We talked to an expert at how to install Artificial Grass for their advice on easy gardening and whether you should suggest artificial grass for those looking to spruce up their gardens or have a busy lifestyle and still want some green room.
What advice or tips would you give to someone who is new to gardening and has a busy lifestyle when preparing and starting to organize their garden?
The first thing you want to do with your garden is figure out what you want to. Was it, for example, a spot where kids can play, where pets can run around, where you can sit and relax, or where you want to garden? If it's a bit of it all, work out a proportion of the room you want for every task.
If you're interested in growing flowers or plants, figure out where you want them to be and whether you're going to place them in beds or pots. Take a look at plants that are suitable for the conditions under which you must grow them (whether shady or sunny, dry or wet, pots or beds). It's worth remembering how much water they'll need and opting for those who don't need you in the summer to drink too much.
If you want a lawn, it's worth considering artificial grass, as it doesn't need to be mowed and is great for kids and pets.
Whether I have dogs or other animals around me, would I consider placing artificial grass in my yard, in terms of cleaning after them?
Artificial grass is a great surface if you've got cats. Not only does it not get dirty or soggy, but the wee drains away through the drainage perforations, so you only pick up poo on any other grass as you might. Rain can wash away any residue but you can also clean the grass using water from a hose and mild detergent.
It is made of artificial grass, and is it appropriate for my pets to eat it?
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Our artificial grass is made from plastic yarn (polyethylene or polypropylene) which is stitched into a woven polypropylene backrest, which is then latex-coated to secure the stitches. The rubber and the backrest are then punctured to create openings for drainage. Pets eat the grass very rarely, but if they did it would be like eating a fluffy, small , thin piece of plastic. The latex is very solid, and the worst they can do is chew it if it's not properly protected, so that wouldn't be an problem for the pet.
Which kind of foundation suits artificial grass and where can I use artificial grass?
The limit on how you use your artificial grass is your imagination. It can go inside, into the bedrooms of your children, laid in office spaces like a carpet and made into a feature of an outside indoor house. Obviously, instead of real grass, you can spread it in your yard, or you can put it on your balcony to create a bright space for relaxing, or you can use it in a rooftop garden.
Every base is suitable for artificial grass but a degree of research will be required to prepare it. The simplest foundation is concrete, and if it's clean and clear, you can spread the grass without much effort, gluing the grass with tape and sticking to the concrete. When you have decking, it's best to put some plywood down, because the grass will spread out into the gaps between the decking boards. When you want to plant it in your yard, it is best to strip the current layer of soil, raise the ground and then put down a sheet of geotextile (which prevents the weeds from growing) before you plant the grass. Further information on how to plant grass can be found at artificial-grass.com
Should artificial grass need a lot of maintenance for someone with a busy lifestyle and not too much time to clean their garden?
For those with less time to spend tidying their yard, artificial grass is perfect — in reality, it's one of its advantages. Everything you need to do is keep leaves and other debris off it, usually rattling the grass every few weeks, and that will also help hold the tufts upright and make the grass look longer.
Which kind of plants will I grow in my garden, which does not require too much year-round upkeep?
Lavender is a perfect herb to grow. It's hardy, it has a lovely, delicate flora and a great fragrance. Just give it a well-drained spot, and prune it back once a year after it stopped blooming.
Try using vertical areas and plant climbers — maybe jasmine or a climbing hydrangea, if you have limited space. You can let them grow and bloom with pleasure, if you place them correctly.
And, lastly, one that I love is fuchsias. They grow well, whether in a pot, hanging basketball, or in a flower bed, adding beautiful color to your garden once it is blooming.
Why is compost needed in gardening and is artificial grass planted in the garden suitable for compost?
Compost is important to give plants the nutrients they need to grow in order to be healthy and robust. Also, because gardens have lots of plants growing in them every year, the natural nutrients are used up to help them out.
Artificial grass doesn't need compost itself, since it isn't real grass, so if you have plant pots or flower beds around your lawn, you can help them grow longer by offering them a decent amount of compost every year. You can apply fertilizer if you have real grass to keep it growing well and look like a healthy green.
What are the best times of the year for first time gardeners to grow their own fruit and vegetables and what factors should they remember when doing so?
The key UK fruit and vegetable growing season is spring and summer. You can prolong this season, if you have a green house or cloches. Plants essentially need sunlight, energy , water and nutrients to grow, and fruit and vegetables tend to grow very fast so they need a lot of these. The season begins in spring and you'll be harvesting your produce by the end of summer in September.
It's worth remembering how much time you have, and where the fruit and vegetables are growing. Buying ready-grown plants to plant out in the spring is much better than sowing your own seeds. Buying your own plant ensures you know you have the plant (the seeds may not germinate or they may be eaten by birds) and it is large enough to survive a number of plagues. To scare off birds (such as wind chimes, children's windmills, for example), you may need to spray them regularly and cover them with netting or place them in tiny shiny, moving objects. It is then a case of watching your plants grow and produce their fruits and vegetables!
Read more on Comfy Grass about artificial grass and how to make your garden keep up with the season’s trends.