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Topic # 225622 27-Nov-2017 10:47
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Hi all, have just about completed having a 225m2 area of section scraped and leveled. Got 7m3 of lawn mix coming this week to spread over it.

 

So have been looking at options to get me a lush green lawn on it. Readylawn and hydro-seeding look too expensive - will cost thousands... so will probably have to be patient and sow it conventionally.

 

But... I want to get a good strike and not have it all die on me while we're away on Xmas holidays so am looking at irrigation systems and controllers. From what I can see the Hunter MP Rotator nozzle system in popup containers is a bit of a gold standard. Not cheap though. And the water pressure is a bit low so it needs to be split into at least three zones so three solenoids and potentially three controllers...

 

Alternatively could go cheaper on the system with something like Rainbird, and even get it from Amazon. Quite a bit cheaper but probably comes with imperial NPT threaded connectors etc.

 

So very curious to know what other GZ folk have found. @k14 - on an older closed thread you mentioned you'd gone the MP Rotator path - how's that working out and did you use their Node controllers?

 

If it wasn't about to be holidays I'd just get a few oscillating sprinklers and drag them around...

 

TIA

 

JohnO

 

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  Reply # 1908338 27-Nov-2017 10:53
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What area? Wellington is dry and sprinklers will probably be banned soon. New seed you want to water every few hours. You might be best off waiting until spring. Insufficient water during germination and early stages seems to cause problems for years.

 

7 cubic meters across 225 sq meters doesn't sound like much of a layer. You want 10cm of good soil. How's the soil underneath?

 

Hydroseed grows really well, and is really easy. They have a good mix that is adjusted for local conditions too. Might cost money but could be worth it - seed isn't cheap and the volume they say on the pack is difficult to achieve by hand. Figure 50 - 100% more than the pack says due to heavy handed application.

 

A friend did irrigation, some parts NZ some parts Amazon, said it was quite a bit cheaper.





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  Reply # 1908349 27-Nov-2017 11:11
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timmmay:

 

What area? Wellington is dry and sprinklers will probably be banned soon. New seed you want to water every few hours. You might be best off waiting until spring. Insufficient water during germination and early stages seems to cause problems for years.

 

7 cubic meters across 225 sq meters doesn't sound like much of a layer. You want 10cm of good soil. How's the soil underneath?

 

Hydroseed grows really well, and is really easy. They have a good mix that is adjusted for local conditions too. Might cost money but could be worth it - seed isn't cheap and the volume they say on the pack is difficult to achieve by hand. Figure 50 - 100% more than the pack says due to heavy handed application.

 

A friend did irrigation, some parts NZ some parts Amazon, said it was quite a bit cheaper.

 

 

Hi Tim, Auckland - as far as I am aware no water restrictions. One of the purported benefits of the MP Rotator sprinkers is that they are very efficient - minimal pooling, runoff etc. Oscillating sprinklers with hose and tap can waste a lot of water with overwatering, pooling etc.

 

As you can see in the photos, waiting for (next) spring won't be ideal!

 

Hydroseeding has been wonderful for a couple of people I know but was coming in at around $1000 vs about $200 for premium seeds. The difference would pay for the gold plated irrigation system. If I sow I'll be borrowing a mechanical walk-behind seed spreader so should get a half decent even spread.

 

225m3 times 30mm is 6.75m3, no? The subsoil is variable. We leveled by scraping the high points into the low points so where the high points were is pure clay but the low points are a compacted churned mix of ok topsoil and clay.

 

Cheers

 

JohnO

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1908352 27-Nov-2017 11:16
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I'd suggest going for more like 10cm of soil. Also if you have clay you'll want to make sure drainage is great - dig channels, fill with rock and drainage pipe, otherwise it'll flood when you get a lot of rain. Auckland's getting a lot more storms too.





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  Reply # 1908354 27-Nov-2017 11:24
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There's still a gentle slope built in - it can't flood really. We've had some unbelievable rain over the last year and none has stayed on the property due to the natural contour.

 

10cm of topsoil would be really expensive. 21m3 - $1500 for the soil alone plus delivery plus the cost of spreading/leveling. Hydroseeding would need the same substrate as sown grass, wouldn't it? So that cost is going to be the same either way.

 

 

 

 




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  Reply # 1908359 27-Nov-2017 11:37
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Can't find anyone on Amazon that ships irrigation kit to NZ but found this on eBay

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Rain-Bird-Automatic-Underground-Yard-Lawn-Sprinkler-System-Kit-Easy-Installation/142385849406?_trkparms=aid%3D555019%26algo%3DPL.BANDIT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D41375%26meid%3De1c7ba82c975449f8e2eeb75d49c836f%26pid%3D100505%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26&_trksid=p2045573.c100505.m3226&autorefresh=true

 

I think I could put two of those in as a two zone system and program them to fire one at a time as long as the clocks are synchronised. Way cheaper than MP Rotator not sure if that means good enough though.

 

 


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  Reply # 1908363 27-Nov-2017 11:49
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If you are a geek you might want to look at OpenSprinkler as a controller.

 

https://opensprinkler.com/





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  Reply # 1908364 27-Nov-2017 11:51
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hairy1:

 

If you are a geek you might want to look at OpenSprinkler as a controller.

 

https://opensprinkler.com/

 

 

Cool. Especially if you have a rain sensor so it can skip watering when it's rained. Also like the idea of being able to manage the system when out of town.


