Daniel Prendergast from specialist online shop www.ultimategrass.co.uk (part of The Rug Seller) has compiled a new useful guide for choosing artificial grass and answers some frequently asked questions.
A continuing ‘home interiors’ and DIY trend is to make outdoor living spaces more usable – with outdoor rugs, gorgeous lighting and even sofas – and adding artificial grass is part of this movement.
Not only does artificial grass look fantastic, it’s extremely practical too. For families with young children, the non-toxic, hard-wearing surface means the lawn stays looking great no matter how much it’s played on – with no more muddy footprints entering the home.
It’s pet friendly. The product is fine when soiled on and the pile is easy to clean with mild detergent.
And for those with limited mobility such as the elderly or living with a physical impairment, it’s a safe and easy to maintain solution.
It’s a great DIY, quick fix for homeowners, allowing them to enjoy the garden much sooner than seeding a lawn or laying turf. Comprehensive online DIY guides offer help and support, from how to measure to fitting products in both gardens and on balconies. https://www.ultimategrass.co.uk/guides
While artificial grass is most popular for lawns and gardens, it’s versatile enough to be laid on just about any surface. It can be laid on soil, concrete, tarmac, paving and areas which have previously had natural grass (with suitable base preparation where required). It copes beautifully with sloping areas. It can even be laid on roof terraces and balconies (or by swimming pools for the lucky few!).
It’s a great investment – no expensive lawn treatments and products come with a 9-year UV Guarantee.
Choosing Artificial Grass
Artificial grass comes in different qualities, colours, sizes, blade lengths and densities – so knowing what to look for most suitable for your application is key. There are several things to consider when choosing artificial grass:
Pile Height: When choosing artificial grass, the pile length depends on your application. Longer pile lengths typically (but not always) provide a denser, softer and more luxurious finish. If you want a lush looking, premium finish you should also review the weight per m2 ratings.
While longer pile will usually give a more premium finish it is more susceptible to flattening with wear and it holds more water (so not ideal for around a pool). In general longer pile products popular for garden and landscaping applications.
Short pile grass is suitable for most applications. Budget it the most common reason to choose a short pile product, however, shorter pile can be the preferred choice for high traffic areas, as well as balconies and around water features.
Usually expressed as a weight per square meter, this is the weight of the grass with the backing (total weight) or without (pile weight) per m2. This measurement, coupled with the total/pile height, can be used to compare density of products. Heavier, denser products generally provide a softer and more luxurious finish, however, in some applications a lighter weight product can have advantages. Budget would be the main reason for choosing a lighter weight grass, however, it can be a more practical choice for poolside installations as it will hold less water.
Colour and Thatch
Products come in Olive or Meadow Green. Olive is the slightly darker of the two colours that can blend better with natural turf, as well as other vegetation. Olive is popular for garden and landscaping installs, but it’s entirely down to personal preference. Meadow green is ideal for brightening up a space all year round. It’s the most popular for gardens with limited natural vegetation, or for patio and balcony installations. It’s about deciding whether you want to imitate a natural looking garden (with its slight imperfections) or lush green ‘perfect’ turf – the choice is yours.
Ultimate Grass products all have a ‘thatch’ effect – a beige/brown curled pile that sits below the green strands and creating the impression of cut grass within the product – it’s more realistic and increases the density.
Polypropylene (PP) or Polyethylene (PE)
All our artificial grass (together with most competitor products) are made from a mixture of Polypropylene (PP) and Polyethylene (PE). Both are synthetic materials (plastics) and, while similar, they do possess slightly different properties. Polypropylene is generally a harder wearing product but doesn’t feel quite as soft to touch as Polyethylene. The mix of the plastics in each product is some indication of how soft they feel and how hardwearing they may be. For example, a product with more Polyethylene in it is likely to feel slightly softer to touch but may be slightly more prone to wear.
Like with many types of products, there are various options at different price points, with prices starting at £9.95 per m². Ultimate Grass sells five ranges within its three artificial grass collections to suit everyone’s needs and budgets. Each range has width options – 2m or 4m – and a choice of grass length.
Pre-cut or bespoke
Creating a striped lawn
Homeowners looking for a stripe can easily achieve this by how they lay the grass.
Caring for Artificial Grass
There are online care guides for top tips on maintaining artificial grass, but to show how easy it is follow these simple steps:
- Brush the grass regularly in the opposite direction of the artificial fibre
- Regularly remove leaves and debris using a leaf blower, stiff brush or plastic rake
- Trim hedges and trees often to limit the amount of leaves falling onto the lawn
- Apply weed killer twice a year to the whole area to prevent weeds growing and to kill any stray ones
- Use an artificial turf spray to clean away any urine from your pets