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Lawn repair - Recommendations

Discussion in 'Repairs & Maintenance' started by neK, 8th Sep, 2015.

  1. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    So my tenant has moved out and they pointed this issue out to the property manager.

    Apparently this section the grass have never grown that well and its always been wet - even after several days of sun. So I'm guessing the water must be draining and pooling in this section. (Which is is why there are pavers - the tenants bought and put these in themselves).

    So when i laid down the grass here, I did semi kill it as i left some panels over it for several days as tradies were walking back and forth over this section. I guess it never really recovered.

    Anyway, I'm looking for some recommendations for some decent landscapers who can fix this up. Or suggestions on how i can fix this up (not too keen on this as my wife gets upset when i spend time away from her and my daughter).
     

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  2. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    Looks like the ground is compacted due to the traffic the area gets. Get busy with a shovel for 10 minutes and break the ground up, the grass will grow again after that.

    If its always wet you need a grass that can withstand rot or very wet soils.
     
  3. magpieseason

    magpieseason Active Member

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    Try sowing some grass seed (might be too wet though) .
    Maybe poison the grass from the house to the edge of pavers and make a mulch or pebble garden bed.
     
    Last edited: 8th Sep, 2015
  4. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

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    Not sure from the pics but is all that moister next to the foundations @neK ? I'd be concerned about that foremost.
    Is there a down pipe there somewhere running onto the ground? Even if it goes into the ground there maybe a blockage or issue with adjoining plumbing, guttering overflowing.

    Either way if its staying moist for a longtime after rain I'm guessing there's a high clay content in the soil which holds moister for a long time, is spongy.

    If it were mine I'd get that moist soil away from the foundations (all around the premises) dig out a shovel width down along the wall to the footing and fill it with sand.
    I'd run a 50mm concrete path along that wall/area were the pavers are, anything else will allow water to penetrate.
    Not sure what the area is or used for but looks small enough to justify Artificial Grass (if its the only backyard area) or a small low maint native garden to tidy it up.
     
  5. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    I went past last night. Its not even remotely moist. In fact its hard as.... interesting considering we did have some light rain a few days ago.

    Getting some people go out and quote today.
    I can't believe tenants. How hard is it to get a damn lawn mower to mow a patch of grass!
     
  6. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    It's like I said - Compacted soil. 5 minutes job with a shovel then let the grass grow back.
     
  7. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

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    Lite rain may not have overflowed gutters, backed up storm-water etc
    To do what?
     
  8. Hanison

    Hanison Well-Known Member

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    Needs aerating big time. Ground is compacted to death.

    I love a quality well kept lawn. I use a cylinder mower on mine.

    The game changer for me was when I learnt that grass doesn't grow in dirt. It grows in the air pockets surrounded by dirt.

    Knowing this. You'll soon find that professional sports grounds are planted using a sand base and not dirt.

    The secrets out everyone. Go forth and build bowling greens for lawns at your homes.

    Homes, not IP's.
    IP's should be concrete jungles
     
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  9. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    @WestOz - To get a quote to do put a pathway made of pebbles because i don't think fixing the lawn is going to resolve it long term.

    I could pick up the pavers, dig up the area, get some topsoil, get new grass and re-lay it down. But it will take a few weeks to catch on, in that period, tenants will move in, not take care of it and it will die again and ill be back to where i started.

    The likelihood of a tenant actually watering the grass and taking care of it is nil...

    So far a quote has been $180 to simply re-lay new grass.
    Another has quoted $1100 (inclusive of all materials) to do the pathway (this one also includes putting in pebbles in the rear triangle shape garden (the grass is dead here as well). - There is about $500 of pebbles (4 tonne @ $100 per tonne + delivery).
     

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  10. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    On another note, what happens if i mow grass that has "clover" like weeds growing ?
     
  11. Samten

    Samten Well-Known Member

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    If it is clover generally mowing it will spread the clover. Plants work on the theory that if their survival is threatened it is time to reproduce. Hence when you mow or cut anything it grows quicker because the plant thinks it is being attacked. (I am qualified in Horticulture).
    Also the pebbles can present a problem if you are still going to have grass as the little so and so's have a habit of not staying where they are put, they become lethal missiles when shot out of a lawn mower not to mention the broken windows.
    Why don't you consider something like stabilised crushed granite, much cheaper than pebbles and goes hard as a rock when laid and compacted correctly (Also qualified landscaper).
     
  12. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    good point on the pebbles... totally forgot about that.
     
  13. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    Far out this crap is expensive.
    I've been quoted $1300 to do the following:

    This is what is visible in the pics i uploaded
    1. Dig up the old dirt and dispose (6m x 1m) - this is the expensive part due to labour
    2. Put in underlay
    3. Put in new matilda buffalo (apparently i need 20sqm? wtf)

    Then I've got a triangle section where grass doesn't grow
    4. Weed spray to kill everything
    5. Put plastic down, peg it down, run a garden roller over it to create holes for water drainage
    6. Wheel barrow 2 tonnes of pebbles to that section.
     
