Brian Borrell Manager – Runaway Heights

“Runaway Heights One is a complex of 46 permanent units on an area of 1.7 hectares located at 601 Pine Ridge Road Biggera Waters. The lawns and gardens cover approximately half the area of the complex. This is a typical complex construction where the developer removed all the topsoil and then replaced approximately 50 to 75 mm of topsoil on the lawns and gardens over gravelly/clay soil which are typical of the soils in the Surfer Paradise area. A sample of these soils were tested prior to any treatments and revealed that the soil was acid with a PH of 4. This low PH reading was due to the type of soil and also the use of synthetic fertilizers over many years. In June 2007 Wormtec approached us to see if the Body Corp would allow a trial of their product on a small area of lawn. This was approved and the trial produced very good results with only 3 applications over 2 months. Based on this, the committee then approved a 3 year programme for all the lawns in the complex consisting of 7 applications in year one and 1 or 2 applications in the following 2 years. This work started in November 2007 with 2 applications in the first 4 weeks and then applications over the summer period as the weather and conditions allowed. To date 4 applications have been carried out. The results from soil testing have shown that both the Wormtec product including additives (seasol) and lime application have improved the soil PH from 4 to 6. In May 2008 we had several weeks of dry weather and the lawns that were not affected by tree roots were looking very healthy and much better than similar lawns in the adjacent complex. To help with the production of mulch to feed the organisms and soil we have mowed the lawns to a height of 60 mm and left the clippings to compost down onto the soil. Over the growing season we have only mowed the lawns half as many times as adjoining complex on similar soils. This is because we found that the grass roots had increased in length by approximately 20%. This indicated to us that the grass was putting a lot of effort into growing deeper roots in search of moisture and nutrients and not into the grass indicating that the soil was getting healthier. Overall the results to date show a great improvement in grass growth and appearance indicating to us that the soil correction is happening with the aid of Wormtec product. Wormtec have worked closely with us and the owners to achieve our long term programme of improving the lawns and gardens within the complex. They have continually monitored the progress of the applications and given advice and suggestions on various mixtures of their product to improve the soil, lawns and gardens.“