In all turf projects that are undertaken the single most important thing is to have a nice solid base to lay the turf on. In this article I will explain to you how best to prepare and compact a suitable gravel base for a general landscaping Synthetic Turf install.
The most important thing to do when preparing to lay a gravel base is to ensure that the excavation is done to the correct levels. The recommended depth for a base is between 75mm and 100mm thick. The best way to measure the depth is by using a measuring tape along the edges and then using a straight edge or string line to measure down in the middle areas of the excavated area. It is also very important to ensure that when you do get down to the correct height that the material on the ground is nicely levelled and kept intact so that there is less chance of the material below contaminating the gravel base.
The gravel base will need to be compacted in 50mm lifts. I recommend strongly that a base gravel (base b) should be used for the sub base and then compacted with a vibrating plate with water. You may need to build this material up to within 30-40mm of finished height to allow for a top coat of a finer material. In any base the rate of compaction should be 95%. To get to this point the average gravel base area will be vibrated 3-4 times.
A very important tool that I recommend using is a hand stomper, this is used for areas that are impossible to get to with a vibrating plate. I use a tool that weighs 25kg and is cut into a triangle on one end and a square piece on the other end.
The next layer of material to be placed on the base will be a finer/cleaner product which is called crusher dust. This material is designed to be used for the final layer of compacting as it will stop any of the bonier pieces of base gravel from coming up and causing any potential lumps in the base. I would recommend spreading a layer of the dust (about 15-20mm) and then watering and vibrating. Then one final layer which can be used to make all levels good. Using a trowel for the edges and a hand smudge for the middle parts of the base. For a standard 35mm landscaping product I recommend a depth of 10-15mm below the finished heights, this allows for the turf backing to be hidden and less likely to be lifted up as well as when the turf is infilled with kiln dried sand the heights should be very close to flush with the edges that you are working to which will them limit the chances of any trip hazards.
The final step of laying a compacted gravel base is to roll the base with a hand roller, this should weigh between 50-100kg. Water is required to pack down the final layer of the base whilst the roller is being pushed and pulled over the entire base. This helps reducing the chance of the roll of turf making scuff marks in the base when positioning heavy rolls of turf. If it is possible to leave the base for 12-24 hours, that is the ideal amount of time for the base to firm up prior to laying the synthetic turf.
Today was a pretty simple thing to tick off my list. Holding a plank for 10 minutes. Its a great core work out. I would only usually do something like this for a few minutes at a time or a maximum of 5 minutes. I did this challenge at about 7pm after dinner. It certainly worked the muscles during the exercise.
I have finally made a start on ticking off some things from my list.
I completed #26 today which was – work a 16 hour day.
I was up before 5am, I had a large project to do out of town at Scottsdale. So it was about 1 hour away. We worked there until the job was completed and that was about 5pm. I then did about 1 hour of sand bagging to hustle out some more hours and then jumped on the computer to do some paperwork and send out some invoices. It was a tough day but with the right food and plenty of water the body can do anything.
I am Jade Child, 31 years old and I live in Launceston Tasmania. I have a little daughter called Zara send she turned 4 in early November. I am a landscape gardener and I have been working in the industry for around 13 years. I started a business about 7 years ago which is called Tassie Artificial Turf which supply’s and installs artificial turf around the state of Tasmania.
I decided that I would do some work for the Dads in Distress charity which supports men who are dealing with all of the issues around the break ups in relationships which can affect mental health. The stats show that 3 men every day commit to suicide over issues related to separation whether it be children matters or financial issues just to name a few. This statistic is bloody awful and I hope by raising some money and hopefully lots of awareness some lives can be saved and some more common sense can be shown by different parties and people about doing what is right in the situation people are in.
I gave myself 3 challenges.
Running the Point To Pinnacle
Running from Scottsdale to Bridport
Growing a moustache for the month of November.
Point to Pinnacle.
This run is 21.4km long, from the Wrest Point Casino to the top of Mouth Wellington which is a climb of about 1200m.
Unfortunately the weather was quite horrible and the organisers were forced to change the course so that no one was injured during the race with the extreme weather conditions. Anyhow the course was changed to an out and back to, so 10.7km up the mountain and 10.7km back down the mountain with a finish at the Casino.
The weather was pretty miserable so the decision was the right one to change the course.
I push hard up the mountain and got up in about 51 minutes. I then put the ear phones in and the foot down and did the second half of the race in about 39 minutes which was really quick. I finished in 46th place.
Scottsdale to Bridport
I challenged myself to running 21.5km from Scottsdale to Bridport as I had travelled the roads thousands of times whilst growing up in Bridport and going to high school in Scottsdale. I knew the road quite well so I had a good idea about what I was in for.
I left Launceston at about 7am with my dad and my good mate Adam who was riding his push bike with me to support me. Dad was driving my ute and was in charge of checking up on us every 5km.
