The ground is prepared, the weather is set fair and you're ready to lay turf. But how much turf do you actually need to order? For a uniform, straight-edged site, it will be a simple matter of measuring the length by the width and multiplying the two figures together to give a total area.

If the area to be covered is not uniform, then basic geometry is going to have to be applied to calculate the total amount of turf require. Start by splitting the site into the largest square or rectangle to produce an area, which can be conveniently measured. The remaining shapes can then be measured carefully before being added together to produce a final total. Up to the mid 1990s, it would have been common practice to measure the area in square yards, today, we have moved towards a standard turf size of 1square metre, helping to meet our legal obligation to supply and invoice turf in metric measurements.

Shrinkage and wastage dictates that the actual quantity of turf ordered should, in face be between 5% and 10% more than the measured area. In any case, it is wise to always order a little more than is needed, as it may be impossible to obtain turf the same day as it is usually cut to order. Finally, never order fresh turf before it is needed - it has a short shelf life especially during the summer months. If the weather is hot, place the turf in the shade until needed and lay within 24 hours of receipt for best results. Water the turf after laying - it must not be allowed to dry out.