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  Reply # 1908409 27-Nov-2017 12:54
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Hydroseeding needs good soil as well, it just grows a bit better.





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  Reply # 1908410 27-Nov-2017 12:57
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Three weeks ago got ground cultivated, irrigation installed, topsoil brought in, hydroseeded. Very glad got a firm to do it is as it took three guys all day for 100m2, with digger and various tools. Wasn't cheap but 3 weeks later we have a lawn-in-progress, and wouldn't have if I had tried to do it alone.

 

We went for MP Rotators as heads but a very simple 2 zone $80 Mitre10 controller, running off the tap. I'm looking at OpenSprinkler but can always add later. The shape of your section will have a big impact on how many heads you need, and that and the water pressure will impact how many zones you need. I've only heard good things about the MP Rotators and the tap controller was recommended as you can do e.g. 5 mins every 3 hours, which many digital ones can't. Are you considering going for tap connection or direct off mains. We went for tap due to small area and good pressure, but mains is recommended for larger areas and maximising pressure.

 

I agree 7m3 is not a lot of soil for your area; we had 7.5m3 for 100m2 area and could easily have done more.




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  Reply # 1908425 27-Nov-2017 13:18
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phrozenpenguin:

 

Three weeks ago got ground cultivated, irrigation installed, topsoil brought in, hydroseeded. Very glad got a firm to do it is as it took three guys all day for 100m2, with digger and various tools. Wasn't cheap but 3 weeks later we have a lawn-in-progress, and wouldn't have if I had tried to do it alone.

 

We went for MP Rotators as heads but a very simple 2 zone $80 Mitre10 controller, running off the tap. I'm looking at OpenSprinkler but can always add later. The shape of your section will have a big impact on how many heads you need, and that and the water pressure will impact how many zones you need. I've only heard good things about the MP Rotators and the tap controller was recommended as you can do e.g. 5 mins every 3 hours, which many digital ones can't. Are you considering going for tap connection or direct off mains. We went for tap due to small area and good pressure, but mains is recommended for larger areas and maximising pressure.

 

I agree 7m3 is not a lot of soil for your area; we had 7.5m3 for 100m2 area and could easily have done more.

 

 

Thanks. For your MP Rotator setup, do you recall what your flow rate (aka 9L bucket time test) was? I can run off a tap that comes into the house from the street so it's before the pressure regulator so theoretically should have plenty of flow but it's poor - about 23L/min so can only run a few sprinkers at a time.

 

Are you in Auckland? If so can you say who did your seeding?


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  Reply # 1908642 27-Nov-2017 19:43
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Hi. Yes I have 5 zones at my house with 3 zones for lawn. All MP rotators and they work very well. Yes expensive but well worth it. Pretty much set and forget once you install them. I'd advise installing them before you put down any top soil. You really need to think through your irrigation system. I have had to redo parts of mine twice as I didn't plan it well enough first time.

 

I am using an irrigationcaddy controller for setting all the schedules etc. It is pretty good (although the UI is a bit clunky), but again it is pretty set and forget. Maybe change it once a month during summer depending on how the grass and gardens are going.

 

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions. I bought some of my stuff online and had it shipped to youshop. Much cheaper in the US.




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  Reply # 1908647 27-Nov-2017 20:02
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Thanks k14!
Q1:Does stuff coming from the USA cause
any issues with imperial sizes and threads?
Q2: are you using the Hunter dc latching solenoid?

The local prices currently look similar to us for the sprinkler bodies and nozzles but kinda high for controllers.

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  Reply # 1908697 27-Nov-2017 21:21
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kryptonjohn:

 

hairy1:

 

If you are a geek you might want to look at OpenSprinkler as a controller.

 

https://opensprinkler.com/

 

 

Cool. Especially if you have a rain sensor so it can skip watering when it's rained. Also like the idea of being able to manage the system when out of town.

 

 

I've been running the Pi version of OpenSprinkler for two years now.  It's great, the scheduling is very flexible, and is easy to update.




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  Reply # 1908709 27-Nov-2017 21:56
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Hi- so the pi version if you mount the device inside the house how far can you run the cables to the solenoids? I'm guessing they require a bit of current and won't like too much voltage drop? Or do you run a dc power cable to your pi in a weatherproof box outside near the solenoid valves?

 

Do you use dc latching solenoids like these? https://irrigationexpress.co.nz/hunter-pgv-solenoid-valve-with-dc-latching-coil.html

 

I think OpenSprinkler Pi is going to work for me.

 

Cheers

 

JohnO


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  Reply # 1908720 27-Nov-2017 22:33
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Solenoids are normally 24V AC and you can have a massive run before voltage drop is a problem.

 

I have an irrigation caddy too, but its all packed away because the single on tap timer is good enough for the hanging baskets and I will be looking at removing lawn rather than watering it. Once I get some actual plants in will redeploy the smarter one, but for now just saturating the baskets once a day is all I need.

 

There will be no thread issues on the proper inline valves etc, the only messed up thread the USA has is on the actual garden tap, so any on tap gear will be useless unless you also get a US tap.

 

The irrigation caddy uses an AC transformer power supply, but the ebay seller was able to ship 2 with a AU plug and 230v to shipito for me at a great price on "reconditioned" ones that looked as new.





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