  14. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

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    @neK perhaps your time poor but your only looking at max a days work there, easy if the Mrs & kids or a mate etc gets involved.

    Few square meters of concrete (perhaps less) for a path. In Short; (Plenty of Youtube vids on this)

    Level the ground, mark a line on the wall 75mm above ground level, grab some timber, patio tube (something straight) min 50mm and stake it 800mm off the wall, should be roughly 25mm lower than the mark on the wall (allows water run off).

    Go to something like Soils-ain't-Soils, grab five bags of cement, use one of their FREE trailers if you don't have one for half scoop of builders sand, one scoop of gravel, let them know you'll need the trailer for a few hours, you'll be back later for some mulch (& maybe plants if they have any).
    (If you don't have a tow-ball buy the stuff in bags)

    Mix a ratio of 1 shovel of cement, 2 of sand, 3 of gravel in a barrow, mix it together, add "some" water, mix it with the shovel, repeat until a reasonable working mix, dump it in and spread it out, smooth it off best you can with something straight, repeat until section filled.

    Surface doesn't have to be perfect, try not to have big holes, make sure it runs away from the house, before it curers cut two evenly spread lines across for expansion joints, roughen the surface up with a stiff broom, not only makes it non-slip but covers your defects.

    Initially it does the job, long-term you want to put it on the market and it looks crap, its only 50mm, smash it with a sedgy and take it away.

    As for the rest of the area, once established small natives are cheap, low maintenance and tough, small birds love them, throw a mix in, cover the rest of the ground with a trailer of pine bark or whatever is cheap
     
  15. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    Update: I called another gardener who said he could do it for cheaper

    This is what is visible in the pics i uploaded
    1. Use a machine that turns the top soil upside down
    2. Put in more topsoil to level it out.
    3. Lay new turf (he estimates 10sqm - other guy estimates 20sqm - the area measures 6mx1m)
    (This part costs $300 including turf)

    Then I've got a triangle section where grass doesn't grow
    4. Weed spray to kill everything
    5. Put plastic down, peg it down, run a garden roller over it to create holes for water drainage
    6. Wheel barrow 3 tonnes of pebbles to that section.
    (This part costs $150 plus the cost of pebbles)

    So thats $315 for 3 tonne of pebbles + $70 delivery + $300 + $150
    All up $835.


    @WestOz - yes I am time poor. In the past I would spent the time doing it myself. These days its not worth the hassle. I end up spending more $$$ at the physio instead. Nets out the same.... except if i pay someone, the missus is happier as I'm spending time with her and my daughter :).

    I will go there to mow the lawn tomorrow, but that's only because the gardener can't start work until Tuesday.
     
  16. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, I can't see what is wrong here? Will you have problems finding a tenant because the ground is compacted? :confused:

    If it was me I wouldn't do anything. As you said, not like they are going to look after it all anyway. Also remember paths, pavers etc look like crap after 3-5 years.
     
  17. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    More a presentation thing. Especially now that its vacant.
    Want to clean it up so its presentable, then that way be able to pass any future clean up costs to the tenant.

    Right now i think i can only pass on partial costs as its an "improvement"
     
  18. magpieseason

    magpieseason Active Member

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    I wouldnt be laying new buffalo at an ip. Unless it gets a soaking at least once a day it will be dead buffalo soon.
    Btw im a horticulturist/landscaper too

    Check out pea straw mulch . $15 a slab at bunnings will cover 10 sqm at 50 mill depth.
    Five or six slabs will be enough. Over time it will break down your clay soil ( dont use plastic under the mulch).

    You said the soil dug out has to be moved off site?
    How about keeping it for raised garden beds and a few shrubs around the perimeter?
     
  19. WestOz

    WestOz Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't do any grass, going to be a continual issue for you.
    Still curious with the few days damp comment in the OP (moister against foundation)

    Don't understand the interest in pebble$, lots of negatives for me incl shocking to walk on, scatter, radiate heat, end up being missiles through windows, on roofs, cars etc in kids hands.

    A cheaper option (Max ~$200)
    Do the plastic with holes thing over the entire area $24 (don't have to poison with this)
    http://www.bunnings.com.au/grunt-2-x-5m-black-200um-extra-heavy-duty-builders-film_p0810293

    Throw mulch over the entire area min 50mm depth, max $100 + fuel/time (or get a mini truck delivered)
    https://www.soilsaintsoils.com.au/

    Reuse those slab/pavers you have (free), or get a few larger ~600mm ones (~$60).
    (For a non concrete/industrial look you could paint them or use something like treated pine sleepers, dock them up into ~600mm lengths, stagger them as a stepping path)

    So it doesn't end up looking bland/barren/boring, throw a few small natives in.
     
  20. larrylarry

    larrylarry Well-Known Member

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    @neK I had similar issues on PPOR and I concrete the affected areas leaving about 45sqm of grass/weeds...so now we will need to tackle the weed problems.
    My question for the landscapers.
    Do I pull the weeds or mow then spray weed killer before re turfing?