Sunday 2 February 2014

Plastic Astro Turf For The Smallholding?

I ordered some plastic grass samples over Christmas online.  The post man brought them in a large envelope and I exclaimed:

"Oh that will be my grass!"

He went away none the wiser.  Scratching his head.

No I haven't started importing 'waccy bacca' to make us all :

"Cool down and chill man".

I ordered the samples because I am thinking of making the back garden all weather with little maintenance.  It's been a cottage garden for the last 10 years.  But due to depression (my excuse sometimes), being next to silage fields, the awful winter and me adding barrows of good old farm yard manure.  The place looks like the Munsters garden.  Well we do live in the Province of Munster!

The 'plastic grass' company have give the samples dome lovely names like: 'Killarney' grass.  That's 9.99 a metre and it's the one with the dark green short grass.  Next up is the 'Wicklow' grass.  That's 19.50 a metre.  The third and most realistic sample is called Four Provinces grass.  That's Euro 29.99 a metre  It's 40 mm high and it looks and feels just like grass.  What do you think?

The area will be dug off and thrown into our dumper.  The herbaceous 'cottage garden' plants will be rescued and thrown into the veg plot.  That's still looking very sorry for itself.  Poor veg plot.

Once the area is cleared you spread stone and sand and give it a good tamping with the old whacker plate.  My brother's got one me thinks?  Then it's cover it with a landscape fabric like Mypex and then you roll out your chosen Astro-Turf.  Think you just have to glue the seams together and brush sand into the plastic grass bristles.

I think the plastic grass would be great for anybody who owns an holiday home and they don't want to have to mow the lawn (jungle) every time they visit.  Also you don't need a lawnmower or need to buy any petrol or dispose of grass cuttings.  It would also be suitable for anybody who have football mad kids.  They can play all year round on your lawn without treading it back into your lounge.  It's comes with a ten year guarantee.

Wonder if they make recycled plastic Astro-Turf?  What could be more organic than a plastic lawn, "Eh?" Told you I was a contradictory smallholder!


  1. Certainly controversial! not sure I'd like it at my place but I can see the benefits. And although I hate mowing the lawn I do love the smell of freshly cut grass and plastic won't smell the same when you mow it!

  2. Hi Kev. I am coming round to making use of plastic in the garden. We seem to be stuck with a total reliance on oil. So I thought, why not use it for a lawn (no air or noise pollution ) for a holiday home or wet area. Especially if it's recycled. I see enough plastic greenhouses, compost bins, seed trays, plastic raised beds, plastic clothes, shoes. Everything seems to be oil based these days. Plastic (rubber) paving seems to work well in children's playgrounds.

    I haven't made up my mind about the astro-turf yet. May order 20 ton of 2 inch chippings and spread it over Mypex with plants placed here and there. Use the rest around the farm. Will probably go for the cheapest option. Just wondered what people thought. Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. Personally I wouldn't like it because I also love the smell of cut grass as well as buttercups and daisies in the summer and the mushrooms later. I've no idea of the cost or up-keep but how about a camomile lawn? Then you get greenery, flowers and tea.

  4. Thanks Jane for your suggestions. One of our gardens is north facing and moss soon invaded the grass lawn I sowed. Then I made it into a cottage garden and it's forever full of weeds due to it being directly next to a field that's used for grazing and growing silage. So I thought of the plastic option just to make it maintenance free. Camomile tea sounds great. Thanks!

  5. Hi Dave....The last garden I tended had a small lawn that turned to a bog in winter. I couldn't be arsed laying drainage for such a small area so instead dug out to a depth of about a foot, built raised borders from sourced brick seconds, throwing both turf n soil into these. I then filled with the ruble from an out building that was unsafe to leave standing and then slabbed over but leaving the odd one missing to allow the odd patch of planting to come through (only because I couldn't pinch...ahem purchase....quite enough slabs at the time) the resulting garden was compact and very low maintenance and a lovely place to sit and relax.
    My brother the time a greenkeeper... at the same time laid his back yard with astro turf cause he said he didn't want to bring his work did look really effective but he did get strange looks when he went out to brush the lawn!

  6. Thanks John,

    I once worked on a golf course. So I know what your brother was talking about. He probably brushed sand between the bristles of the plastic grass. How well I remember changing holes and raking bunkers at 5.30 on a Saturday or Sunday morning...? I have heard that decorators don't paint or paper their houses.

    Your raised borders seating area sounds great. I am starting to mellow and using what ever product or material that is available. I wouldn't ever use weedkiller near my vegetables So I am organic in that respect. But the fields that are invaded by rushes get sprayed. So that's why I say I am contradictory smallholder.

    Thanks John!

  7. Sounds ideal, looks good and no constant mowing in summer.

    Does astroturf have a lifespan?

  8. In trelawnyd
    Therewashellto pay one year when Peter from anchor house won the best garden award with AstroTurf by his back door!

  9. I think it would be good for an holiday home or for an area that you don't want to maintain all the time. Petrol and electric mowers can be annoying and I wonder how much money we waste buying petrol for them? I wouldn't like to go back to a 'push' cylinder mower though.

    B & Q sell Astro Turf. There are a lot of online companies too. Think it lasts between ten to fifteen years. Suppose the colour must fade? It's good to give your garden a change every so often. Thanks!

  10. Don't think I would be an happy bunny if a garden award with Astro Turf. I once grew a massive cabbage and gave it my allotment neighbour. He won first prize. Thanks John.


A Bus man's Holiday To See Some Pigs At Balmoral Show.

You know what a bus man's holiday is don't you?  It means going on holiday and doing the same thing that you do at work.  Or on the ...