Artificial Grass – What About Weeds?

There are a lot of benefits to having an artificial grass lawn. Besides being green and beautiful all year long, artificial grass saves water and money while drastically cutting back the hours needed to maintain a natural turf lawn.

One of the best parts of a low-maintenance, artificial grass lawn is that it virtually eliminates weeds and the need to spend half a Saturday yanking them out of your lawn. Be aware, however, that artificial grass can only act as a yard-sized weed whacker when it is installed properly.

Excavation

The first step in creating your new weed-free life is a proper excavation. A good excavation will set you on the path toward creating a beautiful artificial grass lawn that wipes out weed. For your excavation, a good rule of thumb is that you should excavate down to three-inches below finished grade.

Soils that are sandy, silty or contain a lot of clay will require additional excavation (perhaps four to six-inches below finished grade.) Firm soils, or soils that are rocky or similar in composition to decomposed granite may allow you to get by with a little less (perhaps two inches.)

That being said, we always recommend a minimum of at least three inches to ensure a solid sub-base foundation. We also recommend the use of a geo-textile fabric between your native soil and your sub-base to prevent base contamination if you have soils with a high concentration of clay.

Base Compaction

Base compaction is a critical step in the artificial grass installation process. The primary reason you removed three inches of native soil and replaced it with base material was to replace expansive soil with sub-base that will not expand. But base compaction will also help to deter weeds from growing.

If you install artificial grass over an expansive soil, over the course of time (and weather variations) the soil will expand and contract. As it expands it will pull or push on the artificial grass, and as it contracts you will be left with bubbles and buckling in the surface of your grass that will make it look like carpet that needs to be stretched out. Installing over natural soil also provides more opportunity for weeds to take root.

Be sure to choose a proper material for your sub-base. Once you’ve compacted it, you’ve added another level of protection against weeds.

Weed Barrier

If you’ve properly excavated your job site and added a sub-base, it’s unlikely that you’ll get weeds coming up through your artificial grass, but that doesn’t mean it never happens. If you didn’t do enough excavation, or your sub-base is contaminated, you may get weeds that grow through drainage holes. For these reasons, a weed barrier can be used as an added layer of protection.

A quality weed barrier is an excellent choice as an underlayment beneath your artificial grass. It will be strong enough to block weeds yet porous enough to ensure the passage of necessary water and liquid nutrients in your planter areas and around trees. The weed barrier will also act as an additional stabilizer for your artificial grass lawn.

Backing System

Our super-strong backing systems add a final layer of protection against weeds. But backing systems are not only great for preventing weeds, they are a critical component of a functional, high-performance artificial grass lawn.

Artificial grass backings consist of a primary backing and a secondary backing. When shopping for artificial grass you may see products that use a single sheet of fabric or two pressed sheets of fabric. At Purchase Green you will find our products use our unique process incorporating a triple-layer, woven mesh of fabric. It’s awesome and it means that our primary fabric is thicker, more stable, and lasts longer. That’s why our warranty is 25 percent longer than most alternatives. All of our latex-backed products use the triple-layer, woven mesh system.

Living Weed-Free

There are still a few places you may find a weed or two. If your artificial grass installation requires seaming and the seams are not up to snuff, then a weed or two might sneak through. For more on proper seaming techniques, click here.

There is also the remote possibility that a weed might take root in the layer of infill you’ll add to your lawn. If that occurs, such weeds are easily removed since they will not be rooted in the soil.

But, if you’ve followed all the proper installation steps, by and large you should be able to enjoy your Purchase Green artificial grass lawn for many years, never again having to pull another weed.

Take a peek at the installation process with this DIY Easy Install Guide to get an idea of what you can expect.
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Posted on February 17, 2016