Time to Refresh my Eco-Friendly Artificial Grass
It has been over 10 years since I first installed artificial grass, and with all the changes taking place in the garden, it's now time to replace with new artificial grass.
Doesn't need watering, no need to apply fertilizer, never have to mow again - a beautiful green lawn all year round.
Not everyone will consider artificial grass to be eco-friendly, but when you factor in that it never requires watering, doesn't need fertilizer and that you don't need petrol, diesel or battery-operated mowers or garden tools, there has to be a few good points in its favour towards being eco-friendly.
My reason for installing artificial grass is two-fold:
1. Doesn't require watering
A big plus for me and my family is that artificial grass doesn't use any water whatsoever. It provides a beautiful, lush green lawn all year round that we can all sit back and enjoy. There's no need to sweat over the lawnmower handle and no cuss words when weeds start to take over or brown patches occur.
Considering the state of our water resources, or should I say lack of, climate change is bringing about unknown weather conditions and it's hard for anyone to predict whether it will be drought or flood.
At the end of the day, I don't have to worry about whether it's going to rain this month or next, I'll still have a beautiful green lawn.
Having had artificial grass installed in my garden for the past 10 years, I can confirm it's nothing like the AstroTurf of yesteryear. In fact, I have had many, many people compliment us on the beautiful lawn, not knowing that it was artificial.
2. Doesn't require mowing or edge trimming
Artificial grass is not labour-intensive and is the perfect choice for anyone who works fulltime and just wants to sit back and relax in the garden on weekends. Plus, as you get older you don't want to have to go to the trouble of digging out the lawnmower just to have a neat lawn. Okay, call me lazy if you will, but I get so much enjoyment out of having artificial grass that does not grow!
AFTER AND BEFORE: Here's a photo of the same area before and after installation of artificial grass.
Artificial grass is pet friendly too! Many dogs suffer from skin problems caused by grass, but artificial grass is tough for kids and pets. Having 3 small dogs and 1 large dog, my previous installation lasted over 10 years.
You can have artificial grass installed in different textures and lengths. My first installation was a 35mm length but this time I went for a 20mm length. It has a soft texture and feels wonderful when you walk on it with bare feet. It might not be the real thing but it looks very much like it.
Before photos of the lawn
Installation of artificial grass
Before I discuss the installation process, I would like to mention that I obtained 3 quotations and was somewhat shocked by the price difference. One supplier even charged R5000 more than the other two, despite the fact, in my opinion, that there was no difference in the product. I won't name the other two suppliers, but the one that offered a competitive price, very friendly service, advice and immediate attention was ArtificialGrassSA.co.za.
Karen and hubby Dave offered plenty of advice and suggestions, as well as information on how to care for the artificial grass after installation, which, by the way, only took one day. They were quick and efficient and cleaned up after the installation.
You can see how damaged the old artificial grass was when it was removed. We made quite a few changes to the layout of the garden in line with our desire to become more sustainable and self-sufficient. While we probably could have given it a good clean and kept it down for a few more years, our gardener decided to spill Creosote over a large area of the grass. So new artificial grass it is then! Read more on this further down.
The area was cleaned up and roughly levelled before being covered in crusher stone. This is stabilised with cement, so helps to compact the ground before laying the artificial grass. Once the crusher stone is down, it is levelled out.
After levelling, a plate compactor is brought in to ensure the ground is hard and compacted.
After all that, the artificial grass is put down, joined with tape and exterior epoxy adhesive and cleaned up ready for use.
Before the artificial grass was installed, we moved a few beds and narrowed one long bed that runs the full length of the garden. This required knocking down a small wall and replacing this with 76 x 228mm pine.
BELOW: The new edging along the long bed that runs the length of the garden. While applying creosote to this our gardener spilt plenty on the grass!
The 76 x 228mm pine was quickly sanded with an angle grinder and flap disc to remove any markings that would show through the creosote.
The 6 metre lengths of 76 x 228mm pine were cut to length using a circular saw. I bought 6 metre lengths as it worked out cheaper than buying  3600 or 4800mm lengths. The pine was purchased at Builders Warehouse and cost around R330 for a 6 metre length.
This is where my gardener decided to mess all over the old artificial grass, which resulted in having to replace the lot. You will see the finished wood border in the images at the top of this page.
Do I love it? You bet I do, so much so that this is the second time I am having an artificial grass lawn laid in my garden.