Wednesday, 25 May 2016 13:06:22 Europe/London

How to measure an odd shaped lawn

Measuring an odd shaped lawn

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If every lawn were either rectangular or circular, calculating how much turf to buy would always be easy.  I don’t know about you, but I like my garden to be like Mother Nature - curvy. 

If I were designing a garden I would have the sort of lawn that meanders between beds and borders.  I would have borders around the edge and I’d have an island bed or two in the middle.  Then I’d look at the plan and wonder how to calculate the amount of turf I’d need.

How to calculate turf requirements for an odd shaped lawn

The easiest way, but perhaps not the quickest, would be to draw a scale plan of the garden.  Use squared paper and scale it so that one square = 1 square metre.  Then count the squares and add on an extra 5 or 10 percent to allow for trimmings and last-minute design tweaks.

Remember 1 square metre = 1 roll of turf.  At least that’s simple

Another way would be to divide the lawn up into roughly geographic shapes and calculate each shape separately.

Here are three examples of odd shaped lawns that I found on Pinterest

Figure-of-eight shaped lawn

 beautiful garden with a figure of 8 shaped lawn


This curvy lawn looks like two circles to me with a bite taken out of the bottom one. 

I would measure the diameter of each circle and use the formula below to calculate the area of each one, then add them together.  I would order enough turf to cover the “bite” and that would be my allowance for trimming.


Rugby-ball shaped lawn

rugby-ball shaped lawn with curved edges


In this lawn I can see a semi-circle at the far end ( work it out as if it were a full circle then divide the answer by 2);  two triangles in the middle; a third triangle nearest the camera.


curvy triangle

triangular lawn with wavy edge in a lovely garden

Ignoring the curves by the path – this is a triangle

Irregular shaped lawn

irregular shaped lawn with curves and corners

This is a challenge!  I think I’d look at it as a small rectangle in the distance and a larger rectangle for the main lawn – the curves on either side would cancel each other out – I think!  How would you tackle it?


Doing the maths

Here are the formulae for working out areas – remember, when measuring for turf, always measure in metres.  That way it’s easy to work out how many rolls to buy – 1 roll = 1 square metre.

mathematical formulas for area calculation

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