was going to be around $4K but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it alone with the size blocks required. The rest of the house is also timber and we liked the look of the sleeper walls so we thought we’d give it a shot and assume we would get at least 10 years out of the sleepers if not 20-30.

 

So began the process of building..

I had never built a retaining wall before so it was a new learning curve and as usual google made it easier. I researched the how tos of sleeper walls and then set a line and started digging holes. It is’t rocket science – just a bit of hard work.

The key with the holes is to make sure the post is at least the same depth in the ground as the height of the wall. My wall was going to be 900ml at its highest point so I made sure my holes were 1m deep. I used a long handle spade to get the sand out and while it was a little tricky towards the bottom I managed to get all the holes quite deep by scraping the sand and then levering it up.

Digging was the easy bit. Then came moving the sleepers…

They are 50kgs so not that heavy, but when you need to get them in a specific place and you are working alone it is a little tricky. I slid them onto the top of my wheelbarrow and moved them as far as I could by that means before lifting them into place. Once in place I used one bag of rapid-set around the base and then once set packed the holes with bricks to add strength. I only used one bag of concrete in case the posts need to be removed in the future. It was hard to get some of the original posts out minus concrete so I figured using 4 bags / hole might mean they never move, but it would also require some serious machinery to get them out once they rot.

Some of my reading suggested leaning the posts in towards the wall 2-5 degrees and allowing the wall to adjust the posts as it settled. However I had seen a neighbour’s wall where this methodology had been applied and his hadn’t settled (after 20 years) so I figured I would gamble on a perfectly pependicular wall and resolve the lean problem at a later date if it happened.

I placed the posts in, did the checks with the spirit level and allowed the posts to set in place. I used a piece of 2.1m pipe as a guide to mark the centres of the posts as a set of sleepers would be resting on either side of the posts. I actually managed to drop one post in the wrong place and pour in the concrete before realising and then needed to get it out of the hole. Not recommended… It was a real struggle getting that sleeper back out.

However once the posts are set in place the rest is just grunt work and some levelling. I dropped the first horizontal into place, got it level  and then dropped another 3 on top. The wall stepped down towards the rear of the property so I made those adjustments as I went.

Once all the horizontals were in place I began to fill the area behind the wall with the bricks and rubble that had been left lying around the yard. I figured it would help drainage and also clean the place up – double win.

The finished product looks really good. Its got a great rustic feel and it ties in with the rest of the house. Even better it took me a whole 2 days of time working alone from go to whoa. I think limestone would have taken a lot longer.

We bought the sleepers from Mountain Movers in Burswood and got the 7ft ‘A Grade’ variety at $23.00/sleeper plus $80.00 delivery. As far as building materials go they aren’t cheap and it would have been almost as economical to build the wall out of concrete sleepers – except without the rustic look.

So we’re guessing they will be good for 20-30 years which is how long the originals lasted, but of course white ants could change that fairly quickly.

This weekend should see the completion of the retaining and then its on to getting the levels sorted, before reticulation goes in.

 

 

 

 

 

In My Own Backyard – Ok So It Isn’t Pretty

Posted on 5th September 2011 in In My Own Backyard, Local Knowledge

Because I spend my life fixing other people’s reticulation and laying turf its hard to come home and get motivated to put on the boots and start on my own home.

However recently we moved to a new place in ‘old Yanchep’ where there is no reticulation and plenty of work to be done to get the property landscaped. The rear area especially is a mess and in need of a lot of work while the front could do with some freshening up.

I thought it would be interesting to track my own progress with taking our backyard from ‘wasteland’ to ‘oasis’, so if you’re interested in watching a (slow) transformation take place then you might like to follow this series of posts.

It all started about a month ago when I wandered out in the yard to pull up some weeds. It was very overgrown and messy and with spring around the corner I could see the weeds a) seeding and giving us more trouble b) being a great hiding place for snakes.

Half of the backyard with the rubbish and rubble before we moved the chook pen and at the start of constructing the retaining wall

I wasn’t quite ready to ‘attack the whole backyard’  but once I got started on the weeds I realised I had started something that needed finishing. With winter being the quiet time for retic and turf I have been using my time to get some of the bigger projects done around home and this has been the progress so far

a) clear the weeds and make some work possible

b) build retaining walls

c) move the chook pen

 

The old chook pen and the mess that is currently the backyard

Still to come are:

d) more retaining to be erected / fixed

e) bobcat to clear, cut and fill

f) a bore sunk and reticulation installed

g) turf laid and gardens created

 

Chook pen moved

 

The lower wall and new chook pen

Starting on the upper wall


Sir Walter Gets Laid

Posted on 1st September 2011 in Installations, Turf

Sir Walter Buffalo turf always looks great when it goes down.

Here’s one we did today in Balcatta. The ‘slabs’ of turf are a bit more expensive but they lay easier and take to the soil more easily too.

If you can afford an extra couple of bucks/metre then its worth the investment