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497 posts

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Topic # 165866 23-Feb-2015 12:07
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Hi all, I'm preparing to lay new instant lawn in the Manukau region. I'm going for FINE RYE FESCUE / FINE FESCUE.

I spoke to a landscaper friend who recommended installing an irrigation system. Had a good look at Bunnings and Mitre 10 but they really don't have any experience and products for sale are limited.

I'm actually leaning towards a drip feed system rather than a sprinkler system. Although pop up sprinklers seem like a cool idea (but rather expensive) I like the idea of sub surface irrigation. My current pick is leeaky hoses : http://www.hunkin.co.nz/leeaky.html

My lawn is narrow and long rather than one large patch of grass.

As way of further background, the lawn when we moved in recently had little to no grass the earth was packed down hard as rock and it was weed filled. I've sprayed the lawn twice with weed killer, removed the dead weeds and tilled the soil by hand. I've removed and discarded an inch or two of soil and intend to put down 20mm of weed free top soil before laying the lawn.

My plan is to lay irrigation pipes then pour the new topsoil before laying the new lawn.

Would appreciate any advice/pro tips.

Many thanks!

PS: I'm going to use this thread as an online memory tool/resource by posting information/links etc as I conduct my research

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  Reply # 1244719 23-Feb-2015 12:34
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Subsurface is an interesting idea, it'd reduce evaporation losses. If it's laid a foot apart (say) does the water go sideways effectively? Sprinkler is likely more wasteful but better coverage. Growing from seed isn't difficult but takes time and the right weather - Autumn is best, still warm and some sun but also some rain. Spring is cooler and doesn't work quite as well, summer is too hot, too dry, and there's water restrictions.

A friend got a lot of his irrigation system parts from Amazon, he said it was much much cheaper than in NZ. Absolutely necessary to do before grass goes down, wish I'd done it.

Once you lay the new soil give it a week to grow weeds, roundup it, then maybe repeat. You'll still get wind blown weeds but it'll minimise it. Remember rolled on grass has height so leave space for it.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1244721 23-Feb-2015 12:42
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timmmay: Subsurface is an interesting idea, it'd reduce evaporation losses. If it's laid a foot apart (say) does the water go sideways effectively? Sprinkler is likely more wasteful but better coverage. Growing from seed isn't difficult but takes time and the right weather - Autumn is best, still warm and some sun but also some rain. Spring is cooler and doesn't work quite as well, summer is too hot, too dry, and there's water restrictions.

A friend got a lot of his irrigation system parts from Amazon, he said it was much much cheaper than in NZ. Absolutely necessary to do before grass goes down, wish I'd done it.

Once you lay the new soil give it a week to grow weeds, roundup it, then maybe repeat. You'll still get wind blown weeds but it'll minimise it. Remember rolled on grass has height so leave space for it.


Thanks for the tips. Looks to be around 1 foot and a half between drip lines:
http://www.doctorlawn.co.nz/aqua-matic-irrigation.php

Not sure what hose Doctor Lawn is using however, might ring and ask.

 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 1244724 23-Feb-2015 12:44
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Doctor lawn might be using Rainbird XFS, looks like a similar colour:
https://www.rainbird.com/landscape/products/dripline/XFS.htm

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  Reply # 1244728 23-Feb-2015 12:54
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Subsurface is an interesting concept with many benefits but I would think it would be best used in sand otherwise it would take a large amount of water to move it across the profile in dirt. 




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  Reply # 1244730 23-Feb-2015 12:57
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Spoke to Irrigation Warehouse. The product they sell is driptube. http://www.tiw.co.nz/.

They said it would be the most expensive option and doable, but you must also water with sprinklers for a couple weeks after laying to encourage root growth.



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  Reply # 1244732 23-Feb-2015 12:58
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keriboi: Subsurface is an interesting concept with many benefits but I would think it would be best used in sand otherwise it would take a large amount of water to move it across the profile in dirt. 



I hope that an inch (or two) of good quality topsoil which contains a good amount of sand/pumice would suffice?

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  Reply # 1244770 23-Feb-2015 13:31
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What depth would the drippers be at? I would have thought they would be down 6 inches down. Fescue roots will easily get down to 6 inches. Rye not so much.

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  Reply # 1244793 23-Feb-2015 13:50
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Hi there, the biggest success factor is going to depend on what the soil profile is.  It sounds like you lawn has been heavily compacted and is likely to have very few macropores left in it.

If it was me going to the expense of putting in subsurface irrigation, I'd hire a rotary hoe and break up as much of the soil as possible, and add whatever I need to create a good structure.  Practically this could just be introducing some crushed pumice.

Hard to comment though without knowing what you're dealing with.

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  Reply # 1244822 23-Feb-2015 14:08
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How large is the lawn (m2) Have you thought about using sand? Any drainage? 
If you are going to a huge cost you might as well soil test it as well. Around $100, Use http://www.hill-laboratories.com/.





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  Reply # 1244834 23-Feb-2015 14:18
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keriboi: What depth would the drippers be at? I would have thought they would be down 6 inches down. Fescue roots will easily get down to 6 inches. Rye not so much.


That's a good question, haven't got that far yet with my research :) Currently the lawn is just a pile of turned over soil so I can install at any depth even if I need to dig further into the existing soil.



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  Reply # 1244840 23-Feb-2015 14:21
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Glassboy: Hi there, the biggest success factor is going to depend on what the soil profile is.  It sounds like you lawn has been heavily compacted and is likely to have very few macropores left in it.

If it was me going to the expense of putting in subsurface irrigation, I'd hire a rotary hoe and break up as much of the soil as possible, and add whatever I need to create a good structure.  Practically this could just be introducing some crushed pumice.

Hard to comment though without knowing what you're dealing with.


Thanks I think I will follow that advice. I've already removed the dead grass/weeds and broken up the existing soil by hand to a depth of two inches and gotten rid of around 2 cubic meters of soil. I think I may need to go much deeper as per Keriboi's comments re root depth. At this stage I'm thinking of getting rid of another inch of existing soil and re-integratng pumice into it with a final layer of weed free premium top soil. I was told coverage per cubic meter is around 20mm.



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  Reply # 1244841 23-Feb-2015 14:23
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keriboi: How large is the lawn (m2) Have you thought about using sand? Any drainage? 
If you are going to a huge cost you might as well soil test it as well. Around $100, Use http://www.hill-laboratories.com/.




Not a big lawn, around 60m2. Didn't know about soil testing so thanks for that info. Not really going to huge cost. Cutting costs a lot by doing it all myself including lawn installation and hopefully irrigation installation. Thinking of introducing more pumice sand after removing some more soil. There is no drainage that I know of. Landscaper I spoke to said that the block appeared to be pretty dry as there were some plants and trees doing well which don't tolerate boggy wet soil.

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  Reply # 1244848 23-Feb-2015 14:29
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If the lawns not too big I would get out now with a pitch for and aerate the sht out of it. Compaction is a killer in lawns. Also the more air you can get in the better.
If it looks like rain is coming chuck some gypsum on it. The more you prepare the area the better. 250kg/10,000m2 . Its cheap as from stores like RD1.
March/April is the best time to plant.

Check out this old thread also http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=141&topicid=114637&page_no=5


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  Reply # 1244849 23-Feb-2015 14:30
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keriboi: What depth would the drippers be at? I would have thought they would be down 6 inches down. Fescue roots will easily get down to 6 inches. Rye not so much.


4-6 inches. Some brands have anti root valves on them that when the root enters the dipper it causes (not exactly sure how) the tip of the root to become bulbous instead of pointy stunting the roots growth.

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