Artificial grass is great. It can give you that perfect, rolling green lawn all year around, with having to worry about the usual mud, mess and fuss of a real grass garden. No creepy crawlies, no mowing, no watering, no weeding, artificial grass takes care of it all.
But like a good garden or any good floor, you’ve got to know what you’re doing to get the best results. While installing artificial grass is relatively easy and shouldn’t be a problem for anyone with even the most basic DIY skills – even if you’re the kind of person who is baffled by IKEA furniture – these top tips will help ensure that the grass is always greener for you.
Clearing the Way for Laying Artificial Grass
Before you start laying artificial grass, you’ve got to make sure that your foundation is ready to go. Begin this step by removing all existing grass, weeds, and greenery away from your garden. Smooth out your soil and make sure you firm it thoroughly, making it as level as possible.
Loose, uneven soil will cause your artificial grass to feel uneven underfoot and may cause it to sink or lift later down the line.
For best results, add a layer of crushed rock or sand over the top of the soil, and compact it with a vibrating plate. A shovel or a level should do an adequate job for flattening your underlay, but who wants an ‘adequate’ garden?
To keep weeds and roots at bay and stop the risk of any pesky weeds pushing their way through your grass, lay a geotextile fabric layer on top of your underlay. This will still allow drainage through the artificial grass so rainwater and so on runs off easily, but it’ll also ensure that weeds and roots keep away, improving the longeity of your grass.
By this point, your garden should be free of all weeds, large rocks, and foliage.
Laying Artificial Grass
When rolling out your grass, make sure that the turf is the right size and correctly positioned, to minimize cuts, joins and waste. The more cuts and joins you make to your turf, the more likely it is to effect the overall quality of your new garden.
If you’ve got a lot of fixtures or plant beds in your garden, make sure you account for these ahead of time and get extra grass for wastage. You can cut the turf with a good knife or scissors to make room for anything you need the grass to move around, just take extra special care to make sure that you’ve got your measurements right before you cut. If you’re an inch or two short, your garden will suffer, and cutting a couple of inches of turf to fill in the gaps will look unnatural. As the saying goes, measure twice cut once!
It goes without saying that you should make sure that the grass runs the same way across all of your pieces of turf, otherwise you’ll have odd, mismatched tufts of grass that look very fake indeed.
Joining Your Artificial Grass
The more time and care you put into joining your strips of grass together, the better the overall result will be. Once more, double check that the pile runs in the same direction. Cut of the manufacturing edge strip – if present- and butt the two edges together. Fold them back, and position joining tape smooth side down, so that the edges of the grass meet down the centre of the tape.
Apply your adhesive in a zig zag motion to the rough side of the tape, allowing one cartridge for every three meters. Press the grass into the wet adhesive, and test the seam to make sure the joining process is successful. We can’t stress enough that extra time, care and attention here will make all the difference to the authenticity of your grass.
Finishing Touches to Laying Artificial Grass
Apply kiln dried sand to your new grass, and using a stiff broom, brush it vigorously against the grass carpet to encourage the bristles to sit up straight and stay straight, giving your pile a lush, realistic look. Make sure you brush it immediately after it’s been laid and before the grass gets wet.
Brush out the sand, and keep any leftover sand handy to brush up the pile in future if it ever needs another bout of TLC.
If required, additional fixing may be applied to the edges of the grass. You pin it with broad headed, galvanized nails, or it can be fixed with wooden pegs or timber edging boards to name a few options.