For a foolproof alternative to real grass with zero maintenance, install sheets of synthetic turf.
A lawn can be tough to grow, plus it needs regular mowing, weeding and watering. But there is an easy way to make your garden green without the hassle.
Synthetic grass has come a long way since the days of lurid AstroTurf and is available in tiles and rolls, with options to suit a range of applications.
Calculate how much is needed by dividing the lawn into rectangular areas and multiplying the length by the width. Next, scrape away weeds and excavate the yard, spraying it with a glyphosate weed killer.
Whatever base material you use will need to be compacted, forming a solid substrate to lay the sheets on. Your local landscape supplier will be able to recommend a suitable choice.
For the best results, take your time when levelling the base material and pay particular attention to the joints, which need to be invisible for a realistic, natural look.
TIP Use a commercial grade tape, like Tuff Turf Synthetic Turf Joining Tape, with a woven backing to prevent tearing.
Excavate the area by setting out perimeter stringlines to the desired finished height. Remove weeds then excavate the soil to a depth of 75mm. TIP A standard house brick is 76mm high and makes an ideal height gauge
Compact the base by laying weedmat with an overlap of 50mm, turning up the edges. Spread roadbase to 15mm below the stringline, screed the surface and spray with water then firm down using a plate compactor.
Lay the turf by first spreading a thin layer of dry, fine sand and raking it level. Measure and cut the first piece of turf to length with an extra 50mm. Unroll it in position and repeat for adjacent pieces, aligning the grain.
Join the pieces by peeling off half the protective backing and firmly attaching one roll of turf tape. Peel
off about 600mm of the remaining backing at a time, carefully join both edges and press down firmly.
Trim the edges using a utility knife to carefully cut around the borders. Trim in small sections and check the fit to avoid cutting too much. TIP Cut from the underside of the turf and use a sharp new blade in the knife.
Secure the grass by driving turf pins around the perimeter and across the joints at 300mm spacings and at 600mm across the centre. Wearing safety glasses, brush in fine, dry sand against the grain to half-pile height.