Artificial grass weed control is most easily prevented during the installation process and when done so, you can expect many years of ultra-low maintenance weed-free artificial grass. The reason so many people choose synthetic turf in the first place is likely because of all the benefits of artificial grass. With a little bit of work up front you should very rarely encounter stubborn weeds like you often find in natural grass.
If you are reading this page and you haven't installed the artificial grass yet, you're in luck. There are many different ways to ensure that weeds don't ever grow and if they do they will be really easy to just pull from the surface because they are likely just locally seeds that have germinated from windblown seeds or transferred by an animal. You should familiarize yourself with upkeep including our list of artificial grass maintenance equipment that are best designed to keep synthetic grass looking great, healthy and ultimately preventing weeds.
Artificial grass weed control should be considered for most projects but unfortunately it often gets skipped either due to the increased cost for the business or gets overlooked because of lack of eduction. There are circumstances where a weed membrane for artificial grass should absolutely be used such as grass going into an area that had preexisting weed problems. A weed membrane may also be needed when the installer is unable to use the required thickness of sub base gravel material due to grading restrictions.
The cost of weed barrier fabric and the time it takes to install is very minimal compared to the entirety of most projects. This makes it's a no brainer that it should be installed if there is any risk of future weed growth and potentially damaging the grass. The cost to fix the problem after the installation is complete is substantially higher than preventing weeds initially.
The best time to address weed growth is during the artificial grass installation process. It's during the preparation stage that the decision to use a weed membrane should be made, erring on the side of caution. A professional installation will likely include removal of 4 to 6 inches of existing organic material from the project area, including the removal of preexisting natural grass and 3 to 5 inches of soil. This step helps ensure that invasive weeds, roots and other vegetation are removed from the area so they don't rear their ugly head in the future.
After the grass, dirt and other organic materials are removed, the road crush should fill the cavity leaving just enough room for the height of the artificial grass. The road crush is levelled and packed, creating a layer that is near impossible to be penetrated by weeds. It's important that the crush layer is at least 4 inches in depth, allowing it to be compacted properly with a vibratory compactor creating a barrier almost as strong as concrete. The layer will help prevent weed growth and also provide a very sturdy base for the artificial grass to be fastened.
The final step to a near full-proof artificial grass weed control installation is the use of a high quality, commercial grade weed membrane fabric. A weed membrane should be made of woven fabric that allows water to drain through but prevents seed germination and weeds from growing up through the cloth. We'll discuss more about finding the best weed barrier for artificial grass below.
The best barrier for artificial grass weed control is a woven or non-woven polypropylene fabric with a textile strength of at least 2.0 ounces. In addition to being super resilient to wear and tear, it will prevent just about anything from growing, burrowing or poking up through it. This means that you won't see weeds, critters or roots penetrating through artificial grass for many years. Quality weed barrier landscape fabrics have warranties in excess of 20 years and are worth every penny when it comes to reduced maintenance and peace of mind.
The best weed barrier for artificial grass should come on a roll at least 4' wide. The wider the roll the better as a wider roll will reduce the amount of seems that need to be stapled and potentially allow weeds to slither through. This of course will depend on the size of the project and in some cases you may want to consider a roll that is 8, 10 or 12 feet wide for the ultimate in weed protection and reduced seems.
For best artificial grass weed control we recommend overlapping the fabric seems by at least a foot. This foot of overlap will add extra protection from persistent weeds that seemingly grow anywhere like the incredibly hardy bindweed. You want the fabric to cover every corner of the area, paying attention to areas adjacent to a neighbours natural grass, a flower bed or high traffic areas. The fabric should be stapled around the entire perimeter every 12 to 18 inches and of course along the seems. Make sure the fabric is stretched taught so you don't promote any rippling when installing the artificial grass on top of the fabric.
If you or your installer didn't use adequate artificial grass weed control for your lawn, putting green, pet area or wherever you enjoy artificial grass, you may find success controlling the weeds that do end up growing. Unfortunately one of the disadvantages of artificial grass is weeds growing along the edges of the grass and even tiny weeds that grow in the infill seeds are transported through the air or by an animal such as a passing bird. Fortunately, the small weeds that grow in the infill can be surface pulled and the perimeter weeds can be controlled with a number of safe alternatives.
One of the best tools for maintaining artificial grass and specifically preventing weeds is a power broom. The importance of grooming and cleaning artificial grass is even more imperative if you experience weed growth, have pets that use the grass area or a lot of leaves fall on the surface. An artificial grass power brush when used as part of your maintenance regime will prevent weeds before they take hold and can also be used to power brush away weeds that have taken hold. You should also consider using a leaf blower to keep leaves off the grass throughout the year and in the fall as part of artificial grass winter care preparations.
The last line of defence for artificial grass weed control is a weed and moss killer spray. This should be considered a last resort because of the potentially harmful effects that herbicides can have on ourselves, our soil and water. A pre-mixed spray is convenient way to spot kill invasive weeds in artificial grass and isn't ideal for large areas. There are weed killer concentrates that can be used with a hose end sprayer and garden hose for large areas with troublesome weeds.
When using a pesticide always use extreme caution. Keep out of reach of children, wash hands after use, and always wear protective clothing.
An experienced artificial grass installer will be able to identify trouble areas where weeds may tend to grow. This could be in a front lawn adjacent to a neighbours highly fertilized natural grass or next to an external fence line where weeds are growing out of control. These areas will not only benefit from an artificial grass edger board for aesthetic reasons, the board will act as a barrier preventing weeds from shooting roots underneath the artificial grass. While an edger board alone will likely not prevent invasive weeds, it's a great line of defence when used in combination with a properly prepared crush base and a quality weed barrier fabric.
Artificial grass weed control starts at the planning stage of any project and should include at the very least a weed barrier fabric. As each project will have its uniqueness and its own challenges you may have questions related to your specific installation. We've tried to cover as much as we could about how to manage weeds.
Please use all appropriate and proper safety precautions when attempting projects on this website. All projects are attempted at the reader's own risk.
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Duralawn® artificial grass installations, products and service in Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, etc since 2018.