2. Soil Preparation Recommendations/specifications of TURF GROWING in open space and Lawns, for sandy soils To achieve a healthy lawn, your soil will ideally be made up of a balance of organic matter, sand, silt and clay. This is called loam soil. Loam soil holds moisture but also drains well when you water the lawn. It retains nutrients and allows air flow, making it the most ideal soil for plants.
Preparing your turf area
1. Clear the site - Remove all weeds and debris from the site. Debris includes; rocks, sticks and tree roots. Level the area with the back of a rake or levelling board to create a smooth and consistent soil surface approximately 30 - 50mm below the level of paths and driveways. 2. Prepare the soil for your turf area. Once all lawn and weeds have been removed cultivate the soil to a depth of 100mm, making sure the mix of soil is ready for the turf to be laid. 3. Level your soil for turf laying. 4. Most Perth soils are very sandy. Getting the grass to grow successfully requires proper soil maintenance. Lawn failures are often caused by poor soil conditions under the roots. The best soil texture for growing grass is a sandy loam – or to make it simple, a mix containing sand and organics of an 80/20 mix. 5. Turf ideally needs around 100mm of top soil to root in. This may be slightly less if the existing soil is of a good quality. With the correct preparation, the turf will start to have shallow roots in about two weeks. The key to getting these shallow roots to start is watering your new grass after the turf is laid. For the first 42 days in warmer months and the first 35 days in cooler months in WA, you can apply for an exemption from both the Water Corporation and the Department of Water, if you have a bore, to water daily. Please refer to the watering exemptions tables below. For your lawn to bed roots and establish, your lawn will need to be watered daily to keep the roots growing. Some key words to remember before laying turf:
Drainage – this allows the water to be free draining, but with enough organic matter to be able to hold onto sufficient amounts to encourage turf growth.
Wetting agents – especially in a lot of our sandy soils, the addition of premium quality wetting agents, in liquid or granular form, allows the holding of water in the soil profile, thus, allowing the roots of the turf to be able to draw from.
Organics – having even only a small percentage of organics allows the soil to retain moisture, nutrients and encourage initial root growth.
Biology stimulation – the quicker the biology happens in the soil, the healthier the turf will be.
Water – very important for early establishment. The healthier the soil, the less water will be needed in the longer term.
Nutrients – making sure the correct nutrients are applied for early establishment. If the pH and all nutrients are available before the turf is laid, then instant root growth will start, and top growth will follow. A good example of a premium lawn mix is Amazon Soils Lawn Blend. This is a nutrient enriched compost and sand blend. It is ideal for use as both an underlay and topdressing soil for all types of turf. Its blend of finely composted organic matter and natural washed sand provides an ideal base for all lawns
To calculate the volume of material required, first work out the area in square metres, and then multiply by the depth to get the cubic metres. Typically, you might need 100mm or 150mm of turf underlay (0.1 or 0.15 metres). Example 1 – You have a rectangle measuring 10m x 6m and need to add 100mm of turf underlay soil.
The working out for this would be 10 x 6 x 0.1 = 6m3 of soil mix