How to prepare soil for turfing?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Ozi_Brisbane, Aug 28, 2003.

  1. Ozi_Brisbane

    Ozi_Brisbane LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    Hi all,

    Got a customer who wants me to pull out some weeds on an area that is mainly compacted soil, weeds and some tufts of grass. The soil itself is in pretty bad shape.

    The customer wants to turf it. From what I have read I'd be wasting my time pulling out weeds when the soil needs to be turned and fertilized prior to turfing anyway.

    Wouldn't a rotary hoe or similar device be enough to deal with a few weeds? Or do they actually have to be removed before any prep work is done? There are not a lot of weeds, just a few, but enough to spend at least an hour digging them out. Not fun work, and the pay is not great.

    What's your advice?

    Thanks folks!

  2. pinnacle

    pinnacle LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    G'day OziBrisbane, I live down near lismore mate, Bangalow
    Kill all the lawn and weeds in the area she wants to turf with Round-up and get a bobcat in or if the acssess is no good get a turf cutter (I know they hire em at Kenards at Burliegh)
    You need to remove around 150mm-200mm of the existing soil. You might want to spray a soil conditioner on the surface arfter you remove that existing soil. I.e A liquid gypsum for clay base soil .
    Asuming you don't have any ag-pipe or irrigation to lay bring in a turf under-lay. (around a 50%sand 30%soil 20%composted organics is a good mix) Spread it and screed it till level
    Just lay ya turf on top of that mate.
    Hope this helps.
    where in QLD are you from?
  3. Ozi_Brisbane

    Ozi_Brisbane LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    Hi Pinnacle,

    Thanks for your suggestions. Wasn't relishing pulling out weeds. And I'll need to know this anyway since I'm facing a similar situation in my backyard that is just hanging out for turfing, after my house was rented out for a while and the resident dog did some landscaping on the side; lots of dirt and weeds and not much grass left!

    I'm located in the bayside suburbs of Brissy. I did pass through Lismore a few times in my past lives, mainly when the countrylink train was so late that they dropped us of in Lismore and herded us onto busses to continue our journey to Brissy.

    Thanks for your help, mate!
  4. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Messages: 1,647

    If your soil is that compacted

    And knowing you have hot and dry summers. My opinion just removing 100mm of soil or so and replacing is not enough to establish a deep enough root system. Also any watering will not drain properly.

    The gypsum is a good idea though and could not hurt. In fact only benefit the soil condition.

    Removing the soil is a good option if you have somewhere to go with it. And it will get rid of the weed seeds in that layer.

    But when you do that why not till the soil under what you removed, break it up, till in some of the ammendment, level it. Then add the rest for the seed layer.
  5. Dchall_San_Antonio

    Dchall_San_Antonio LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 327

    Is the area big enough that you would want to use a backhoe on a tractor?
  6. pinnacle

    pinnacle LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    No worries at all Ozi. I know the bayside area.
    Glans right 100mm is not enough. Thats why you want around 200mm of that existing soil removed.
    Don't nesererily have to use gypsum because I don't know what the soil is like there, Sandy, clay base, rocky you will want to use a soil conditioner that is applicable to your soil structure.
    Tilling (rotary hoeing) the undersoil arfter you remove the existing soil is real good to. As Glan says it will help premote a deep healthy root system.
    Have a good one Matey:)
  7. Man I can just hear them accents by reading you posts.

    Aerate, seed fertilize, do weed killer 2 weeks before any of this.
  8. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 981

    WHAT'S UP with you AUSSIES using the same BOOT graphic? Does LAWNSITE make you do that? Or is it some sort of "Down Under" Secret Society thing? :)

  9. pinnacle

    pinnacle LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    Mate Ozi_Brisbane just knows whats good for him.

    I sort of thought the same thing when I saw the boots on Ozis post but nah its just an Aussie mind fram thing.

    I saw the boots and they look like my boots. :D
  10. Mike Australia

    Mike Australia LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Man I can just hear them accents by reading you posts.

    To be honest, hardly any of us use the aussie "accent". Not that there's any thing wrong with that Mate!!!!

    I do alot of re-turfing in Brisbane and 99% of the time I spray existing cover out 2 weeks prior rake or scarify which keeps levels easy to manage especially after watering in period as you or their kids don't sink 200mm if you rotary hoe. Sometimes the ground is very undulating and you need to hoe so that you can shift soil around. On new house sites I will always get a bobcat with rear rippers or dingo with a ripper to break clay on top that builders always seem to arrange, and then spread new soil on top. This results in great establishment and as I maintain some as well makes me look good in the future. By the way I'm in Rochedale. Are you going to the contractors field day on 13th Sept at the Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens. Might see you there!

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