When you hear the term artificial turf, you imagine too-green, hard and unnatural-looking cricket pitches and tennis courts. But thanks to this new product by Ideal it’s actually a great outdoor alternative. From a distance this synthetic grass looks nothing like the name suggests. It’s a UV-stabilised product that’s stain-resistant, non-rot and carries a three-year domestic warranty. It can be laid over concrete, timber, metal or firmly packed earth. And best of all, it’s very simple to lay.
Artificial turf costs from $33 per metre. It’s available as 1.8m or 3.7m widths and can be bought by the metre or on the roll (from 10m to 30m). It withstands the traffic of kids’ playing areas and sporting facilities. You could even use it to set up a mini golf course. Check out the range and more information at www.ideal-diy-floors.com.au
HINT: When ordering two or more rolls of turf be sure to ask for rolls with identical grain direction so it lays uniformly and appears more natural.
STEP 1: Preparing the surface
Remove all existing grass and weeds by scraping with a metal garden rake. Use a pick to dig out the tough weeds and any surface tree roots.
STEP 2 : Clean up the edging
Scrape away the existing ground to about 20mm below the finished height of any adjoining paved areas or garden edging.
STEP 3 : Compacting the soil
The subsoil should be dampened lightly with water before being compacted. Use a whacker packer or garden roller to do the job effectively.
STEP 4 : Adding the roadbase
Spread a layer of roadbase, or crusher dust, to about 15mm deep. Distribute it evenly with a steel rake then sprinkle with water before compacting with the whacker packer.
STEP 5 : Laying the turf
Fill any surface dips or hollows with fine sand. Lay out the first roll of turf, allowing overhang at the ends. This will later be trimmed to match the contour of the paving.
STEP 6 : Cutting to size
Trim the turf roughly around any garden edges and move it into position. Then use a utility knife, with a new blade, to trim accurately around the edges.
STEP 7 : Laying the second roll
Lay out the second roll of turf and trim to size. Fold back the edge and apply an even coat of adhesive, such as Bostik Synthetic Turf Adhesive, to the seaming material. Use a 3mm notched trowel for uniform coverage.
STEP 8 : Invisible seams
Wait for the adhesive to become slightly stringy, then bring the two sheets together. Make sure there are no turf fibres trapped in the seam as you smooth the sides down.
STEP 9 : Anchoring the turf
Use 150mm irrigation pins around the perimeter of the turf, and space them throughout the area in a 600mm grid. Push fibres of turf away from under the pins so they sit flush with the surface.
STEP 10 : Casting the sand
Cast a layer of dry, white, washed sand over the turf with a shovel. This weights the turf to keep it in position, and assists with drainage.
STEP11 : Sweeping in the sand
Distribute the sand evenly with a yard broom, sweeping against the direction of turf fibres. Cast more sand and repeat the process until the sand is about 10mm deep. This is also the perfect time to practice your chipping!
STEP 12 : Forget watering
Put away the watering can, as the natural-looking turf will stay this way for years. Just use a rake, broom or outdoor vacuum to keep it tidy.