What Supplies Do You Need for an Artificial Grass Lawn

Everything you need to keep your synthetic turf yard looking its best and lasting for years to come!
Renee Lewis
Renee Lewis
Last Update:
May 17, 2024

Artificial grass has become a popular alternative to natural grass among homeowners who appreciate how easy it is to install and care for. Artificial turf is well known for being low maintenance and for looking great year round, no matter the weather!

Synthetic turf is gaining popularity especially among homeowners in areas prone to drought or low rainfall like California or Arizona. In those areas lawns can be brown during the summer due to water shortages and being unable to water the grass! So many homeowners are turning to fake grass instead to avoid the hassle.

Synthetic grass is relatively easy to install, and can actually be a great DIY project for motivated homeowners. But it will be important to make sure you have the right tools and supplies for installation and maintenance of your new artificial grass!

Getting Started with Artificial Grass Installation

In this blog, we will cover topics like how to choose the right high quality synthetic grass, the differences between types of artificial turf, and how to get started with your artificial grass installation.

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Quality Artificial Grass

There is a wide range of synthetic grass brands and types of turf products out there, and while it is great on the one hand that you can customize your turf to the extent you can these days, it is also a lot of options to consider!

To make sure you get the highest quality artificial grass, you will want to look at several turf options first. Look for synthetic turf products with a heavier face weight. This type of synthetic turf will stand up to use better than turf with a lower face weight and have more of a lush feel that looks like real grass.

You can consider higher quality artificial grass and get fake grass that is eco-friendly if you are into helping the environment! You can find recycled synthetic turf products to choose from as well.

Types, features, and considerations

The two ends of the spectrum for artificial grass that represent how much you can customize turf products are the putting green and fake grass as a backyard.

For a putting green, this artificial grass product has a very short pile height. That means the blades of grass are very short and neat - just like on a golf course. Putting green artificial grass is also less thick than the synthetic grass used for yards.

Looking for artificial turf for your backyard is a whole different story. With this turf, you want synthetic grass that has a longer pile height so that it looks lush and more natural looking. Also, a good infill which means the filling in between the blades of grass that help them stand up.

Now, having said that about the two ends of the spectrum of artificial grass, for your particular needs it may help to think about a few considerations like:

Will there be a lot of foot traffic on the synthetic turf?

Are there pets or children that will be playing on the artificial grass?

What is the weather like in your area?

How big is the area that you plan to cover with the fake grass?

Maintaining artificial turf lawn

Let’s go over some other aspects of your new artificial lawn you can customize. First, you can choose the material that the blades of grass are made from - called the artificial grass yarns. Polyethylene is the most popular material used for fake grass and is generally durable and also looks realistic. However, if you have a higher budget, nylon is the highest quality artificial grass yarn. It is also realistic looking and very durable, as well as UV resistant!

You can also decide if you want your infill material to be made from recycled tires, manufactured rubber, sand, or even other options. Thatch is another layer added to artificial turf to make it more realistic looking. Thatch imitates the dying blades of grass in your yard, and are a slightly different color than the taller blades of grass and curl over on themselves.

This kind of artificial grass is different than the look of synthetic turf on sports fields - which is much shorter, more durable, and less natural looking. Sports turf, like pet turf, is meant for a lot of action.

Finally, the backing, which provides the stability for the artificial turf, has several different levels of drainage that you can customize for your needs. For indoor turf, you do not need holes punched in the backing, for a normal yard there is a medium level of drainage called hole-punch, and then there is the most drainage type made for artificial turf that pets use.

Preparation & Installation of Artificial Grass

Tools and materials needed for proper ground preparation

To prepare the ground for your artificial grass installation and lay the synthetic turf, you will need these tools:

Prepping the base:

Aluminum Landscape Rake/Professional Sod Cutter


Plate Compactor or Lawn Roller

Weed killer

Decomposed granite


Landscape fabric

First - after you have dried out your existing lawn for at least a couple of weeks - use an aluminum landscape rake to remove the dead grass and soil. You could also use a professional sod cutter to remove natural turf. After that is removed, add some weed killer to the surface so nothing grows back before you get the next layer installed.

Next, to prepare the sub base layer, manufacturers recommend preparing the layer like a road base. However, this requires machinery and materials that are hard to get ahold of or expensive. For the average diy-er, use decomposed granite and spread it evenly across the ground with a push broom. Finally, use a heavy duty roller to compact the surface and apply a stabilizer on top of your base. Add some landscape fabric to the top of the base, even if you sprayed weed killer.

Finally, add your gravel base for good drainage. Water the base and then compact the base again. Now you are ready to lay down your synthetic turf!

Laying your synthetic grass:

Seam tape

Artificial turf

Carpet knife or razor knife


Ground pins

When you are ready to lay out your synthetic turf, make sure the pieces follow the same pattern as you lay them down next to them. If the blades of grass are falling in opposite directions because you set them down wrong it will not look as natural! Attach seam tape to the bottom of the pieces of artificial turf and lay them out flat on the ground.

For best results, lay out the turf a few hours before or overnight so that they will lay as flat as possible. Also, resist the urge to drag the pieces over your perfectly flattened surface so you do not mess it up! Once the pieces are laid out and taped, put heavy objects over the taped lines for best adhesion.

Use a sharp knife to trim the edges where necessary. Sometimes the pieces of artificial turf rudely do not end right at the edge of your yard and need to be trimmed. Finally, pin down your new turf using a hammer and ground pins. Apply the ground pins about every 6-8 inches around the perimeter of the synthetic turf securely enough to keep the turf in place but not so hard you create a dip in your yard. You can also use ground pins along the seams if you are wanting those to be extra secure!

Maintaining Your Artificial Turf

Maintaining Artificial Turf

Once you have your DIY artificial turf installed, you want it to look its very best! You will want to use a broom to brush up your grass when you first install it and then every once in a while after that too. It fluffs up the grass and helps it to look more natural.

Garden hose


Basic maintenance for fake grass is simply rinsing it off with a garden hose from time to time, and sweeping off debris using your broom. If your artificial grass is on a rooftop, be careful with spraying water obviously!

Fake grass makes a great pet turf area and dog runs! But if you are using the turf for a pet area then you will definitely want to know about cleaners, deodorizers and disinfectants. These will help keep your fake grass clean, remove stains and odors, and keep it free from bacteria! Here are a few products to clean up grass that sees a lot of action:

One part soap and one part mild dishwasher soap applied with a turf safe brush and rinsed with water

Pet-specific turf deodorizers

Enzyme-based formula

If your fake grass is used as pet turf, be sure to remove solid pet waste as soon as possible, and rinse off pet urine daily with your garden hose! Use the products listed above as needed to deodorize and clean the turf!

Another thing that can damage your fake grass over time is UV rays. Luckily, you can find UV-treated artificial grass that will not fade in the sun! Finally, if you get any spots with damage in your synthetic turf, you can have a repair kit on hand to address those issues. These mostly include seam tape and seam binder like glue.

With some basic installation tools and materials, you can install your own diy artificial grass lawn. Skip the professional installation! You can do it yourself! And as long as you keep up with basic maintenance, your new artificial lawn should last 10-15 years. And the best part - no more mowing on those hot summer days!

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