If you're not fond of the cost and effort required for lawn maintenance, fake grass may be for you. Unlike the prickly, plastic versions of the past, today's synthetic lawns look and feel more like natural grass. A do-it-yourselfer with the assistance of one or two friends can easily complete the process of laying a synthetic lawn. A full day should be set aside to finish the project, particularly if the lawn area is large. Heavy lifting will be necessary, so a back brace and protective gloves are advised. Your reward will be a beautiful, low-maintenance outdoor space where you can enjoy moments spent with family and friends, rather than mowing the lawn.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Chalk-line (or wooden stakes and heavy string)
- Shovel or sod cutter
- Plate tamp
- Crushed rock (granite)
- Roller compactor
- Artificial grass
- Seam tape
- Outdoor-use epoxy adhesive
- Carpet blade cutter
- Fine sand
- Garden spreader
- Industrial broom (natural bristles)
- Landscaping nails
Outline or delineate the area you want to cover with synthetic grass using either a chalk-line or wooden stakes and heavy string.
Remove the sod with either a shovel (for small areas) or a sod cutter (for a larger space). Eliminate any stones, rocks, sticks or debris that prevent the underlying soil from being even. Seal any irrigation system outlets by capping them off.
Use a plate tamp to make the ground as level as possible. Add a layer of crushed stone to the bare soil. Employ a roller compactor to compress the stone against the soil.
Unroll the artificial grass over the compressed layer of stone, being sure to smooth out any wrinkles. Use seam tape on the underside of the artificial grass to connect panels. Use a carpet blade cutter to trim away any excess artificial grass for a uniform look.
Fill a garden spreader with sand and disperse the sand by rolling the spreader over the newly laid lawn. Brush the sand thoroughly into the "grass" fibers of the lawn with an industrial broom, then dampen the sand with a gardening hose to help anchor the artificial grass to the base layer. Finish by placing landscaping nails at intervals of every two inches around the perimeter.
Tips and warnings
- Epoxy adhesive can be used to further secure the new lawn; it also serves to attach synthetic grass to cement. Allow for ample space around trees and flower beds when laying synthetic lawn. Remember that these features will still need to be watered, fertilized and maintained. If a weed barrier is needed for the base layer, it should be applied before the crushed stone is added.
- Try to lay each panel of synthetic grass so that the blades of grass appear to be going in the same direction. The result will look less natural if this detail is ignored. The initial top layer of sand will continue to compact after installation, possibly leading to uneven areas, so an additional final layer should be added to finish the job.
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