We departed Lords Hotel at 830am. I was doing 4.00 minute kms quite consistently until the large hills pulled me back to about 4.30 minute kms. Body felt good so I kept going strong. Adam fed me water every few kms and some Powerade and energy gels at about the half way point. The weather was warm and we ran into a slight headwind with about 5km to go. But of course we pushed through it and made it to Bridport in 1 hour and 28 minutes which was awesome as I had planned to be there in about 1.5 hours.
This was a pretty cool achievement as it is something I had always wanted to do. I had my family and friends waiting for me at the Bridport hotel which was awesome. We went out for some breakfast afterwards and then a lovely few hours at the beach with my daughter Zara learning how to surf. I thank my family members who helped out with that logistics side of things and my great mate Adam for assisting me by riding next to me the whole way, your a champion. We received a few donations along the way which was also great.
The last challenge for the month was to grow a moustache. This was a bit of fun and
I can confirm that myself and my partner Sarah were truly sick of the whiskers. But the facial hair was groomed into a seedy moustache which lasted one day before it was cut back to nothing with my razor on the first of December.
At the time of writing this I have raised just under a thousand dollars with some people close to me agreeing to donate some money shortly so it should push to be over $1000.00 which is just awesome. I also have to thank the North Easter Advertiser and the Examiner for writing some articles about what I was doing.
Also just to give you an idea on my efforts in this I only decided to actually do all this charity work at the start of November so this was a big effort to get it all off the ground and get it all happening.
If there is some advice I can give to anybody that reads this blog
Don’t get consumed up by other peoples words or attempts at causing pain.
Uluru was a rock I really wanted to see again, my parents took me to the rock when I was about 2 years old. I cannot remember a single thing from that trip so thought that this would be a nice little adventure.
We set off on a Monday morning leaving home at 415am it was going to be a 530am start but our flights were cancelled and had to depart from Devonport. I thank Belinda my travel agent who did some re organising on the Sunday prior to our departure to make sure everything was perfectly in place for us to have a great trip. This is a good reason why I employ a travel agent to plan and book my large trips. Belinda sorted everything I just sat back and watched the cricket.
We arrive in Alice Springs at around 11am we caught a taxi to our hotel with an Indian taxi driver which I was pleasantly surprised about. We checked into our hotel the Desert Rose Inn which is in Railway terrace, just back from Anzac Hill.
We headed to the CBD to check it all out and spotted bike hire and some mountain bike tracks so we had a crack at that. We covered 25km on the tracks and around the city. The tracks were fun and challenging I would definitely recommend doing them. It does get hot so take plenty of water. The tracks start at the site for the telegraph line which linked up Adelaide to Darwin and beyond. Some interesting facts and also worthy of a visit. This place is about a 10-15 minute ride from the CBD.
Tuesday morning our bus picked us up at 610am for our tour.
We covered about 470km on day one. The bus was comfortable and the time went quickly with a good book. On the way we stopped at the most central place in Australia. This was called Erldunda. We made it to our camp site for lunch which was chicken cooked on the BBQ with some nice salads. We pushed on from there to get to the Kata Tjuta. We did a quick one hour walk, very pretty place to see.
We then watched the sun go down behind Uluru while having orange juice or a wine, the tour company also supplied cheese and bickies which were literally inhaled by us as we were all very hungry after a big day. Back to camp for dinner, we had snags, kangaroo meat, some steaks, salads and some bush crumble for desert. Our tour guide informed us that we would be departing at 545am for the sunrise at Uluru which meant waking at 445 so it was an early night for me I think I was asleep by 9pm. We slept in some permanent army style tents, they were really good they kept the weather out and were quite cosy.
Wednesday started with an 11km Walk around the base of Uluru, this was really special. There was no chance of us climbing the rock as it was closed due to a 20% Chance of rain and I can totally understand the rules here now with the way they close the rock and suggest not to climb the rock. It is really steep and 35 people have died whilst attempting it.
We had an aboriginal guide take us around some of the sacred sights and tells us some stories. Dion didn’t say much mainly just mumbled but when I asked him if he played footy he came out of shell and started talking freely about his beloved North Melbourne. The thing that surprised me the most about Uluru was the amount of vegetation it had at the base of it and also all through the outback. I had a vision in my head it would be all sand and dust but it is a lot different to that, amazing how the world works and how nature finds plants and creatures that can survive in these types of locations.
Lunch was back at the campsite we had some beef burgers which went down nicely and then headed toward Kings Canyon which is the place for our second nights accommodation. The tour guide had promised us a nice pool to have a swim. We had a swim and visited the Thirsty Dingo Pub where we had a few ciders and chatted to our SWISS and Uk touring friends. I found a nice boomerang and a kids book which I bought for Zara as her teacher has asked to hear all about my trip back at school the next week.
Dinner was at 7pm we had a chicken dish with damper cooked over the fire. Very nice, shower and then a 9pm bedtime for me ready for another early start to see Kings Canyon.
Awake at 445am to be at the start of the walk at 610am the main reason is to beat the heat as it was forecast for 42 degrees on the Thursday and to also see part of sunrise during the walk. The walk we did was 6km we visited many viewing points of the canyon and checked out the garden of Eden where there is a watering hole. There were a lot of other tour groups around this area at the time we were there. It was still a very peaceful and unique spot to check out until one of the guys on the tour lit up a cigarette. Yuck.
