Artificial grass offers many advantages. It remains lush throughout the year, there's no need to mow, and it's extremely durable in all weathers, these are just a few of the attributes that can save you time and money. In this article, our garden design expert Robert Hall discusses how to successfully install Verde artificial grass.
Why Install Artificial Grass?
Once laid, artificial grass requires minimal maintenance, it's similar to natural grass when walked on and can be mistaken for real grass. Lifespan is estimated at between 10 - 15 years and if used on the patio or for a play area it will be slightly less. The grass is also resistant to UV light, so any colour fading is negligible.
When rain reduces your neighbour's garden to a muddy damp patch or is covered in frost or snow, you'll be glad that your table and chairs, practice putting surface or children's play equipment are located on pristine artificial grass. Provided the base is free draining, it will not become waterlogged.
Artificial grass is warm and inviting for pets. Cats and dogs have been testing Verde artificial grass for over two decades, it doesn't stain and any mess can be washed away or easily removed without leaving any smell.
Suitable for most indoor and outdoor activities, there are various types and colours for different applications such as patios, nurseries, balconies, swimming pool surrounds, high traffic areas, sports etc. Barbecues won't set fire to it, and cars can drive over it
How Much Grass Do I Need?
The different types of Verde artificial grass are manufactured in rolls 2 metres (6 feet 6 inches) or 4 metres (13 feet) wide and are supplied in lengths to suit your requirements. To minimise wastage it's necessary to carefully work out the lengths and widths you will require, and it may help to map out your requirements on squared paper. Verde artificial grasses are easily joined and, due to the long pile, carefully made seams are invisible.
For simple shaped areas it is relatively easy to calculate your requirements. For more complicated areas it would be advisable to draw an accurate plan of the area to be covered. Send your plan to your supplier, who can advise on your requirements.
How Do I Make Joins?
Joins are made by sticking the underside of the artificial grass to a special seaming tape by means of polyurethane adhesive. The edges to be joined should be trimmed carefully, removing any excess "selvedge" material. Adjacent panels with straight edges should be butted close together (fig 1).
As all grasses have a directional pile, check and ensure all panels are running in the same direction. The edges are then folded back and the seaming tape laid, plastic side down, centrally along the joint (fig 2).
Adhesive is applied from a cartridge gun to the top surface of the seaming tape, two "worms" of adhesive being applied to each side of the joint, one close to the point where the edges will meet and the other about half way between the join and the edge of the tape. The edges are now folded back and pressed down to spread the adhesive (fig 3).
The strength of the join will be improved if the seam can be weighed down during the curing time of the adhesive. Seaming tape and adhesive cartridges may be ordered when purchasing the grass. Each cartridge of adhesive is sufficient for 3 metres of seam.
What Sort Of Base Do I Require?
The grass may be laid on a wide variety of bases, but it is very important to understand that problems such as poor drainage, etc cannot be overcome simply by covering them with synthetic grass.
Hard (bound) surfaces - Macadam, asphalt, concrete, etc.
All artificial grasses may be laid directly onto any suitable hard sub-surface. If a new sub-surface is being constructed to take artificial grass a slight fall (1:200 is ideal) should be incorporated to assist drainage. Porous (open textured) macadam is particularly suitable as a subbase for all types of Verde artificial grass. Paving slabs are not satisfactory, since after a period of time the pattern of the slabs will show on the surface of the grass. The slabs should be removed or covered with a thick layer of coarse sand.
Well compacted unbound aggregate (stone) bases are ideal for artificial grasses and if an artificial lawn were to be built from scratch, this type of base would be our recommendation. Any unbound surface, which drains and is stable and reasonably level however, is perfectly satisfactory. If the surface is too rough it may be screeded with coarse sharp sand, prior to laying the grass.
Whilst artificial grass may be laid directly onto an existing lawn, provided the drainage is satisfactory, this is not always very satisfactory in the long term. The natural grass will die off and the roots will decay, causing unevenness in the surface. Removal of the grass and compaction of the resulting soil base will overcome this problem, particularly if the soil is covered with a layer of compacted gritty sand (building sand is not suitable).
How Is The Grass Held In Place?
VerdeGrass / VerdePlay
If installed on a hard surface indoors or out, these surfaces may be loose laid or spot stuck to a hard solid surface such as concrete, timber, decking, tarmac, fibreglass or plastic (see illustration).
Verdeturf / Coloured Grass
Dry, coarse sand (block paving sand is excellent) brushed into the pile of the Verdeturf is sufficient to hold the grass in place (approx 20 kg per square metre).
SuperVerdeturf / Verdeluxe
As with Verdeturf, sand is used to hold the grass down. Due to the closer fine tufting, Super Verdeturf and Verdeluxe only require approximately 8 kg of sand per square metre. The sand should be evenly distributed to ensure no excess appears on the surface. If alternative fixing is provided, both surfaces may be installed with no sand infill.
Super Verdeluxe should be dressed with a mixture of sand and/or rubber to suit your requirements. We would normally recommend a dressing of sand (approx 15 kg/sa.metre), which will settle in the bottom of the pile and hold the product in place. In addition, you may want to dress this product with an infill of rubber crumb (approx 8kg/sq.metre). The rubber crumb provides additional support for holding the pile of the Super Verdeluxe upright, whilst also creating a soft feel underfoot.
How do I form the edges?
1. By butting against an existing wall or upstanding kerb.
2. By fixing to an edge board - tanalised timber 100mm x 25mm located by wooden pegs 50mm x 50mm x 300mm is ideal.
3. By placing the edge of the grass under paving stones or similar fence.
4. By burying the grass edge under adjacent natural turf.
How Do I Maintain The Grass?
Artificial Grass is a low maintenance but not a no maintenance surface. The rules are simple - remove debris, particularly leaves or pet droppings, otherwise these will compost into the surface and allow moss to grow. Debris can be removed by sweeping, and in dry conditions may be vacuumed with a domestic appliance. Do not vacuum sand filled grass - your machine will fill with sand!
If moss does form in the pile, it should be treated with a proprietary moss killer and swept thoroughly to remove the dead material. A bass broom or similar stiff brush is best for maintaining a 'fresh' appearance. Odd weeds which may seed themselves in the surface may be removed by hand or spot-sprayed with a general weedkiller.
Gardensite has used Verde Grass in its show garden. Watch the video on our YouTube Channel.