The first step is to prepare the ground and make sure that it’s well compacted. This will help the grass blades to take root more easily. The next step is to decide on the correct material for your project. For a small garden, you might be able to get away with a cheaper variety of artificial grass installation but there are many situations where only synthetic turf made from polyethylene can give you what you need.
The maintenance requirements of each type vary so carefully consider what you want from your lawn before choosing which one would suit you best.
For an artificial lawn or green area, the base should consist of well-compacted soil mixed with sand or gravel and leveled off at right angles across the area using string lines as guides. At this stage, water should apply to start the settlement process.
After a few days, the water can be allowed to drain away and the area should be left for several weeks so that vegetation can start growing into the artificial grass fibers. This is important as it will help hold them down against strong winds which may dislodge them when they are still new.
Once this has happened, go over the surface with a fine lawn rake to level off any bumps (the artificial grass should already have some on its surface but if there are sharp edges these need removing). You might also want to use an infill material such as sand or crushed limestone chippings spread around 5cm-10cm (2in-4in) thick across the surface.
This will help the artificial turf to stay upright and actually adds a firmness that is similar to the feel of real grass if you walk barefoot on it.
After laying your new turf you can reduce possible weed growth by applying a weed-killer onto the surface, which may not be required at all once the new turf begins to grow into its surroundings and these weeds are smothered out as well.
Make sure you follow any recommendations fully before using any such products so as not to damage your lawn or cause unnecessary pollution in your local environment. Then finally, water regularly for about three weeks until your ‘new’ green area has become completely established.
The good thing about installing synthetic turf is that it’s a permanent solution offering a low-maintenance option for any garden; you can even use your artificial grass to install an indoor putting green or a full-sized cricket pitch! If you want more information about the process involved in this artificial grass installation, it’s best to speak with professional installers rather than do it yourself.
If the job has been done correctly then you will find that your new lawn requires little or no maintenance at all, but there are a few things you should keep in mind:
Adequately irrigate your synthetic grass regularly until it establishes and no longer needs water with nutrients added on. The amount of watering required will depend upon the conditions around the installation area – if growth starts to slow down when dry, apply fertilizer and water again.
Be Careful with Pets and Children
Synthetic turf looks just like any other lawn, so it can easily walk on by your kids or dogs. To help avoid this, consider putting up a collar of some type around the area where you want to install the artificial grass or place some large stones around it.
Follow-up maintenance is necessary at least once a year to remove weeds that may grow in between blades; they will appear as lines or bumps across your artificial lawn. If left unchecked they can become quite widespread and very difficult to remove later on.
When maintaining your lawn, keep out all chemicals such as herbicides (weed killers), insecticides, and fungicides. They will damage the fibers in the fake grass and cause discoloration. They can also cause potential harm to children and pets if they get into the artificial grass fibers so it’s best to keep them away from your lawn entirely.
Keep Your Synthetic Turf Clean
Depending on the location of your artificial grass, there is a certain amount of dirt or debris that will collect on it over time. Remove this by sweeping, raking, or vacuuming regularly with a strong hose pipe (if you have one). The area around your green space will need cleaning up as well; either use leaf-blowers for easy clearing out or remove any waste yourself at regular intervals.
Not all synthetic lawns are made equal! Some might come with their own backing (like sand) which you should leave in place until the area is completely free of sharp objects and debris, then remove the backing.
Make Sure You Water (And Feed) Your Artificial Grass Correctly
Too much water will cause the fibers to expand and this can lead to premature wearing of the turf; too little water results in browning of the synthetic tops which do not have their own roots for feeding. In addition, you should consider having compacted soil installed around the area where you plan to install artificial lawns as this makes it easier to plant without risking damage to your new grass by a spade or fork.
To help prevent algae growth from being an issue later on make sure that there are no leaves or other organic matter surrounding your artificial grass installation – they might contribute to heavy algae growth which could look unsightly.
A good idea is to rake the area lightly first, removing any leaves and then sprinkling a handful of high-phosphorus grass seed over the installation. Scatter it evenly around the lawn (you can use fertilizer here as well) and then roll the area lightly with a piece of wood or something similar – you will need firm ground for your new synthetic grass so compacting it makes perfect sense.
You should do this at least two weeks before installing artificial turf so that you have enough time to properly get rid of old grassroots from your way; once again, speak to professionals if you are unsure about doing this on your own.
The next thing you need to consider is how deep to set your infill; most professional installers will install infill at the same depth as your artificial grass (about 2-3 inches), but you might find that you want to set it in an inch or more. There are a lot of factors that affect this so again, you should check with professionals if possible; they will also advise on how much infill material is needed for your chosen area.
Once Everything Around Your Installation Is Just Right
Remove any excess dirt and debris from the area before laying down your artificial lawn. This ensures a better result overall and makes sure that there won’t be any sharp objects underneath the turf. You can then start installing sod by laying out strips across the installation area; once they’re in place, lightly compact them using small rubber mallets, your feet, or any other similar tool.
Next, lay the artificial turf on top – starting at one end of the strip and holding it in place with a couple of U-shaped plastic stakes; if you’re using PVC weaves (as opposed to another design), make sure that your carpet comes from two sides of the strips which will help keep them together.
Lastly, attach the end pieces by weaving them through the center in an S-shape pattern; this will hold everything tightly against the soil beneath so that there are no gaps for grassroots to grow later on.
Once that’s done, roll out some infill material evenly across all parts of your new fake lawn – be careful not to compact it too hard because doing so might cause the turf to wear out sooner than it should. Once that’s complete, simply just tidy up around the artificial grass installation area and you’re all set!
Arrange your artificial lawn so that water goes directly onto it; for example, if there is a large puddle nearby then divert it so that it doesn’t wash your grass away. You will have to leave the carpet alone like this for about three weeks before using any mechanical equipment or vehicles on it – once again make sure everything is arranging properly before you start planting!
Have fun with the artificial grass installation and if you keep these few tips in mind, you’ll get a great result with no troubles at all.