Tips on planning for and installing synthetic turf
There are those parts of the garden or lawn in which, no matter how hard you try; natural grass will simply not grow. There are also times when you want your lawn to look awesome, but you do not have the time nor the energy to manage natural grass. The beauty of artificial turf
is that it looks natural, is evergreen and just perfect for the outdoors regardless of the season. Here are some tips that will help you plan for and install synthetic turf to create an exceptional yard.
Measuring the available space
The first tip is having a precise idea of the exact area that you want cover. Take measurements of the lawn area’s length and width. If you have an irregularly shape, work out how you will factor in all the corners and nooks into the final calculation of the area that will be covered by the lawn. This will allow you to purchase the correct amount of grass including wastage.
Getting the ground flat
Next step is to make sure that the ground where you want to lay your turf is reasonably flat, it can be on a slight incline but certainly not full of divots and undulations. If you are unable to handle the leveling on your own, ask a landscaper to help you with the process. An uneven base will result in an unsightly looking lawn and possibly trip hazards down the track which will be dangerous.
Rolling out the turf
Artificial grass is manufactured in rolls, rather like carpet, so once you have completed your base roll out your grass ensuring all pieces to be secured are laid with the pile facing the same direction. Leave the grass slightly overlapping the perimeters as this will be cut in once the seams have been completed. Cut around any trees etc. you may have in your area before joining and securing the grass. Once your grass is in position be careful not to move it prior to completing your seams.
Joining the turf
The artificial turf is joined with either an adhesive strip or seaming tape and outdoor artificial grass adhesives. The more tape you have under each seam the more adhesion you will have in your joint and the more secure it will be. Keep the backing from each side of the seam approximately 5mm, or the width of a stitch, apart. Again, double check and ensure that all of your pile is running in the same direction before finally closing the seam over the joining tape and rolling it with a carpet roller. Cut in the perimeters and secure with grass pins or the like.
Protecting the turf and making it look more realistic
After the turf is down, the next step is adding the in-fill and preparing the grass for use. Most manufacturers recommend the addition of kiln-dried sand as in-fill, the amount per m2 will depend on the pile height and stitch rate of the grass. The in-fill will settle the grass underfoot and keep it in place as well as acting as a cooling agent. Use a stiff broom to spread the in-fill all over the grass and make sure that the sand is evenly swept into the pile over the entire lawn.
Tips to keep the turf looking great
Installation is just one part of the process of dealing with artificial turf, maintenance of the turf is important as well. If you want it to look its best for a long time, take note of the following;
Raking and brushing: you should brush your artificial turf regularly to keep the pile erect and looking as natural as possible. While it takes a lot of foot traffic to flatten the grass, there are areas near pathways and doors that will require more attention than the general lawn. Ensure you have a good stiff yard broom or wide-headed plastic rake to use for ‘fluffing up’ your grass from time to time. If you can, avoid placing heavy objects on the grass, but if these are a necessity then move them around regularly to prevent crushing the pile.
Keeping your grass clean: another maintenance process that you cannot ignore is the occasional dust relieving rinse. Rain is probably the best natural cleanser that there is for your turf, however, during extended dry periods, you may need to hose down the grass to clean it. Artificial turf is awesome for people with pets because it tolerates urine and solid waste better than natural grass. The only problem is that if you leave it there for a long time, bacteria may start growing, which will ruin the turf and create a health hazard. Simply hosing down the grass will resolve the problem, whilst doing so though, make sure not to disturb the in-fill with too much water pressure.
Weed control: It sounds weird that artificial grass and weed could appear in the same sentence, but this is a problem that does occur, although not as significant as when you have a natural lawn. Most common places for weeds to sprout are through the drainage holes and around the edges of the grass where there always tend to be a few hidden gaps. Use standard retail weed killers, spray, do not pluck immediately, wait for the weed to go brown then remove by hand.
These are just a few tips that will help you install and look after your grass and keep it in pristine condition so that it can serve you for longer and make your lawn the envy of the neighborhood.