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The process of " saving " turf
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Natterjack



Joined: 20 Oct 2012
Posts: 326


Location: North Kerry

PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:39 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

https://www.google.ie/search?q=tu...bQdbaM:&imgrc=IbTe7Yvq6H6dzM:


Like this
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Natterjack



Joined: 20 Oct 2012
Posts: 326


Location: North Kerry

PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.google.ie/search?q=tu...M2yxFM:&imgrc=IbTe7Yvq6H6dzM:


This must be like yours is, no cross cuts.
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Tiercel Dave



Joined: 20 Sep 2012
Posts: 61


Location: Galway

PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a wheel, almost like a an old mill wheel, that can attach to the 'hopper' and score the rows as they are laid out. Personally I prefer the natural breaks, it's easier to get it up off the ground if the sods are 2 foot long........
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blowin



Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 4306


Location: Tubbercurry , Co Sligo

PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's interesting . Thanks.
It is difficult to judge from the pics but I'd say that the pre-cut are a bit shorter than I like them to be. I had to go get a tape to check what I do actually like and find that it's between 16 and 26 inches. Ours is a very wet bog so the less touching the ground the better, meaning that tall footings are good. They also leave a good amount poking above the vegetation if that grows up before I get round to lifting the turf. Any longer than about 26" the sods bend too much when drying and the footings fall over. It is also a fiddle when bagging up as I end up having to break the very long pieces to pack them in. ( Incidentally , a friend who sells turf always prefers the long sods because in that form it takes less weight of turf to make the bag look really full   ).
Having said that I'd be happy to have pre-cut on a dry bog.
ATB
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Tiercel Dave



Joined: 20 Sep 2012
Posts: 61


Location: Galway

PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have a look at the wheel here...........
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCKVUKD5eik
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blowin



Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 4306


Location: Tubbercurry , Co Sligo

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, I see that the wheel works really well on a nice flat bog . Unfortunately most of mine is on sloping, undulating ground with lots of humps and hollows. Perhaps that is why it isn't used up there.
As to scouring it by hand, I did that for several seasons with a variety of tools. Spade was hard work. Something best described as a large ( 12") pizza cutter on a long handle was better. Best of all turned out to be the curved back edge of a long handled branch saw. However that could only be used when the sods were very soft. I decided that the time and effort wasn't justified by the benefit it gave when it came to turning and footing.
What do you guys do when turning ? OH is a yoga teacher so has no problem with a flat back stretch . She moves down the rows in that position and neatly flips the sods faster than anyone else I've seen at it . I used to use a rake then found that a light hay fork was better. Now even that gives me back ache so I swallow my dignity and move along on hands and knees. Hence my other thread asking how to patch holes in jeans.
ATB
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Natterjack



Joined: 20 Oct 2012
Posts: 326


Location: North Kerry

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used a rake, worked well, and was fairly quick.

Took about an hour to turn a hoppers worth.

Did 2 on my own, then went back for breakfast, returned after with OH and 2 kids to turn the other two. They did the edge by hand, and I was able to turn the middle ones with the rake.

Out of interest, how long after you turn it do you foot it?

The weather has been shite since I turned it last saturday.
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blowin



Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 4306


Location: Tubbercurry , Co Sligo

PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natterjack wrote:
..... how long after you turn it do you foot it? .....

As soon as it is firm enough to stand up in the wigwam shape without bowing .

If making footings in the form of a stack ie sods lay horizontal, 3 or 4 wide , then build up with the next layer at 90 degrees criss-cross, you can do this with softer/wetter sods. Not my preferred method but it is quicker & easier than the traditional style. Often my last resort for wet stuff towards the end of the season.
In terms of time, the drying obviously depends on weather but less obviously is more dependent on wind than shine. Overcast but windy is better than sunny and calm. ( unless it is very hot but I fear we've already had our share of that for this year ). It will also vary a lot by location. My bog is fairly high up and not far from the coast. Any time after July sea mist and "soft" weather can bring drying almost to a halt.
If you're very lucky... 2 weeks , for planning purposes 4 weeks , if weather is sh*te 3 months. That is for my bog anyway.
Good luck  
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Natterjack



Joined: 20 Oct 2012
Posts: 326


Location: North Kerry

PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phew, that is some work, footing turf :0

Did 3 hoppers yesterday, in about 26 degrees.

Bit left that isn't dry enough to foot yet, went up and turned that this morning a bit more, just to get it to dry off in this scorchio weather!

 
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Natterjack



Joined: 20 Oct 2012
Posts: 326


Location: North Kerry

PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So the learning about Turf goes on!

I see why you're so fascinated Blowin.

Went out yesterday to help turn 2 hoppers on a bog I'd never been to. What a difference, that turf was black as black, visibly different. And it looked to be drying very quickly too, apparently there they just turn it once, don't foot it and it dries rock hard, then into the trailer


Also footed 4 hoppers for a neighbour this morning. He does his 'box style', two down flat then build a stack up. Have to say it was much quicker using that method, took me just over an hour per hopper. I reckon standing it up must be half as much time again, or more.

Will be interesting to see how it all dries as his is across from mine. Some of it was still really wet, and it never would have stood up in a teepee shape.

Apparently someone else is due to ring me who wants 6 hoppers footing  

WTF have i got myself into.  

3 was well enough to foot this morning, the fourth was a force of will to keep going.

The sociable aspect is not be overlooked either, a great way to mix with your neighbours...

Oh but my back hurts.........
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blowin



Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 4306


Location: Tubbercurry , Co Sligo

PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will certainly be popular and in demand if you're getting it done at that rate. Do you work alone ?
The really black turf is reckoned to be the best you can get.
Keep an eye open for any bits of wood that are dug up with the black stuff. They are likely to be very old and to have become sufficiently mineralised to give them the lovely qualities of "bog wood". That is something I find really fascinating. Transforming it into interesting pieces is a very different process from working with modern timber.
I find that the drawback with the "box" method of footing on a wet bog is that the bottom layer of sods hardly dry out at all. They can still be saved but it is best to keep them separate from the dry stuff which is ready to be "freed" and that can be a real inconvenience when you're bagging up or throwing onto a trailer.
Hope your back gets better !
ATB
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Natterjack



Joined: 20 Oct 2012
Posts: 326


Location: North Kerry

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote




Turf is finally in the yard......phew..
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blowin



Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 4306


Location: Tubbercurry , Co Sligo

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's an impressive amount. How long do you reckon it will last you ?
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Natterjack



Joined: 20 Oct 2012
Posts: 326


Location: North Kerry

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

blowin wrote:
That's an impressive amount. How long do you reckon it will last you ?


Not sure?

It's 3 hoppers worth, a neighbour recommended that to last the winter. I have some wood too.
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blowin



Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 4306


Location: Tubbercurry , Co Sligo

PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are all sorts of variables of course but that is about the amount which would see me through until next year's comes in.
If you manage to get ahead of yourself, which I rarely can, you'll find that it improves if well seasoned, much like timber.
Burning logs and turf together gives a good result. You get more heat than from turf alone and don't have to tend to it as often as you would when burning logs alone.
ATB

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