Astro turf gardens, also referred to as artificial grass gardens, are becoming quite popular within residential and commercial areas. The high-quality synthetic fibers are made to look exactly like natural grass, so you can’t distinguish the astro turf garden from a natural lawn. This property of astro truf makes it an ideal choice for someone looking for a low-maintenance garden. The material is aesthetically pleasing, like real grass, beautifying your outdoor space, and even simulated balcony gardens.
If you have decided to make a switch to an artificial grass garden, you must be wondering how to lay astro turf for gardens. If that is so, there is no need to worry! We have composed a comprehensive guide that will help you learn the detailed know-how of installing artificial grass and its after-care instructions.
How to Lay Astro Turf for Gardens
The process of laying astro turf is grouped into a handful of sections. Let’s go over each of the clustered steps individually for understanding it better:
#1- Necessary Tools for Astro Turf Installation
Before you get started on the astro turf installation, you will need some tools to do the job right. Here are the essential tools to make the process much more comfortable to execute with a perfect finish:
- Sharp knife
- Small nails
- Turf cutter
- Measurement tape
- Lawn roller
- Joining tape (adhesive / non-adhesive)
- Artificial grass adhesive
- Soft bristle brush
#2- Preparing Your Garden for Astro Turf Installation
Once you have chosen the astro turf for your garden and have all the necessary tools to begin the work, you will have to prepare your garden for the artificial grass installation. This is how you can do it adequately:
Step 1: Measure Your Garden
The first step is to measure your garden precisely. This is to ensure you order the right amount of astro turf, geotextile membrane, and jointing materials for your garden. Measure your lawn several times to get the correct calculation. It will prevent you from getting more materials than you need and spending extra money on the excess stuff that would go to waste afterward.
Step 2 – Remove the Natural Grass
Now, you need to remove the existing natural grass altogether. Many people overlook this step and lay their astro turf directly onto the natural grass. This may not seem like a problem in the beginning. However, in the long term, you will see that your astro turf garden is getting uneven and bumpy.
The reason behind this is that when you leave the grass underneath, it ultimately dies because of the lack of sunlight and water. The decomposition procedure is never uniform, which ends up with an uneven surface that eventually affects the upper artificial grass.
You need a spade or turf cutter to dig deep down into your garden so you can extract all the extraneous materials into a skip. For example, the plant roots go way deeper than you might expect, which can create issues for your astro turf gardens if you don’t eliminate them from your garden beforehand.
If you want to be cost-effective, you can try selling your garden’s topsoil that you extracted in the local market nearby. Removing the natural grass will be a physically draining and tiring task, so make sure you’re taking some breaks and staying hydrated during this step.
Step 3 – Level Out the Ground
After you have removed the natural grass from your garden, it is time to level out the field using lawn rollers. Ensure there are no stones or bumps in the ground after you have smoothed the surface for the astro turf installation.
Leveling your garden once the artificial grass is installed will be much more challenging. That’s why experts who know how to lay astro turf for gardens advise people to apply this step before the artificial grass is installed.
Step 4 – Lay a Base of Granite Dust
An excellent year-round garden asks for a proper drainage system. For this, you can use granite dust to layer your garden with. You can use crushed stones or sharp sand, but it is always preferred to use more stones than dust to consolidate the garden.
For good drainage, apply a layer of approximately 40 mm granite dust. The best way to do that in the least time would be to start with one corner and place a layer of granite dust, measuring it with a ruler or measuring tape. After that, you can trust your eyes and do the rest of the garden. Don’t forget to level out the ground with a lawn roller in the end.
Step 5 – Lay Geotextile Membrane for Weed Control
Geotextile is a porous fabric used to provide better drainage and eliminate the threat of wild weed growth. Weed tends to grow in the smallest of cracks and crevices, so it would be best to integrate a layer of geotextile membrane that will stop the weeds from breaking out in your astro turf garden.
It is a relatively straightforward task as you will only need to unroll the fabric on top of the dust-covered ground. Once the sheet is down, you can pin the corners using small nails. The excess edges of the geotextile membrane should be cut with a sharp blade or a knife for styling it to the desired shape. This will also help you establish an outline or a stencil for the actual astro turf installation.
This step is not vital for your artificial grass garden. However, it would be best to go along with it as it will help you during the actual process and keep your astro turf garden to last as long as possible.
#3- Laying Astro Turf
At this point, take a break to appreciate your hard work and have a cup of tea to prepare yourself for the next final steps. After you have had your well-deserved rest, you can move on with the following points, instructing on how to lay astro turf for gardens:
Step 1 – Integrate the Astro Turf
This step requires a bit of planning. You will want to lay your astro turf in a way that it minimizes the cutting as much as possible.
