Were you ever in a sports stadium and wondered how all this grass looked so perfect? We are here to reveal its secret! This was artificial grass! It is commonly used for sport applications, outside of commercial properties, or you could even find it in your neighbour’s yard! Keep on reading to discover what artificial grass is, its advantages and all the ways to lay it yourself!
Table of Contents
- What is artificial lawn grass?
- Why consider it, and what are its advantages?
- What do you need to do to prepare your soil?
- What to do before ordering your new artificial grass
- How to lay artificial grass: All the steps
- How to lay artificial grass on concrete or paving slabs
- How to maintain your artificial grass properly?
What is artificial lawn grass?
Often known as fake grass or artificial turf, artificial grass is a surface of synthetic fibres -often polypropylene or polyethene- made to look and feel like natural grass. It is constructed in the same way that carpet is made, its blades are green and come in different pile heights.
Quality artificial grass consists of several layers, including:
- Two or three drainage layers
- Infill made from substances like recycled rubber tires or natural cork
- There is the option of having a brown colour in some places to mimic the look of natural dead grass
In certain parts of the country, it is more common to have synthetic grass installed rather than natural grass on fields. However, it is now being used for residential and commercial landscaping as well.
Why consider it, and what are its advantages?
There are lots of benefits of artificial grass, aside from the obvious aesthetics. It is a brilliant and suitable solution for your lawn and has several advantages that make it more convenient for the owner.
- Fake grass looks good all the time and in all types of weather. Quick-drying, UV-protected and weather-proof, it will continue to stay green, neat, tidy, and look good all year round, whatever the weather. Also, in sports, the weather will not delay players from using the turf.
- It is much more convenient for the owners, especially if they have a busy lifestyle because it does not require much effort and maintenance. You don’t have to mow, fertilise and water it like real grass, which means more time for you to relax and enjoy your garden. It is excellent for those who struggle with mobility, older and disabled people. This is why artificial grass is perfect for use in care homes and retirement facilities. Also, not using a lawnmower reduces air pollution, making your lawn better for the environment.
- It has lower maintenance costs over its entire lifespan. This is because natural grass becomes more expensive when adding garden equipment, fertilisers, lawn shears, hoses, water, strimmers, rakes, weed killers, lawnmowers and grass feed required to maintain it.
- It is pet-friendly. Artificial turfs are ideal for pets and can be easily cleaned using a garden hose and mild detergent. Natural lawns are affected by ammonia, found in urine, with distinct browning patches and bald spots. You won’t have to worry about it with turf. It also can’t be dug up and spoiled by pets as natural grass can, so it will stay smart even if you have cats and dogs. Plus, they love to play on it as much as natural grass!
- You can save water with artificial grass since it does not need to be watered. Reducing water usage is good both for the environment and your watering bill!
- Due to the materials it is made from, artificial grass stays pest-free and provides a safe play-area for children. It is mess-free, soft and cushioned and requires no chemicals or pesticides. This is why many schools have installed artificial grass to create a safe and clean environment for kids to play and learn in an outdoor classroom.
- Artificial grass is mud-free so that you can look forward to no more muddy footprints and muddy patches. The sublayer required to install synthetic grass acts as a barrier for ground soil, making it impossible for muddy puddles to congregate on your lawn. It also stops our furry friends from digging mud holes and walking paw prints into the house.
- Do you want to keep your white clothes white? Artificial grass is fully synthetic, which means no more grass-stained clothing to contend with.
- Artificial grass is perfect for allergies and hay fever sufferers, thanks to a zero pollen count.
- It is versatile and has multiple uses, even in a small area. Aside from the standard lawn replacement or yard, decking and terrace covering, artificial grass are perfect for enhancing areas such as dog runs, pools, offices, balconies, events, roofs, and play areas. It also offers a wide choice of colours, pile, length, density, texture, yarn, and design options to suit your style and needs.
What do you need to do to prepare your soil?
So, you’ve finally decided to install a fake lawn in your garden. Are you wondering how to prepare your garden for the grass? Our step-by-step guide will help you get ready for installation and make the process as seamless as possible. It’s easier than you think!
