There was recently a question on our Forum page asking if weeds grow through fake grass which gave me the great idea to write a full article based on this. I mean, installing artificial turf can be an expensive investment, which over a period of time should save you money when there is no longer a need to pay a gardener to come and cut your lawn, but if weeds still grow then is it really worth it? And if they do grow then how do you stop them?
Well before I continue, lets cut to the chase and let me say that yes, weeds can grow though artificial grass. But to a degree, they don’t have to providing that the correct measures have been taken place when installing your fake grass. Let me explain…
How do weeds grow on fake grass?
There are 2 places that weeds can grow on your fake grass which include the area of the fake lawn itself, or around the edges of the fake lawn. With any artificial grass there will be drainage holes placed every squared foot approximately to allow for water to drain and not puddle on the top of your grass.
If seeds get into these small holes then yes they can root and grow into weeds. The problem is that artificial grass is usually laid on either sharp sand or granite dust, both of which will allow for weeds to grow if your fake grass is laid directly on top. You may wonder what the chances are of weeds growing in these small holes but let me tell you, we once went to a property where they asked us to re lay their artificial turf (newly built home where short cuts were made) and the weeds growing through the fake lawn was unbelievable!
In any instance, a weed prevention fabric needs to be applied between the fake grass and the base that it lays on (sharp sand or granite dust). This membrane will still allow for water to drain but will stop weeds from being able to take. If you have had a professional landscape gardener come and do the work for you and you have had weeds grow within the first couple of years then I would recommend checking to see if the weed fabric has been used and if not, ask them to come back and lay it.
If you are unable to contact the gardener, or if you originally installed the artificial grass yourself then don’t panic! It is usually 6 inch nails that hold the fake lawn into the base below, and if done right then then there will be a wooden frame built along the edge of the fake grass with screws holding the edges in place. All you will need to do is unscrew the edges of the fake grass, roll it back, lay your weed prevention fabric and reverse the process remembering to hammer the nails back into place.
The only other place that your artificial lawn may get weeds is along the edge, which unfortunately can’t always be prevented. For example, if you have paving slabs in place, and you have a wooden frame going up against it holding the fake grass in place then there can only be a gap (no matter how tight of a gap) between the frame and the paving work. Weeds will find a way to grow anywhere! Fortunately these weeds are usually easy to pull out and you can always use a pet friendly weed killer to keep on top of these. Compared to the time and money involved in maintaining a real lawn, this is a small problem. Although it’s worth mentioning that in my garden where I have installed artificial grass, my frame is up against a patio and I actually filled the tiny 1mm gap with a clear all weather silicone to stop weeds from growing. I’ve never read this as a recommendation, but it’s worked for me!
How else can I prevent weeds and maintain my artificial lawn?
Providing that the above measures have taken place then for the most part, you should be ok. How ever you may get some surface weeds try to grow on the artificial grass itself which you should be able to brush off with a stiff broom. So my first recommendation to maintaining your fake grass is to regularly brush your lawn with a stiff broom, at least once every 2 weeks. As well as this, the more you sweep your artificial lawn the less build up of debris you will have from dead leaves etc..
Speaking of dead leaves, the next best thing you can do to maintaining your fake grass is to keep surrounding trees and plants well pruned. When Autumn comes the last thing you want is a lawn covered in leaves, sticks etc..
Finally, spraying a pet free weed killer may not be essential if the fake grass has been laid correctly, but it is most definitely good practice.
Other than this, there isn’t much more to say! Which is a good thing really, since an investment such as artificial grass is suppose to be low maintenance. To find out how to install fake grass yourself then why not visit my other article? I also have an article on showing how much you should expect to pay to have artificial grass installed and if all else fails then why not head over to our forum page when you can join the Hankintech community and get help and advice on everything gardening!