How to Replace Artificial Grass with a Real Lawn

How to Replace Artificial Grass with a Real Lawn

How to Replace Artificial Grass with a Real Lawn
Artificial grass may have offered convenience and low maintenance, but the environmental impact and the loss of valuable wildlife habitats have led many homeowners to consider returning to a natural grass seed lawn. If you’re ready to reconnect with nature and create a vibrant and sustainable outdoor space, our step-by-step guide will take you through the process of how to replace artificial grass with a lawn.

Our Step-by-Step Guide to Replace Artificial Grass:

Step 1: Assess Your Lawn and Plan Ahead

Evaluate the condition of your artificial grass and determine whether professional assistance is needed or if you prefer a do-it-yourself approach. Consider the size of your lawn and the specific needs of your outdoor space. Planning ahead will ensure a smooth transition from artificial turf to a beautiful grass seed lawn and ensures you know how to replace artificial grass from the beginning.

Step 2: Remove and replace the Artificial Grass

Start by removing any pegs or stakes that secure the artificial turf. Carefully lift and roll up each piece, treating it like a carpet. Use a spade to cut through stubborn areas, remove sand and rubble, and anything due to the artificial lawn’s installation.

Some artificial grass lawns are placed on top of concrete, so if your artificial lawn is laid like this, you must remove the concrete and replace it with soil.

Step 3: Prepare the Soil for Seeding

Prepare the soil to create the ideal environment for grass seed germination. First, remove any debris, large sticks and stones, and weeds from the area that may still remain. Then use a garden fork to help you loosen the soil, making it easier to work with while improving its aeration and drainage. Then finally, you can level the surface with a rake to ensure an even and level distribution of soil across your garden.

It would also be a good idea to apply a Pre-Seed Fertiliser to give your new grass seed the best possible start to germination and healthy growth.

Disposing of Artificial Grass

Although it is technically feasible to recycle plastic turf, the process requires separating plastic components from other materials like sand and rubber found in the turf. This separation task is intricate, time-consuming, and expensive and is currently unavailable at public recycling centres in the UK.

If you dispose of old artificial grass at the nearest waste disposal site, it will likely end up in a landfill. So, it is advisable to explore reuse options whenever possible. There are various ways to repurpose artificial grass, such as using it as a cover for compost bins, a convenient liner for rabbit hutches or dog kennels, or a soft surface for balconies or roof terraces. If you cannot find an alternative use for it, consider advertising it on local online groups to see if someone else can make use of it.

Step 4: Choose the Right Grass Seed

Selecting the right grass seed for your garden is crucial for a successful lawn. By considering your soil type, how much your lawn will be used and if any areas are covered in shade, you will be sure to get a lawn that grows greener and thicker! A high-quality seed mix that suits your desired lawn characteristics, such as requiring grass seeds that grow well in shade or you may need grass seed that grows well in clay soils - these specialist grass seeds will provide the best growth and give you the garden lawn you’ve been dreaming of!

Step 5: Sow the Grass Seed

Follow our guide on how to sow grass seed for the best results. But start by using our Grass Seed Calculator to ensure you get the perfect amount of seed required for your lawn.

Tips for Sowing Grass Seed:

  • Dig the soil, breaking it up to a depth of 20-25cm
  • Pull weeds out by hand or use a weed killer
  • Add topsoil if your soil is of poor quality or dips need to be filled in
  • Level the seedbed by raking it
  • Use a seed spreader or your hand to sow the grass seed at our recommended rate of 50g per m2
  • Rake the seed in after sowing so it sits in amongst the soil
  • Firm down to improve seed-to-soil contact using a roller or by foot

Step 6: Water and Care for Your Seed Lawn

Water the newly seeded lawn gently but thoroughly immediately after sowing. Keep the soil consistently moist by watering lightly several times a day, especially during dry spells. Avoid overwatering, as it can wash the seeds away or encourage the development of fungal diseases. Regularly monitor the moisture levels and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

Aftercare of your seedlings:

  • Continue to water your lawn daily for the next six weeks,
  • You can skip watering on days when it's raining outside
  • Your new lawn will take up to 6 weeks to fully establish
  • Once your grass blades hit heights of 5-7cm and when there is even coverage throughout the lawn, it's time to give your lawn its first mow.
  • Remember to regularly fertilise to keep your lawn healthy and weed-free - we have more information on our recommended times to use fertiliser.

Step 7: Regular Maintenance and Care

As your grass seed begins to germinate and grow, it requires regular care to establish a healthy lawn. Keep an eye out for weeds and remove them when they appear to prevent them from out-competing your grass for nutrients. Mow the grass when it reaches the recommended height for your grass type, ensuring not to cut more than one-third of the length of your grass at a time. Follow proper lawn maintenance practices, including fertilisation, aerating, and overseeding as necessary.

Step 8: Enjoy Your Vibrant Grass Seed Lawn

Your grass seed lawn will flourish into a vibrant, natural oasis with time and proper care. Embrace the transformation and beauty of a living lawn, one that supports local biodiversity and provides a beneficial habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. A lush, sustainable grass seed lawn offers the whole family a place to relax, play, and connect with nature.

Knowing how to replace artificial grass with a lawn

Replacing artificial grass with a grass seed lawn is an enriching experience that allows you to reconnect with the beauty and benefits of nature. By following these steps and investing time and effort into creating a thriving lawn, you can enjoy the aesthetic appeal, environmental benefits, and the joy of nurturing a vibrant ecosystem right in your own backyard.

For further reading on enhancing your garden, you can find more information in our Help & Advice and Frequently Asked Questions areas.

But, if you would like to discuss your garden lawn, wildflowers or wild birds, please send us a message; we are always happy to help.

Get connected with us