Brush it Off
When artificial lawns are newly laid they have a sand infill that slowly structures the turf. In order to ensure the turf is in optimum condition when it settles, it is important to tend to the lawn regularly over the first 6-8 weeks. All you need to do is lightly brush the grass on a regular basis, but not too forcefully as it could misshape the turf.
After this initial period and for the rest of the lawn's life, you will only ever need to brush the lawn to give it a spruce up. Brushing it just once a month is ideal but make sure you brush it in all different directions so you keep the turf pile bouncy and upright - think fluffy not combover!
Of course, you will need the best brush for the job and we suggest a medium soft bristle brush which will be gentle but effective on the artificial grass. Although brushing with a soft-bristled brush might seem like light work, it will make a noticeable difference to the appearance and condition of your lawn.
Alternatively, you can use a leaf blower or garden vacuum to encourage bounce and structure in the artificial blades of grass. Pay particular attention to areas that experience high levels of foot traffic – this could be from the house to the shed for instance. Areas of higher foot traffic may require brushing more regularly to prevent blades remaining flattened and looking trampled.
De-Debris Your Lawn
Artificial grass lawns have a membrane backing that, though ideal for letting water run through, minimises the risk of unwanted plants and weeds that grow through normal grass patches. That being said, the tenacity of certain weeds and mosses means that the odd one may come through anyway, so it is best to be prepared and know how to tackle weeds and moss should they appear.
Unlike when you weed natural grass, you can't go digging through your artificial grass with a trowel or fork. Instead, you have two choices. The first is to focus purely on the cosmetic, taking off the tops of weeds when they show through the grass, without really addressing the root of the problem.
Alternatively, you could use a moss or weed killer BUT make sure it is a water-based solution, so as not to damage the artificial turf. Once the moss and weeds are dead, you can simply remove them by hand or brush them off.
Any organic debris like leaves and dead plants should be removed from your artificial lawn as quickly as possible. This is because a build-up of organic matter can damage the lawn's drainage and encourage weed growth. You can collect the debris by hand, with a brush or even use a leaf blower - just make sure you keep on top of it.
Stubborn Stain Removal
The resistant material of an artificial grass lawn means that you ought to be able to remove stains and marks quickly, using hot soapy water (washing up liquid is fine for the job). Tougher oil marks and such can be removed using a cloth and some mineral spirits. While heavily diluted detergents can be used, it’s best to stick to specific artificial grass cleaning products to prevent damage.
If you have to clean up animal mess then make sure it is removed as soon as possible, followed by a wash of the area, using hot soapy water where necessary.
While regular brushing should take place monthly, there is some maintenance that only takes place during certain seasons. During the summer, when you are more likely to be out in the garden, high traffic areas should be carefully maintained. Similarly, heavy items such as swimming pools and floral beds should be rotated regularly to prevent permanent flattening in these areas.
While your artificial lawn is protected against damage caused by frost, areas of heavy snowfall should be allowed to melt naturally. Removing compressed snow and ice can be damaging or cause thinning of artificial grass blades.
- Avoid sharp or pointy objects coming into contact with your synthetic lawn - this includes broken glass, stiletto shoes and rugby or football studded boots
- Never use hard chemicals or strong detergents like bleach on your lawn. Hot soapy water is enough to clean stubborn stains
- Make sure you keep your chewing gum and adhesives well away from your synthetic lawn
- Keep motor vehicles off the artificial grass, except for wheelbarrows, bicycles and wheelchairs which are fine on it
- To reduce the amount of leaf litter and debris that falls on your artificial grass, cut back hedges and over-hanging trees
- Don't keep or use sources of heat on the artificial grass (or too near to it). Smoking, bonfires and fireworks are all no-goes and barbecues are best done on safe, solid surfaces like gravel or slabs
- Avoid putting mirrors or reflective surfaces anywhere that could potentially reflect sunlight onto your lawn as this can cause burning and leave areas unrepairable
- Watch out for the damage children and pets can do to artificial lawns. Dogs will normally be put off digging in the presence of artificial grass but on the odd occasion they do dig, they run the risk of ripping the underlay. Similarly, if children purposely pick off blades of synthetic grass your lawn will look bald because the grass won't grow back. An artificial lawn is ideal for kids and pets but make sure you pay attention to how they treat it
These are just a few simple steps to maintaining an artificial lawn so it stays in top condition for longer. If you have any other queries about how to care for yours or if you would like to discuss the benefits of artificial grass in more detail, then get in touch with the Artificial Lawn Company today - we're always happy to help with any questions or queries you may have!