1. Remove old grass from the garden
If you have natural grass in your garden, remember to remove any existing turf before the installation process. You can use a spade, or if you have a larger area, you’ll need to get hold of a turf cutter. You should entirely remove all grass and other plants. Need an extra tip? Spray areas with a glyphosate-based total weed eradicator about two weeks before the installation. This will make sure that all the unwanted plants are dead at the roots.
2. Clear up
Besides old pieces of grass and bushes, you should also clear and store away toys, rubbish, rocks, plants and flowerpots.
3. Dig the soil out
After having watered the soil, especially when you have a hard surface, remember to dig it out to around 5 – 10cm depth to account for your new synthetic lawn’s height.
4. Edge and base layer
Level the ground, break up clods, cut off roots and remove debris and pebbles. Take out any uneven parts which would not be attractive after the turf has been laid and fill in holes to obtain a flat surface or one with gentle contours. After that, fill 10 cm of hardcore/aggregate to provide a solid but porous base layer.
5. Lay sharp sand
Once you have removed your old turf, cleared the area, added a timber edge and laid your first base, the next step is to lay out a batch of sharp sand using a shovel or sand spreader. Make sure it’s levelled using a heavy hammer, builder’s plank or vibrating plate compactor, so it’s compacted and smooth. The smoother it is, the better the rolls of artificial grass will lay.
Note: 1 cubic bulk bag of sand should cover between 20/25 square metres & For best results; the sand sub-base should be laid to 10/15mm in thickness.
6. Add a protective layer
After compacting the aggregate, add a protective layer of weed membrane to stop wildflowers and weeds from growing up through the new turf and damaging it.
You’re now ready for your artificial grass installation! Keep on reading to find a step by step guide of how to lay your new lawn!
What to do before ordering your new artificial grass
1. Measure the area
First, work out the width and length of the area you want to cover with artificial grass, considering any joins you may need to have. Keep in mind that most artificial grass rolls are supplied in metre lengths with a width of 2m or 4m and up to a length of 25m on a single roll.
2. Envision the way of laying
Think about the most efficient way of laying your new artificial grass, ensuring the fibre pile all face the same direction for the best quality finish and the most realistic appearance for your garden.
3. Add up the total length of the joins
The length of the join between sections determines the size of the jointing tape needed. An adhesive tube is required for every three metres of tape, so make sure to calculate how much adhesive will be necessary to install your new artificial grass surface. Synthetic turf must be laid correctly to continue reaping the benefits for many years to come.
4. Place your order for your new artificial grass
Don’t forget to include all the accessories you require to ensure a well-seated finish.
How to lay artificial grass: All the steps
You now have all you need and want to know how to install your artificial grass! Follow these DIY steps to ensure more than a satisfactory result for your lush-looking lawn!
1. Roll out your underlay and grass
First, roll out your grass underlay and on top of that your artificial grass. Remember, your grass has a pile direction, so it will all need to face the same way if you have two or more pieces of grass. If you are installing a performance pad, put this down in between the underlay and grass layer.
2. Let the grass settle
It’s important not to rush this process. Roll out the artificial grass and then leave it for 3 hours minimum and ideally for 24 hours. This allows any creases to fall out and will stop the grass from wrinkling or creasing.
3. Join the pieces together (if needed)
To compose the joins of your grass, use high-quality outdoor jointing tape and glue. Lay the tape (shiny side down) and apply the adhesive before pulling the grass edges together. After that, apply some weight to them with plant pots, stones or other heavy materials.
4. Trim excess lawn and create the perfect edge
After the settling process is complete, cut and trim the artificial grass neatly around the perimeter edges using a sharp craft knife. Be careful and measure twice as you’ll only get to perform the cut once. Otherwise, you run the risk of cutting too much from your new grass.
5. Pin down the artificial turf
Pin down the synthetic turf using landscaping pins. If you have a timber frame, you need to utilise flat-headed galvanised nails.
6. Brush the grass up and enjoy
Brush against the pile to bring the grass fibres upright. Spread kiln sand across your lawn and brush it gently into the carpet with a stiff-bristled (non-metal) brush. It’s important not to apply all the sand at once and lay it when the artificial grass and weather are dry. Then sit back and relax on your new synthetic grass lawn!
How to lay artificial grass on concrete or paving slabs
1. Measure your area
Work out the width and length of the area you want to cover with artificial grass, considering any joins you may need to have.
