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New home lawn on clay soil

vegie82
New Contributor

New home lawn on clay soil

Hello,

 

About to set about laying down some turf after a new home build, and thought I'd ask for some opinions.

 

It's a clay soil, so I plan on spraying some weed killer around, letting that settle for a week or so, then using a rotary hoe, then putting about 20mm of premium top soil down before laying the turf. Would you agree?

 

As you can see in the image, there's quite a fall in this part of the yard, from right to left, do you think it would be a worthwhile investment running and Agi parallel to the fence about 500mm away, to avoid a soggy mess in this part of the lawn next winter?

 

Any other pointers please don't hesitate to say as its my first time doing this and I'm quite the novice.

 

Cheers. Craig.

 

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pstq
Established Contributor

Re: New home lawn

What's on the other side of the fence? Wouldn't the water just keep running under and down the hill?

 

 I think it would be best to avoid building the ground level up higher than the bottom of the fence, so it doesn't rot. Same for the damp course of the house.

 

I can't remember how much topsoil I put under ours, but it was way less than 20cm. Check the turf supplier's website for what they recommend.

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vegie82
New Contributor

Re: New home lawn

There's another house on the otherside of the fence, so I'm aware of not allowing water from my land flow into theirs.

 

Only looking to do 20mm (2cm) of Topsoil so it won't effect the integrity of the fence and it won't be up to the wood.

 

Cheers.

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pstq
Established Contributor

Re: New home lawn

I read it as 20cm!

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Jason
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: New home lawn on clay soil

Hi @vegie82,

 

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. It's terrific to have you join us at this exciting time. Congratulations on your new home. We're looking forward to seeing what else you have planned.

 

Let me tag the ever-helpful lawn care expert @Adam_W to see if he might be able to share some pointers with you. In order for him to provide more helpful advice, you might like to let us know where you are based and what type of turf you plan to lay.

 

Our resident Bunnings D.I.Y. expert @EricL should also be able to assist.

 

Thanks again for joining in the discussion.

 

Jason

 

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vegie82
New Contributor

Re: New home lawn on clay soil

Hi Jason,

 

Thank you for that.

 

I'm located in Gippsland Victoria.

 

I'm most likely looking to go with Sir Walter, due to its hardiness, and due to the mix of full sun in parts, and full shade in other parts of the lawn. Do you agree?

 

Thank you.

 

Craig.

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EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: New home lawn on clay soil

Hello @vegie82

 

My apologies for the late reply. Laying new turf is a fantastic project. I always recommend thinking ahead and imagine what other features can be put in while laying the turf down. Your questions about drainage and protecting the fence are excellent things to consider before laying the turf down. For example.

 

  • Laying down a gravel or paver border around the edge of the area to make mowing and line trimming a breeze.
  • Setting up french drains or Easydrain channels to take excess water out of your garden. 
  • Adding a walking path as a feature.
  • Putting extra garden tap points for ease of watering.
  • Using solar lights to add ambiance in the evening.

There is so much more that can be achieved in your garden these days. It can be your entertainment area, bbq spot, or even just a relaxation haven. I encourage you to look and search at all the amazing creations our members have made here on Workshop. 

 

You are absolutely right that preparation is the key when it comes to getting your soil ready for the turf. I recommend a combination of full physical weed removal and chemical spray application. Removing deep-seated weed roots will prevent them from re-emerging once you have your new lawn laid down. I suggest making a plan on where you will place your drainage to carry the water out of your garden area. Please keep us updated, I'm sure our members are keen to see your garden area once the turf is put in.

 

Here is a handy step-by-step guide: How to lay turf

 

Here is a link for ideas and inspiration: Top 10 most popular garden makeovers

 

Let me tag our experienced members @Noelle and @tom_builds for their recommendations.

 

If you need more advice or information, please let us know.

 

Eric

 

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tom_builds
Experienced Contributor

Re: New home lawn on clay soil

Hi @vegie82,

 

You're already at a huge advantage in your project due to the fact that you have thought it through, meaning you're way more likely to succeed. For gardening soil type plays a big part with clay less free draining but able to hold on to nutrients better, sand the opposite free draining but nutrient leaching.

 

Adding a high quality top soil is a great start, and grass is shallow rooted so 20mm will be plenty allow the turf to establish roots before encountering the clay later on. 

 

If you're worried about water pooling at the bottom of your yard ag drain will be able to redirect the water, but you will need to have a think about where you want to let that water out as the pipe will need to run downhill, and continue to drain downhill to wherever it terminates. This could mean digging quite a serious trench to be able to carry the water away. 

 

You could consider planting waterlog tolerant shrubs or trees along the fence that will enjoy the additional moisture content of your clay soil, and will help to keep the moisture from sitting on top of the soil.

 

Best of luck with your project!

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vegie82
New Contributor

Re: New home lawn on clay soil

Hi @tom_builds and @EricL,

 

Many thanks for your valuable insights. 

 

I have concrete getting poured in 2 weeks, basically the permitter of the house in the photos, and 1mtr wide. I'm interested to see what the finish height will be between the natural ground and the concrete height as this will effect how I will battle the preparations and calculations.

 

I assume I want the base of the grass leaf of the turf needs to be the same height at the finished concrete level? Asking that, how thick is a slab of sir walter typically? This will allow me to calculate the thickness of topsoil I'll need to lay, especially once I've finished scrapping the weeds and rotary hoe'ing the clay.

 

For the drain, I was thinking AGI, because the distance in the photo below between fence to fence is approx 18mtrs, and the width is approx 4.5mtrs. You can see a natural fall in the length of approx 0.5, with the LPOD  only just visible in the photo about half way between the house and back fence on the far side (ofcourse it's painted black, making it harder to see). So I could easily connect the Agi to the LPOD using a pit and taking advantage of the natural fall, however is 0.5mtr fall over say 16mtrs insufficient for a agi pipe?

 

20210723_143457 (1).jpg

 

I'm thankful for your information so far, and I'll keep you posted on my progress, no doubt asking many questions as I do. Hopefully other DIY'ers get valuable information from this project also.

 

Thank you,

 

Craig.

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EricL
Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Re: New home lawn on clay soil

Hello @vegie82

 

Thank you for the project update. The thickness of Sir Walter 0.5m² DNA Certified Soft Leaf Buffalo Turf Slab is around 40mm. It may vary as the bottom of the pile usually gets compressed, please take this into account once you begin laying it. Having the turf at the same level as the concrete will work. Please take into account the level of the lawnmower when running over the edge of the concrete and turf at the same time. If the turf is too low you may hit the edge of the concrete with the mower blade.

 

A good way to test water flow is to dig a shallow channel where you plan to place your Vinidex 100mm x 20m Slotted Draincoil. Once you've made your channel. Use your garden hose and run water into the channel. It should flow down to the other side where you wish to direct the flow of water. This will give you an indication of how deep you must dig your drain to get the correct fall.

 

I recommend asking a registered plumber if you can D.I.Y. a connection to the LPOD or if it needs to be a registered plumber. Some states have strict rules on connecting to LPOD. I suggest using a french drain design, it provides a nice visual border and it prevents fine soil from clogging up the  Slotted Draincoil. Please keep us updated, we look forward to seeing your turf and garden ready for use.

 

I've placed a photo below of a french drain to give you ideas.

 

If you need more advice or information, please let us know.

 

Eric

 

 

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