How to Lay Astroturf in Your Backyard

Whether you live in an area where the climate precludes a normal lawn, or if you'd like to avoid making regular yard maintenance operations, installing Astroturf in your backyard can be a great way to enhance your living space. Astroturf is an artificial grass replica that is designed to be durable for a variety of different activities and climate types. The process of installing Astroturf in your backyard is moderately labor intensive and can be done with some basic tools and equipment.

Tools and Materials

  • Spade, shovel and trowel
  • Wheelbarrow or bucket
  • Sand and peastone
  • Flags or other markers
  • Astroturf, cut into strips
  • Utility knife
  • Landscaping pins
  • Turf tape
  • Power compactor

Step 1 -- Set the Boundaries

After deciding where you'd like to place your Astroturf, mark the corners of the area carefully in your yard with flags or another type of marker. Ensure that your measurements are correct so that you can lay the Astroturf according to the flag markers without concern about the final appearance of the project.

Step 2 -- Remove the Grass

Once you've set the boundaries for your Astroturf patch, use the spade to remove the grass that exists in that area. If there are any other non-grass items, remove those too. To remove the grass, take the spade and wedge it under the grass to pull it up in chunks. By cutting the grass out in squares that are about one foot on a side, you'll have an easier time disposing of the grass or transferring it to another area.

Step 3 -- Remove the Topsoil

Next, use your spade to excavate the topsoil and remove it with a wheelbarrow or bucket. Ultimately, the area where the Astroturf will lie should be recessed below the surrounding natural grass and flat. Stop digging away the topsoil when the top of the subsoil comes into view.

Step 4 -- Mix and Pour the Sand and Peastone

Mix the sand and peastone in equal parts. Pour the mixture onto the hole that you've created and spread it out evenly with the trowel or other tools as necessary. The sand and peastone mixture should be even with the ground level of the yard around the Astroturf area.

Step 5 -- Compact the Sand and Peastone

Use a power compactor (available at a local hardware store) to compact the sand and peastone mixture. Continue to compact the mixture until the surface of the Astroturf area is completely solid.

Step 6 -- Lay and Secure the Astroturf

Cut the Astroturf into strips if it isn't provided that way already. Roll it out over the area, making sure that all pieces of Astroturf are oriented in the same direction. Then apply landscaping pins every 2 feet or so.

Step 7 -- Clean up the Seams

Finally, use the utility knife to trim the edges of the Astroturf pieces so that you can bind the seams. Use turf tape to hold the seams together. You can also coat the seam with turf adhesive for a more secure connection.