DIY – Artificial Grass

Artificial Grass – 10 Steps to Preparing Your Garden for Installation

As with most major changes around the house; preparation is everything, particularly when it comes to installing artificial grass. You want a new garden that looks flawless.

artificial grass design

Here are 10 steps to help you prepare your garden soil for installation of artificial grass. These steps include measuring your prospective lawn area, determining your soil or ground conditions and finally removing your existing garden or grass areas.

Let’s start with the materials you will need to get the job done properly.

DIY Artificial Grass Project:

  1. artificial grass
  2. tape measure
  3. wheel barrow
  4. level
  5. sand, crushed stones or grit
  6. shock-absorbent material (optional)
  7. silica sand
  8. lawn seed spreader (for silica sand)
  9. spade or turf cutter
  10. weed-suppressing membrane
  11. utility knife
  12. piece of wood or flat board
  13. plank of wood
  14. nails
  15. hammer
  16. coarse broom

Now, let’s move on to the actual process.

1. Measuring Your New Garden Area

Begin by marking off the new, or prospective, lawn area. You can do this a number of ways; use sand or even spray paint, as long as it clearly marks out the area and won’t move. Make sure you add 100mm over each edge to help cover the outer timber border.

measure area

Most artificial grasses can be supplied in 2 metre and 4 metre wide rolls; so its important to measure accurately, otherwise you could easily miscalculate and purchase more or less artificial grass than you need.

In many cases, a timber frame can help you to create a lawn area to contain your synthetic turf. Treated timber is ideal. Make sure the perimeter is compacted and below the timber edging by 2.5 cm.

2. Drainage + Stable Ground Conditions

Poor drainage can easily destroy your artificial lawn; so this step is vital.

If you believe you have poor drainage create adequate drainage by installing a satisfactory base.

preparing lawn for synthetic grass

You can construct a base or sub-surface, using a porous material and a slight fall to accommodate potential drainage issues. A ratio of 1:200 works well. Infill the perimeter with sharp sand and level using a rake. Fill with sand until its level to the top of the timber edging. Then compact again.

If you have existing paving slabs, this next piece of advice is for you; covering existing paving slabs is not an ideal solution. Unfortunately, over time, your lawn will take the pattern of the paving slabs.

All slabs should be removed. If this is an expensive or difficult job, consider covering the slabs with a very thick layer of coarse sand.

If you are building your artificial lawn from scratch; create a base from unbound compacted aggregate stone. If you have an existing unbound (loose) surface, which drains well, and is stable and level, use this as your base. If the surface is rough, cover and level it with thick course sand prior to laying the grass. This will give you a smooth flat final finish.

Laying artificial grass directly onto an existing lawn, even when drainage is satisfactory, is not recommended.

As the underlying natural grass dies off, root decay, often leaving an even layer. We always recommend removing grass, roots and compacted soil to give you a more professional and more natural looking result.

3. Old Grass Removal

You can remove your old grass either by hand or you can hire a turf cutter, which will help you save time and hours of hard work. Dig out soil so your artificial turf can sit 1.5cm above any edging.

grass removal

Remove large or protruding stones, then install any necessary drainage, and compact the soil using a vibrating plate. You are now ready to install your artificial lawn.

4. Reducing Weeds in Your New Grass

There’s a myth that once you install synthetic grass, your weeding problems will totally disappear. Its true that artificial grass will drastically reduce the number of weeds in your new lawn; especially if you follow this next step. But without this step, and ongoing maintenance, weeds can still appear.

compact soil

A great preventative measure, reducing weeds through your artificial grass, is to place weed suppressing sheets over the area, after cutting it into shape. This membrane sheet will save you maintenance time and energy and is worth the investment.

5. Layer With Sand

By applying a thin aggregate layer of sand or crushed stone over the membrane, and then compacting it, you will create a firm base, with sufficient drainage, to support your artificial grass structure.

Add on top 1-2 cm layer of sharp sand. Again, compact the sand, level it and smooth out the surface.

6. Fitting Your grass

To avoid your grass from moving, and to create a more natural look, line up the grass with a corner or straight edge. Pull the artificial turf tightly into one corner. This will help you to roll out the grass squarely.

add sand to artificial grass

7. Cutting Your Turf Into Shape

Once the synthetic grass is in position, covering your lawn area, cut along the edges, using a utility knife, bubble level or brick edge as a guide.

8. Nail Synthetic Grass

When you are happy with the shape and size of the grass, secure it into place, starting with each corner using nails every 30cm along each perimeter.

9. Silica Sand Layer

Using a spreader, apply a thin even layer of silica sand on to the turf. This makes the grass look more natural and prevents it from shifting.

hire bobcat and truck from us

10. Brush Your Artificial Grass

Brush silica sand over the grass with a coarse broom. This prevents the sand being blown away and again, gives your grass a more natural look.

If you would like us to quote on removing your old grass and installing your artificial grass, please contact us for a free quote.

If you would prefer to do the job yourself, we have a truck and bobcat for hire that can make the job easier. It’s not as expensive as you might think.

CALL US FOR A QUOTE TODAY ON (08) 7444 4848!