The walk started of really solid with plenty of stairs, similar to the zig zag track in Launceston. But overall it was quite an easy walk.
Back to the campsite for an early lunch, we had some Mexican.
Our bus departed kings canyon at 11am we stopped at an aboriginal souvenir shop in Mt Ebenezer, nothing really tickled my fancy just the 42 degree sun was nice. I met an aboriginal man called Gary who had a chat to me about his local football team and suggested the players drank too much ‘piss’ and then back to Alice Springs to our Hotel.
A quick kick of the footy on a rugby field and then some dinner at sporties. I am still shocked that all of the staff in the restaurants are European or even Asian. I really did expect this place to be ran by Aussies.
Last morning before we caught our plane I did a steady 4km jog around the town, this is a great way to see towns and cities that I visit and I will continue doing it. We bought a few souvenirs from a shop in the mall and then headed to the airport.
A great trip and would recommend seeing it all for yourself sometime soon.
Living is all about working out what you want to do and then take action to achieving those things you want to do.
Life is for living!!!
So when I left for this journey I was given best wishes about my upcoming holiday. Firstly I will admit being in India is the furthest thing from being on holiday. The best way to describe being in India is an adventure, eye opening cultural experience and extremely educational not just about the history and the amazing culture that has been created over the past hundreds and thousands of years but the way the current world is and the standard of living in the poorer countries.
Something interesting I have learnt is that people from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka are sneaking into India and fighting to make India their home. I find this staggering and it makes me wonder what the conditions are like back in those countries I am told it is far far worse than what I have experienced in the past week in India.
India is the most eye opening place in the world. The way of life over here is so far away from my life in Launceston Tasmania.
(1) The Rubbish all over the land
There is literally rubbish over every square inch of land in India. This includes papers, food wrappers, concrete and anything that you could imagine it is absolute filth and really hard to imagine it ever getting cleaned up.
(2) The chaos on the streets
The streets everywhere from the middle of a big city to the middle of a small village the traffic and chaos in the streets are madness. There is no such thing as giving way and it is every man for himself to get from A to B. But somehow there are minimal accidents and everyone just pushes through and gets on with it. Until you actually take a journey through the streets in a bus or a tuk tuk you will never understand how crazy it is. There are cows which just wander the streets looking for food scraps as there just isn’t any feed in the paddocks, so this is something else you have to dodge when driving in India, pretty crazy really.
(3) The work ethic and small pay
The people over here work huge hours, like 16 hours per day. They do the most horrible jobs and it’s hard to imagine to doing what they do. An unskilled worker will earn about 500 rupees (10 dollars) per day and skilled workers will earn about 1000 rupees (20 dollars) per day.
In India they are cricket mad. Everywhere I go as a tourist there are Indian men intrigued that I come from Australia and always mention cricket players names the most popular is Rickey Ponting and Brett Lee. I had a chance to watch a local cricket game in a small village I stayed in. I met a young man at a school called Kapil who took me to the game, he said it was being played at the Stadium. We walked for about 15 minutes to one side of the village. There were 22 keen young men in thongs desperately playing the game as if it was like there life depended on it. The stadium was built in a large square area with a 2.0m high brick wall surrounding the perimeter. The pitch was half sand and half concrete slab, they batted from just the one end for this reason. The outfield was a really soft sand similar to the dry part of a beach. The ball would usually thud into the sand and stay where it landed. The stumps were a mix of timber sticks, bricks and one real cricket stump. The guys batting used no protective equipment and had to share the bat. I arrived with a team chasing 89 to win off 12 overs. They were doing it easy at 1/35 off about 5 overs and then they started to lose wickets. The captain of the side was batting up the other end whilst the wickets were falling and he was disgusted by it all and gave every player some harsh feedback when they lost there wicket. The team ended up about 8 runs short. I was very impressed by some of the hitting of the players and the fielding was really really good, a few run outs were created simply by the high skill level in the field.
Kapil and I then walked back to my hotel as the sun was nearly down and pitch black was very near. Kapil asked for some Bon Bon, I presumed it was a lolly but when I had a look at the shop it ended up being a packet of dried noodles. I bought him 5 packets and he was a happy young man and said he would take them back to his family.
In summary I have found it hard to driver past all these poor people in the air conditioned bus with our $1000.00 camera and I phones taking photos of donkeys carrying half a ton of bricks on their backs, 60 year old men unloading a full ten yard truck of gravel all by hand or cows sleeping in the middle of a busy road as I presume they just have no energy to move and a literally starving to death. The young men and women who are digging giant holes in the streets for sewage and future infrastructure. I certainly will attempt to take some type of action myself to assist the poor people in the world as its not nice to see at all.
I have one final day here in India, I have no doubt in my mind that I will see some more crazy things and then I am onto Dubai for 5 days which will mean I am going from one of the poorer countries in the world to one of the richest.