You may also have to join two or more pieces of astro turf to create the required design. However, if you are to join different parts together, make sure the direction of grass strands are all in the same direction. Otherwise, your garden will look artificial and uneven.
Remember not to rush this step as it requires patience to lay the astro turf the way you want, especially if you are doing it the first time. Once you are done with this step, it is suggested to leave the artificial grass for the next twenty-four hours before you cut the edges for styling it.
The break will allow the uneven creases in the astro turf to smooth out. After that, you can stretch the grass, holding it from the edges and pin it down to the corners using small fixing pins or nails.
Step 2 – Trim the Excess Artificial Grass
Now that your astro turf is fixed on the ground without any crease, you can trim the edges and style it as desired. It would be best to use sharp blades or turf cutters to cut the sides smoothly.
Make sure to measure the sides repeatedly to get the right size for the edge cuts. Otherwise, you will be risking your garden’s looks making shorter cuts. Joining smaller astro turf offcuts to integrate into the mistaken areas is not a look you’ll want for your garden.
Step 3 – Make Neat Joints
When you placed the astro turf carpets in the same grass-direction, you automatically made it easier to make neater joints. Now, to secure the joints together so that they deliver a natural look, follow the given instructions accurately:
- Roll out the joining tape onto the grass and cut it to length from joint-to-joint.
- Fold back the astro turf edges that you want to join and place the adhesive tape underneath them such that it lies in the center.
- If you have a self-adhesive joining tape, you can peel off the sticker and fold the astro turf edges back into place.
- If you have a simple joining tape, make a zig-zag pattern of adhesive liquid from one end to another. Then fold the astro turf edges back into place to the wet adhesive tape and press down with hands.
- Once the grass is attached, use a soft bristle brush to ruffle out the joined grass cuts, blending them.
- Place a plank on top of the joined cuts and place something heavy on it. Leave it there until the adhesive is dry.
- Once dry, lift off the plank, and pin the astro turf cuts with small nails to secure them further.
This is the precise method on how to lay astro turf for gardens. The more patience you show while executing this part, the more likely it will be for the joined cuts to come off neat and invisible.
Step 4 – Spread and Brush-In Filler Sand
What you need to do next is to make your garden look more natural as it may seem a bit too clean and artificial right now. For fixing that problem, you will need to spread kiln sand across your astro turf garden.
Remember to do this step when both the artificial grass and weather are dry. You can randomly spread the sand around, but don’t use the sand all at once. Use a soft bristle brush to brush-in the sand until there is an even layer of sand in the grass bed.
Repeat the same process. Spread only as much sand as is needed to give your garden a natural feel.
And voila! This is how to lay astro turf for gardens like a pro!
How to Maintain and Care for Your Astro Turf Gardens?
Now that you have worked so hard to set your astro turf garden, you should know how to take care of it as well. Maintaining artificial grass is exceptionally easy. You only need to take care of a few things, and your garden will always be good to go!
This is what you will need to do to keep your astro turf garden looking pristine all year round:
Brush the Grass Occasionally
The artificial grass is always brushed in the opposite direction of the synthetic fibers. For keeping the grass from dust, you should brush your lawn grass every other week. However, remember to use a soft bristle brush to avoid any mishaps.
Remove Fallen Leaves from the Astro Turf
The easiest way to remove fallen leaves from the artificial grass is by using a leaf blower. Choose dry weather to clean the lawn of fallen leaves and artificial turf. The best timing would be when there is a wind blowing in the direction where you want the fallen leaves to go.
Avoid Hot Items Near the Astro turf Garden
Hot items like barbeque grills should not be placed on the astro turf surface directly. Stubbing out cigarettes on the lawn can also cause trouble. It is advised to avoid these hot items near the artificial grass because it can damage the synthetic fibers by burning them.
Let the Snow Dry Naturally
It would be best if you left the snow to melt and dry naturally instead of using chemical de-icers as they can be severely harmful to the synthetic fibers. Trying to force the snow out of your garden can also risk the astro turf to rip and tear.
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The Final Verdict
Artificial lawns have several benefits. They are low-maintenance gardens that update your outdoor space without having to worry about summertime watering, removal of weeds, taking care of pest control, and muddy paw-prints of your pets inside your home. With these many advantages, it is no wonder people are gravitating towards astro turf gardens more rapidly.
Now that you know how to lay astro turf for gardens, you can follow the mentioned steps to set up your carefree artificial grass garden efficiently!
I am Elsa, love gardening. I spent lots of time with plants, flowers, it gives me lots of happiness.
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