The roadmap out of lockdown has already seen people socialising more outdoors, and many of us are increasingly desiring low-maintenance gardens that we can entertain friends and family in. Artificial grass offers a wide range of perks; it’s long-lasting, low maintenance, pet and child-friendly, and looks great all year round.
Know your numbers
There are a few things you should consider to help you make the right choice when choosing your new artificial grass. With any project, you should always start with a budget. Artificial grass is priced per metre squared, typically starting at £9.99/m² and spanning up to £34.99/m²+ for luxurious ranges.
Start by measuring the area – this will let you know the amount of grass required. The average UK garden is 100 square metres, so based on these measurements, artificial grass would cost between £999 and £3,499. You will also need to consider additional materials you may need for your installation.
Pick the perfect product
Instead of buying the first artificial grass you like the look of, order samples before you part with your cash. This will allow you to compare colours, length, softness, and quality, so you can get a true representation of the grass. Placing your samples in the area where you are planning to lay your artificial grass is a great way of getting a realistic idea of the shade before buying. Different times of day will affect the look of your grass as the sun moves and the light reflects at different angles.
Pile type, also known as yarn shapes, play a big part in the overall appearance. C-shaped allows the grass to bounce back after experiencing foot traffic, diamond shaped yarns give a smart and uniformed ‘freshly cut’ look, L-shape are the softest to touch and give a natural finish, and multi shape combines four yarn shapes to produce the most realistic looking grass.
Pile height refers to the total length of your artificial grass from backing to the tip of the blades, and pile density refers to the number of fibres that are stitched to the artificial grass backing and how close together they are packed. If you want a neat and tidy finish with that fresh-cut look, then a shorter grass (16-27mm) is the most suited option, whereas pile height of 30-37mm will give a fuller, more luxurious look.
Wear ratings reflect the durability and robustness of the grass. Grass Direct have simplified this to a star ratio; with 5 stars being the optimum performance. 3 star upwards are great for your typical demands such as children, pets, and families who spend a lot of time in their garden.
How to maintain your artificial grass
As long as you maintain your grass regularly, ensuring you clean up after spills and pets, and are treating weeds prior to installing the product, there should be no problems with its appearance, texture or smell. Here are 10 key dos and don’ts of caring for your artificial grass:
DOcheck your grass every week and pick up any loose dirt or debris – Any debris like dead leaves or excess mud should be easily visible. Use a rubber rake or soft-headed brush, so that they don’t become intertwined with the grass blades or play havoc with your drainage system.
DON’Thoover artificial grass– This is not recommended by the manufacturers – instead, we would recommend sweeping with a soft-headed brush.
DOrepair any seams, tears, or holes as soon as you spot them – To keep your artificial grass looking its best, always clean up debris that shouldn’t be there. This will prevent any avoidable damage and keep your grass looking brand new, prolonging the lifespan.
DON’Tforget to use a sand infill – If your blades are looking a little flat, simply brush them back and top them up with a layer of infill.
DOinvest in a specialist cleaning treatment – Apply as per the manufacturer’s instructions and rinse down after use.
DON’T rub the grass or use excessive force whilst cleaning – Excess force can cause unintentional damage – to get rid of a liquid stain in your grass, use a damp cloth or paper towel and blot the stain directly before treating with your cleaning agent.
DOmake sure your grass has been fitted in the correct way to allow the turf to properly drain – Blocked systems cause water to lie stagnant. Testing your drainage before and after installing will avoid the issue.
DON’T forget to apply weed killer to the ground before you lay your grass – If you do have issues with weeds, gently pull out any surface weeds you can see, then rinse down with a power washer before applying a weed killer treatment.
DOlay artificial grass in autumn and winter, if possible – artificial grass can be installed all year round, but months with cooler temperatures are the best time to lay your artificial lawn, as the ground isn’t as hard as it is in the summer. This means that any excavations needed will be easier thanks to softer ground.
DON’T leave snow and ice on artificial grass – Salt leftover from ice and snow can form a layer over the grass, preventing the turf from draining properly. To remove, use a plastic snow shovel to remove as much snow as possible from the turf. Don’t use a metal snow shovel or git, as this can damage the grass.Snow, frost, and ice stiffening your blades of grass can be prevented by covering it with tarpaulin.