2. Clear the concrete area
When installing and laying artificial grass on concrete, brush and clean the concrete area. It is essential to remove all debris to know if the surface is evenly levelled enough to lay the concrete surface’s artificial grass.
3. Roll out your performance pad
When laying artificial grass on concrete, we recommend using a Performance Pad. Roll this out onto the area to be covered and join with glue and joining tape.
4. Lay the turf
Roll out your turf onto the area you wish to cover. Leave your fake turf to settle for around three hours, which will prevent any wrinkling.
5. Make any joins
If you need to make any joins, use quality tape and glue. If you fit artificial grass on a wooden surface, such as decking, use a combination of adhesive and carpet tacks.
6. Trim the edges
After leaving your turf to settle, cut it using a sharp Stanley knife and be careful to leave a perfect edge!
7. Secure your grass
- One way to secure your synthetic turf is to dot and dab adhesive to the solid base and the grass’s back.
- The second option is to loose-lay your grass and weigh down with garden accessories, such as furniture or plant pots, giving a more decorative look.
How to maintain your artificial grass properly?
One of the most appealing synthetic turf features is that it does not require the care and maintenance of a natural grass lawn. However, this does not mean that fake turf is entirely maintenance-free. To keep your synthetic grass looking its best and to get the most enjoyment out of your investment, you will need to perform a bit of regular cleaning and maintenance. If you’re ready to learn more about taking care of your synthetic turf, read on for some tips.
Brush, brush, brush
Artificial lawns are laid with a sand infill that gives the turf the weight it needs to stay in place and provides the necessary structure to make the filaments look like an organic grass lawn. Foot traffic, weather, and day-to-day wear can lead your lawn to have a more flat, one-dimensional look. If you want to maintain your turf’s structure, you should regularly reposition the sand and blades with regular brushing, using a natural bristle broom. It will also help keep fibres straight and even, making for a long-lasting and healthy-looking lawn. Avoid using stiff brushes as they can tear at your artificial grass creating unsightly rips and holes. You can also remove leaves and other dirt with a leaf rake or leaf blower.
Extra tip: When you first lay your turf, you should wait 8-12 weeks before brushing to let the sand and turf settle properly. Once the turf is fully settled, you can begin brushing every 3-4 weeks to keep the blades of grass upright.
Control weeds and debris
Unwanted weeds are limited in turf lawns because of the film backing on turf rolls that allow water drainage. While this is very effective at suppressing the growth of anything underneath your turf’s surface, a few stubborn weeds will make their way through every once in a while.
Should you deal with these pesky intruders the same way you would with organic lawns? No way! Pulling up weeds by hand isn’t an option here unless you want to uproot everything and ruin your yard. What is the best way? Use a geotextile weed killer to tackle the root of the problem and ensure that weeds don’t resurface! Make sure that you use a water-based herbicide to protect the integrity of the synthetic turf.
Dirt, water and other substances cannot go through the synthetic fibres of turf. This is why cleaning your turf is necessary. You should combine hot water and soap in a bucket to clean stains from spills or even animal waste and use a sponge to spot-treat stains.
Bonus tips for maintaining an artificial lawn
- Keep motorised vehicles or anything heavy off the artificial grass such as cars, large garden tools or electric scooters, etc.
- Avoid gum and other sticky substances on your lawn.
- Remove any dog faeces as soon as possible by hosing down the area and gently brushing if required.
- Hose down the whole lawn to flush out residues during dry periods.
- Use hard chemicals like bleach on your lawn.
- Have any combustible heat sources on your lawn such as cigarettes, firepits, grills, or fireworks.
- Let sharp objects like pointy furniture legs on your turf.
- Let your dog dig up the surface or pull at the edges.
More and more people are going for synthetic grass in their gardens because they require minimal upkeep. If you do opt for artificial grass, installation is the key to its longevity. If it isn’t laid correctly, it could look ropey quite quickly. With our guide, you won’t have to worry about it. But don’t forget! Synthetic turf is a low-maintenance alternative to traditional grass lawns, but that doesn’t mean it’s NO maintenance. Getting a turf lawn is a huge investment, but you can protect and maximise that investment by following the simple maintenance tips listed above. Ready for your new lawn? Next project: lean how to hide a drain in the garden in smart ways