Measuring your lawn area
Measuring your lawn area

From a plan of your lawn area, calculate the area of lawn in square metres and add 3 percent more for error. Give your final turf requirement in square metres to your turf supplier.

Click here for a free online calculator: www.calculatorsoup.com/calculators/geometry-plane/geometricshapes.php

Or, to work it out yourself, follow the directions below.

Area of a square or rectangle:

In mathematics, an area is measured in square meters and is measured by multiplying length by width. For example, if your plot is 10 metres long and 5 metres wide then the area is (10 x 5) 50 square metres. Adding 3 percent for area and you will need to order 51.5 metres.

Area of oval or Odd Shaped areas:

If your area is an oval or an irregular shape then measure the longest section. This will be the length. For example, at its longest point you might measure 10 metres.

Because your area is an odd shape we need the average width.

Measure the width at five points along the length. Add up the 5 widths and then divide by 5.

For example, your 5 widths might be 3 metres, 2 metres 4 metres 6 metres and 1 metre. Add these together (3+2+4+6+1) and you get a combined width of 16 metres. Divide by 5 to get the average measurement because you took 5 readings. 16 divide by 5 is 3.2 metres. This is your average width.

Your area will be 10 metres multiplied by 3.2 metres, or 32 square metres. Add 3 percent for error and you will need to order 33 square metres of turf.

Area of a circle:

To lay a circle of lawn place a peg in the centre of the area. Attach long string and walk to where you would like your circle to end. Walk in a circle around the peg keeping the string taut. Make sure there are no obstacles. Measure the length of the string. This is called the radius.

If your string is 3 metres long then the radius of your circle is 3 metres long.

Area of a circle

To calculate the area of a circle you need to apply a formula using the radius:

Area = r x r x 3.14

If the radius is 3 metres, the area is 3 x 3 x 3.14, which is 28.26 sq metres.

Area of a right angle triangle:

Area of a right triangle

If your area of lawn is in the shape of a right angle triangle measure the base and the height. If the base is 3 metres and the height is 5 metres. The area will be base (hb) x height (ha) and divide by 2.  

In this example, you will need to order 7.5 square metres plus 3 percent for error which comes to 7.72 square metres.

Lawn installation
Lawn installation

Step 1: Measure and pre-order your turf in square metres adding 3 percent for error.

Step 2: Prepare your top soil. Mix soil, good compost and soil rejuvenates. Spade soil onto your plot about 3-4 inches deep. Good top soil is essential so that roots can penetrate as deep as possible into the soil, make use of nutrients in the soil and retain moisture.

Step 3: Grading. Rake and level out the area. Make sure there are no water traps where puddles will occur. Grade the area so that excess water can escape. Grade the edges so that the soil is about 1.5 inches below borders.

Step 4: Prepare the turf. Turf arrives from Macarthur Turf Farm freshly harvested. This means that it is cut per order, not ahead of time.  But to establish quickly, turf needs to be installed within 24 hours.

Remember turf is already rolled up. This means that there is moisture in the roll and no capacity for photosynthesis. So, if it is left on the pallet you may get a composting effect.

A good idea is to order an afternoon delivery so that you are ready to install early next morning. Or install as soon as it is delivered.

Don’t soak turf on the pallet, it is already moist. If it is going to be left overnight, a light sprinkle is fine. But the main thing is to install within 24 hours and you’ll have a great product.

Step 5: Lay the turf – put grass on the ground. Roll it gently out. Don’t grab the roll or tug it. Slide the roll. Cut using a linoleum knife or a sharp steak knife. Anything with a serrated edge will do.

It is important to keep the lawn tight as you lay. And stagger the end joins. This is so that holes won’t match up. Use off-cuts for your next starter to add to the staggering effect.

Don’t worry about laying the turf in a particular direction – it will all grow out. After the first mow you won’t know which way it was laid.

Watering
Watering

After installation:

To avoid stress, water your new lawn immediately. Freshly installed turf needs to be watered within 30 minutes of being rolled out and laid. So, don’t wait until the installation is complete. Use your watch and water in areas as you install. This is especially important in summer.

Turn water on for about 10 minutes. The grass needs light watering to start with. Then turn the water off and run the roller over it. This will press the turf down so that there is no air underneath the turf. Use a straight rolling pattern. Your roller should be about half full of water for weight. As you roll be careful not to move the turf. Freshly laid turf should not be disturbed.

About 2-3 hours after installation, go ahead and do a heavy water. Water for about 45 minutes and let the water soak into the grass. Give the turf a rest for about an hour and then turn on the water. You’re looking for about 6 inches of saturated soil before this process is complete. To get good, deep moisture, you may even need to continue watering into the next day. Turn on - let it soak, turn on - let it soak.

In the heat of summer you will need to water about 3-4 times a day for first 2 weeks. Each watering should last only about 20 minutes preferably during the day.

Keep this up and you won’t need to soak.

Young lawns:

Two weeks after installation your lawn will have received its first mow. Never let your young lawn completely dry out. Until it gets deep roots water you need to water it every day.

As your lawn matures and if rain is scarce you need to water in 2 hour sessions at least three times a month. A 2 hour session can be made up of 20 minute sessions over a day or two.

Mowing
Mowing

Freshly installed lawns:

Mow 14 days after installation. During days 1 to 13 you should be watering your lawn every day. It should be kept wet and should not be mown.

On day 13 stop watering and let the grass dry out for a full 24 hours.  If you have a particularly wet area, let the grass dry out for 48 hours.

Before mowing, set your mower on its highest setting - about 3 inches high. A new lawn should not be scalped. The rule is to cut only about 1/3 of blade height.

Herbicides and fertilisers
Herbicides and fertilisers

Herbicides:

It is best to contact your local garden centre because control from different herbicides can vary from year to year or location to location.

You can’t really judge the performance of a product or a specific rate of that product on one year’s experience. In any given year most herbicides will provide equivalent control at the correct use rate. This may not be the case over time.

Consider alternating active ingredients every two to three years to reduce the possibility of forming resistant populations.

Fertilisers:

Choosing a fertiliser is not just a matter of price.

Check with your local garden centre to help you work out how much fertiliser you should put on your lawn. They will also be able to help you choose which fertiliser is right for your lawn in your area.