Let's start with top soil - what should buyers be looking for?
The short answer is the quality of the soil. Essentially, there's two main types of top soil - screened and unscreened. Screened top soil has been sieved to remove stones and rocks and will naturally cost more. Also check that the soil is not sticky - it should be crumbly.
How much will I need to buy?
As a rule of thumb, you'll need at least a couple of inches of topsoil for lawn, and more for flower beds.
How about the lawn - should I grow it myself or buy lawn turf?
That's really a question of budget and timing. Roll-out lawn turf can be laid at any time of the year and is every bit as durable as grass grown from seed on site. Just remember, that there is some initial maintenance that needs to be attended to. Firstly, check that the turf is freshly cut. We cut our lawn turf on site daily as that makes a big difference. Next, make sure that it's well watered for the first few weeks and don't allow anyone to walk on it. Finally, when you're mowing it, start with the mower on the highest possible setting and gradually lower the setting when the lawn is established.
I want to save myself some weeding - I've heard that ground cover helps?
Yes, there are two main options here - compost mulch and mini-chip. Compost mulch is made from recycled grass cuttings, hedge cuttings etc. so it's a very green option. It acts as a weed suppressant and it also enriches the soil. It will also form a sort of film over time, which makes it suitable for windy areas. Mini-chip or bark will also suppress weeds but it won't enrich the soil substantially. However, many people prefer the appearance of mini chip.
How much ground cover will I need to buy?
We recommend that ground cover is spread a couple of inches in depth. To cover 15 square meters of garden to that depth, you'll need 1 cubic meter of ground cover. That's about 2 full baths of ground cover.
What else is new in the garden?
Railway sleepers are always popular for raised beds, retaining walls and pathways. The traditional railway sleepers are heavy. However, there's now new pressure treated sleepers which are lighter and easier to handle.
Landscape Providers are conveniently located off the N11, just take Exit 11. We're well known to Dublin and Wicklow landscapers for our quality products, excellent value and convenient location and expert advice. And the word has been spreading to homeowners too! You don't have to buy in bulk. Buy a bag or just bring a bucket - we promise you'll be very happy with all our products and our prices. We also have a quick and easy green waste recycling facility. Just drop a bag, boot load or trailer to our premises off the N11 and we'll compost it.
It's a combination of the location and the helpful service, nothing is an issue to them.Declan Farragher from Outdoor Living