How To Lay Artificial Grass

How To Lay Artificial Grass

A Quick and easy-to-follow guide on how to lay artificial grass.

"I want to change my lawn but I don't know how to lay artificial grass - I've never done it before".
OK, so you've decided to convert and to lay artificial grass in your garden; congratulations! A very sensible choice for a number of reasons (which we have outlined in our blog posts). Laying astro turf (just another name for artificial grass) is not difficult so there's no reason to feel daunted; it is well within the ability of an average gardener or DIY person.

We are often asked how to lay artificial grass so have put a simple, helpful guide together.

In this guide, we'll cover the following topics:-

1. How to prepare the site prior to laying your new artificial grass.
2. Ensuring the site well-drained so your new synthetic lawn does not sit in puddles. (This applies only to gardens with heavy clay soils.)
3. How to lay artificial grass.

Your reasons for changing to artificial grass may be varied but in most cases they will fall into one (or more!) of the following:-

Fed up looking at a muddy/ poor lawn
Grass will not grow very well; site shaded/ too wet/ too dry/ sandy soil etc
Have a dog, don't want muddy feet across my carpets any more
Want somewhere safe and clean for my children to play
Hate mowing the lawn!
Rented house out, tenants won't mow the grass
Away from home a lot, need a low maintenance lawn.

How To Lay Artificial Grass - step by step. Preparing the site before laying your artificial lawn.

Step 1.

Whatever your particular reason, you will need to take up any existing grass/ turf/ lawn. A few simple and common garden tools will be required for this: a spade, a rake, a wheelbarrow would be helpful but not essential and some strong rubble sacks (any good DIY store will sell them). 
Start by marking out the area into manageable turf-sized pieces using the spade. Then start at one edge and slice the turf off and put it in the wheelbarrow or rubble sack. (If you have an area in the garden where you can dispose of the turf, great; if not, you'll probably need to take it to your local green waste recycling site.
Continue until you have lifted all the grass over the area to be replaced with artificial lawn. Aim to take about 2" of turf (or sod) off the area involved. If the soil is well-drained and not prone to sogginess, you can now move straight on to Step 2.

How To Lay Artificial Grass on heavy/ clay soils.

If the soil is heavy or clay and the area used to get very soggy when it was lawn (or it's a very high traffic area), you should take out about 6" of soil/ clay and cart away. Do not use this for the flower beds: it is too waterlogged and heavy. The idea here is make space for about 6" of screened, washed ballast as this will provide superb drainage as well as support. (You can have the sharp sand and ballast delivered in a 'dumpy bag' by your local builders' merchants.)

Step 2.
Laying Artificial Grass over Ordinary Soil Types.
Now you've cleared the old grass from the site, you can set about creating the boundaries for the new synthetic grass. We recommend using treated timber to form a frame around the site as this will contain the soil and give you something to fix the artificial grass onto in the final stage. Decking or 3" x 2" treated timber should be fine and this is available from your local builders' merchant or DIY store. If you happen to have a can of oil-based timber preserver/ creosote handy, I always think it's best to give it a dowsing for good measure.
Use site pegs (1" x 1" square timber) or roofing battens cut to length to peg your timber frame into place; hammer the pegs into the non-lawn side to contain the timber edging. 

Step 3.
(For poorly drained areas/ clay soil only. Back-fill the area with the ballast leaving about 1"-2" before the desired finished height of the grass.)

how to lay artificial grass

Next, using your rake, spread the sharp sand over the area. Trample in well, jump up and down, use a garden roller - whatever takes your fancy - but make sure the aggregate has properly settled. Re-dress with sharp sand to fill in any small hollows that have developed from tamping down.
Your sharp sand should now be level with the top of your timber frame borders; if it isn't, keep adding more sand and leveling until it is.

level the site with sharp sand as shown

Step 4.
How To Lay Your New Artificial Grass.
Position your roll of Touch of Grass artificial grass roughly over the site. Work out which way you want the 'pile' of the grass to run; I like to lay the grass so that from the house I look up the pile (the richer, darker direction). Leave the grass rolled out for 24 hours to relax. 
Having decided which way you are laying/ fixing your astro turf lawn, you can now proceed to fix grass to the timber frame using a staple gun preferably; if you don't have staple gun, use galvanised 2" nails making sure the heads do not puncture the backing. Trim the excess grass that overhangs the frame with a sharp knife such as a Stanley knife. And that's how to lay artificial grass!

laying a new artificial grass lawn

Step 5.
Stand back and admire your new lawn - which will never require cutting, fertilising or weedkiller. Artificial grass is very low maintenance, but it's not 'no maintenance' - to keep your new artificial lawn looking really smart use a moderately stiff broom and sweep off any debris such as fallen leaves, flowers etc.

We trust you have found this guide on how to lay artificial grass helpful, but should you have any questions at all we're here to help and advise. Please do not hesitate to ask us.

A Guide on How to Lay Artificial Grass by Touch of Grass, the UK's favourite online astro turf and synthetic grass supplier.