Brisbane’s biggest lawn

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It’s Brisbane’s biggest lawn, an epic stretch of grass that would cover more than 200 Suncorp Stadiums and swallowed up nearly 500 Olympic swimming pools worth of recycled water.

Tinamba Turf general manager Hugo Struss said getting the right grass to surround Brisbane Airport’s new $1.3 billion runway provided some big challenges.

Among them was finding a grass which couldn’t only withstand the salt spray off Moreton Bay, but would also prevent the possibility of birdstrikes.

Hugo Struss from Tinamba Turf checks how the grass is growing at Brisbane Airport’s second runway. Picture: Claudia Baxter
Hugo Struss from Tinamba Turf checks how the grass is growing at Brisbane Airport’s second runway. Picture: Claudia Baxter

“A big thing was animals, and something that seeded the least of any other varieties,” Mr Struss said.

“They’re really looking for it to have enough anchor to stop any sediment movement around jet engines,” he said.

They picked Grand Prix, a hardy, aggressive grass variety that fit the bill.

Hugo Struss says the Gran Prix variety of grass was chosen as it seeded the least of other varieties and would therefore not attract birds. Picture: Claudia Baxter)
Hugo Struss says the Gran Prix variety of grass was chosen as it seeded the least of other varieties and would therefore not attract birds. Picture: Claudia Baxter)

The job of growing Grand Prix takes four months and 16 megalitres of water.

“It would be one of the largest commercial jobs out there,” he said.

Runway project director Paul Coughlan said the grass had been sown using an innovative “stolonisation” system.

  • Deep water once per week is the best, rather than several lighter waterings a week.
  • Don’t overfertilise, especially in drought, as it will stress the plant.
  • Regular mowing (once a week) will keep the grass healthier.

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