Transforming your garden with a lush, low-maintenance artificial grass is easier than you might think. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of laying artificial grass, from selecting the right type to maintaining its pristine appearance. Let’s get started!
Getting Started with Artificial Grass
Artificial grass has come a long way in recent years, offering a realistic and durable alternative to natural turf. Not only does it stay green all year round, but it also requires minimal maintenance and is perfect for pet owners, families, and people with allergies.
Before embarking on your artificial grass journey, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the installation process. This will help you avoid common mistakes and ensure a professional-looking result that will stand the test of time.
Selecting the Right Artificial Grass for Your Space
Consider Your Needs
When choosing artificial grass, it’s important to consider your specific requirements. Do you need a hard-wearing surface for an active family or pets? Or are you looking for something more ornamental to create a stunning garden feature? Different grass types have varying levels of softness, pile height, and durability, so be sure to select one that best suits your needs.
Evaluate Quality and Realism
Not all artificial grass is created equal. When shopping for your perfect grass, pay attention to the quality and realism of the grass. Look for a high-density product with a mixture of green and brown fibres to mimic the appearance of natural grass. A higher stitch rate (the number of stitches per square metre) typically indicates better quality and durability.
Preparing the Ground: What to Lay Artificial Grass On Top Of
Clearing the Area
Before laying your artificial grass, you’ll need to clear the area of any existing lawn, vegetation, and debris. This will provide a clean slate for you to work with. If you’re laying the grass on soil or an uneven surface, you’ll need to excavate the area to a depth of approximately 75-100mm to make room for a sub-base layer.
Creating a Stable Base
To ensure a smooth, even surface for your artificial grass, you’ll need to install a sub-base layer. This is typically made of compacted MOT Type 1, which is a mixture of crushed stone and other materials. A well-compacted sub-base layer will provide stability and help with drainage, ensuring your artificial grass stays looking its best for years to come.
Rolling Out Your Artificial Grass: Proper Technique
Unrolling the Grass
Once your ground preparation is complete, it’s time to roll out your artificial grass. Start by unrolling the grass onto the prepared surface, making sure to leave a little extra around the edges for trimming later. To avoid creases or wrinkles, be sure to unroll the grass in the same direction that the fibres are pointing.
Letting the Grass Settle
It’s important to allow your artificial grass to settle for a few hours or even overnight before cutting and securing it in place. This will help the grass to “relax” and take on the shape of the underlying surface, making it easier to achieve a smooth, wrinkle-free finish.
How to Cut Artificial Grass: Achieving a Perfect Fit
Measuring and Marking
Once your grass has had time to settle, you can begin cutting it to fit your space. Use a measuring tape and a piece of chalk or a marker to mark the edges of your grass, ensuring you leave a small overlap to account for any inaccuracies in your measurements.
Cutting the Grass
To cut your artificial grass, use a sharp utility knife or heavy-duty scissors. Be sure to cut from the back side of the grass, following the markings you’ve made. Take your time and make multiple shallow cuts rather than trying to cut through the entire thickness in one go. This will help you achieve a cleaner, more accurate cut.
Joining Artificial Grass: Making Seamless Connections
Preparing the Seam
If you need to join two pieces of artificial grass together, it’s important to create a seamless connection to maintain a realistic appearance. Begin by aligning the edges of the two pieces, ensuring the pile direction is the same. Trim any excess along the seam, making sure the two edges are as close together as possible without overlapping.
Using Joining Tape and Adhesive
To join the pieces together, you’ll need artificial grass joining tape and adhesive. Lay the joining tape beneath the seam, with the shiny side facing down. Apply a generous layer of adhesive to the tape, and then carefully press the edges of the grass onto the adhesive. Use a heavy object or joiner’s board to apply pressure along the seam, ensuring a strong bond. Allow the adhesive to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Securing Your Artificial Grass: Anchoring it Down
Fixing the Edges
To prevent your artificial grass from lifting or shifting, it’s essential to secure it properly. Start by fixing the edges using ground pins or U-shaped nails. Space them evenly along the perimeter, making sure they’re driven through the grass and into the ground at a slight angle.
Securing the Middle
For larger grass or high-traffic areas, you may also need to secure the middle of your artificial grass. Use ground pins or U-shaped nails at regular intervals across the grass, ensuring they’re hidden beneath the grass fibres for a seamless appearance.
Adding the Finishing Touches: Brushing and Infill
Brushing Your Artificial Grass
Once your artificial grass is installed, use a stiff-bristled brush or power broom to “fluff” the fibres and help them stand upright. This will create a more natural, realistic appearance and improve the overall look of your grass.
In some cases, you may need to apply an infill material, such as kiln-dried sand, to your artificial grass. Infill helps to weigh down the grass, improve its stability, and maintain the upright position of the fibres. Spread the infill evenly across your grass, and then use a brush to work it into the grass fibres.
Maintaining Your Artificial Grass: Tips and Tricks
To keep your artificial grass looking its best, it’s important to clean it regularly. Remove leaves and debris with a leaf blower, broom, or rake, and use a hose or pressure washer to wash away dirt and stains.
Addressing Wear and Tear
Over time, your artificial grass may show signs of wear and tear. Regular brushing can help to keep the fibres standing upright and looking fresh, while patching or re-joining any damaged areas will prolong the life of your grass.
Troubleshooting Common Issues with Artificial Grass
If you’re experiencing drainage issues with your artificial grass, check that your sub-base layer is properly compacted and that you have a suitable weed membrane in place. You may also need to add additional drainage channels or improve the slope of your grass to promote better water flow.
If seams in your artificial grass begin to separate, you can repair them using the same joining tape and adhesive method described earlier. Be sure to remove any debris or dirt from the seam before applying the adhesive, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying times.
Laying artificial grass can seem like a daunting task, but with careful planning, preparation, and attention to detail, you can create beautiful, low-maintenance grass that will last for years to come. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to transforming your outdoor space into an inviting, evergreen oasis. So, grab your tools, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to enjoy the many benefits of artificial grass in your garden. Happy gardening!