Turf from A-Z


Introduction to Turf

Turf is a range of grass species that are used throughout various parks and homes around the world as an aestheticall y pleasing and useful addition to a landscape. Turf; provides a low cost surface for outdoor sport and leisure activities, a cost effective safety cushio n against impact injury, opportunities for improving the mental health of people in urban areas, assists in controlling dust and soil erosion, increases the ground water recharge and lowers the fire hazard for surrounding areas. The incorporation of turf into a landscaped area offers significant benefits.

Turf farming incorporates the production of large areas of various turfgrass species to be harvested for use in home and community landscapes. The three major turfgrass varieties under production in south east Queensland are Queensland Blue Couch (Digitaria didactyla), Green Couch (Cynodon dactylon) and Buffalo Grass (Stenotaprum secundatum). The popularity and the unique characteristics (which is explained in depth in the turfgrass variety section) are the reasons that Coastal Turf produce these three turfgrass varieties.

Rundown on QLD Turf Industry

The Queensland turf industry is comprised of 152 turf farming businesses, the second largest behind New South Wales (155 turf farmers). The total area under turf production in Queensland is estimated to be 2520 hectares. The turf industry is classified by the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (QDPI & F) as part of the Lifestyle Horticulture industry.

The lifestyle horticulture industry is comprised of businesses involved in the production of non-food horticulture products that include landscaping, golf courses, parks and gardens, cut flowers and nurseries. The lifestyle horticulture industry is ranked third in the list of industry economical importance within the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries portfolio with an annual value of $1.42 billion, ahead of the more known and recognized sugar ($720 million/year), cereal ($505 million/year) and cotton ($315 million/year) industries (DPI&F, 2004; qtpa, 2004).

The turf industry is a fundamental sector of lifestyle horticulture as it supplies an essential link in the supply and demand chain that creates the lifestyle horticulture industry.

Turf Harvesting

Turf is harvested using specialised harvesters that cut the sides and underneath of the turf creating a mat. The mat is then cut with a guillotine at a specified length (usually 1.82m) creating either rolls or slabs of turf.

Harvesting is done with either a small ‘sod cutter’ or a turf harvester that is attached to the side of a tractor. The machine cuts the underneath and the sides of the established turf to create a mat of turf; the mat is then cut by a guillotine at a designated length, it then travels up a conveyor belt to workers on the back of the tractor that stacks the rolls or slabs onto pallets. The photographs below display the two turf harvesting machines.


Photograph of a sod cutter turf harvester
Photograph of a turf harvester attached to a tractor

Turf Production