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site prep 1The latest figures indicate for a new house and land package in Toowoomba represents an investment of $350000 to $1 million dollars with a median value $450000 – $550000.

David Snow Principal of Peter Snow & Co real estate agents and property valuers states that selling a new house without turfing and basic landscaping is very difficult to nearly impossible to sell and would devalue the property by $50000. That’s right approximately 10% of the value.

Every new house buyer or builder demands top quality workmanship to minimise repair costs over the next 10-20 years. It makes sound economic sense to spend a little extra in preparation to achieve much higher water use efficiency and minimise maintenance costs (fertiliser & pest control) over the long term but maintain a top quality finish to complement the house.

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Recommendations

  • Break up soil to a minimum depth of 300mm (6 inches) to maximise water infiltration which encourages deep root depth. » Cost approx $200/Day
  • In clay soils (generally where top soil has been removed) incorporate gypsum at a rate of 25kg/100m2. » Cost $10.00 per 25kg bag
  • Top dress with turf starter mix 50-100mm thick for a final golf green surface on which to lay turf. » Cost 100mms thick over 100m2 = 10m3 / 10m3 delivered $750
  • Hire of bobcat to spread topsoil allow $75/hr plus travel $75 and another 1-2hrs to finish around edges by hand. » Cost for 100m2 approx $200
  • Apply Cabarlah Park sure green fertiliser with water crystals already mixed at a rate 3.2kg/100m2 (24%N, 2%P, 9%K) » Cost $60/20kgs bag or $10/100m2.
  • Lay turf species best suited for your environment and specific requirements. » Cost on average depending on turf type $5.50/m2 laid by our professional layers or $550/100m2.

Therefore Total Investment per 100m2;

Soil Preparation 200
Gypsum (if Needed) 10
Turf Starter Soil Mix 750
Spreading 200
Fertiliser 10
Turf 550
Total $1720

Average household yard including footpath is approx 500m2 therefore Total Investment $8600.

Under current water restriction in Toowoomba town water must not be used for watering lawns however there are a number of firms that can be used for watering lawns direct or filling tanks. (Be sure to order the water well before laying turf and water immediately after laying.

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Estimated weekly water requirements in mm’s as published by Dept. Natural Resources and water.

  Summer Autumn Winter Spring
New Turf 20 15 5 15
Established Turf 10 7 3 10

Estimated Water requirements and costs

20mm per 100m2 = 2000lts
20mm over 500m2 =10000lts
Cost $150 for 10000lts

Water at night to reduce evaporation. It is more water efficient to irrigate 20mm/watering and allow the water to penetrate deep into your well prepared soil profile and not run off. Following these strategy grass roots will grow deep into soil (over 1 metre) and draw moisture from the lower soil layers in dry times.

Just an interesting fact

Based on the above water requirements turf will need a maximum 715mm of water per year. Toowoomba’s average annual rainfall is 800-900mm per year. Therefore theoretically if the soil is properly prepared there is no need to irrigate turf. Strategic watering, however, is recommended in prolonged dry times (normally in spring) and in high wear areas to stimulate regrowth.

Aeration and fertiliser is recommended before forecasted rain events to further stimulate growth.

Clearly the perception that turf is a water guzzler is incorrect and worthwhile investment to enhance the value of your home, lifestyle and environment.