Plants need nutrients to grow, so when it comes to turf, it all starts with the soil.
There is no doubt, it can be a confusing decision. If the importance of soil is not realised, it can be a decision that is often ruled only by budget; yours, the landscapers or builders perhaps.
An investment in a good quality soil for your turf underlay will ultimately save you money in the long run with a healthy and robust lawn that has lower water and fertiliser requirements.
Did you know that there is actually an Australian Standard set for Soil? These standards are to benchmark the necessary quality of soils. “The objective of this Standard is to provide manufacturers with a set of requirements which will ensure that soils can culture and maintain plant growth and to give users, such as growers, landscape architects and consumers, assurance of the suitability and quality of soils.”
By doing your research and purchasing an Australian Standard Soil it means essentially that you should be getting exactly what you pay for.
We have always endorsed that the keys to the long-term success of your lawn are: quality soil, good preparation, efficient irrigation and watering schedule, proper mowing techniques and regular fertiliser.
Turf underlay should be a blend of soil, sand and organic materials so that the surface can be free draining and easily levelled. It will give your new lawn the optimum balance of nutrients and minerals it needs for the roots to establish and thrive.
If you’re considering entering the best lawn in the street competition or find yourself with growing conditions that are particularly challenging, like on the side of one of Townsville’s rocky hills, we would recommend mixing in compost. When you add compost, the soil will become looser and find it easier to hold moisture, oxygen and water, which are all vital for healthy plant growth.
It is often assumed that the darker the soil the better the quality, which is not always the case.
There has been substantial amount of turf laid on crusher dust at new homes largely due to misinformation and because it is a much cheaper alternative. It is often pitched as a great way to prevent drainage problems in your yard. We certainly agree that crusher dust might be useful additive for that double gate access area where you plan to park the boat, jetski or caravan. It will make the soil a little bit firmer and you’ll be less likely to create wheel ruts as you drive in and out. Apart from that, crusher dust is not the answer, particularly with our extreme Summer temperatures. It is a product known for its compaction properties after all.
If you want turf that is not water dependent, you must invest in a good healthy soil.
How deep? A soil depth of at least 50mm to 100mm is recommended, 150mm of coverage would be superb, depending on your surrounding areas (paths, patios).
Preparation is very important and is often a task that takes a bit more time than originally anticipated. Spend time to get it level as turf won't hide bumps or hollows. It is our recommendation that site preparations are fully completed before the turf arrives. This means that the turf can be laid promptly and the establishment watering schedule can commence without any delay. This is critical on a hot North Queensland day.
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