DIY Turf Blog

The DIYers Guide to Ground Prep for Turf Installation and Accessories


Besides getting the best artificial grass accessories, proper ground preparation is crucial to ensure a smooth, even, and long-lasting surface for turf installation. A level surface not only enhances the aesthetics of your artificial lawn but also improves drainage, prevents pooling, and extends the life of the grass. 

In this step-by-step guide for DIY installers, we’ll walk you through the exact process of flattening the ground for artificial grass installation.

Tools You'll Need for Ground Flattening

  • Shovel or spade to remove existing grass, weeds, and debris.
  • Wheelbarrow to transport excavated soil and materials.
  • Plate compactor or tamper to compact the ground and create a stable base.
  • Spirit level to check the evenness of the surface.
  • Landscape rake to spread and level sub-base materials.
  • Utility knife to trim the artificial grass to size.
  • Tape measure to measure the area and ensure accurate placement of grass.

Step-by-Step Guide: Flattening the Ground for Artificial Grass Installation

Got everything you need? Set aside your synthetic turf and the best artificial grass accessories you bought, and follow these steps to prepare your site for synthetic turf installation.

Step 1: Remove Existing Grass and Debris 

Start by using a shovel or spade to remove the existing grass, weeds, and debris from the area where you plan to install the artificial grass. Dig about 3-4 inches deep to ensure that you remove all roots and organic material that could cause unevenness over time.

Step 2: Excavate the Area 

Next, excavate the area to a depth of about 3-4 inches, depending on the type of artificial grass you are using. This will provide adequate space for the sub-base materials and the grass itself. Use a wheelbarrow to transport the excavated soil to a suitable disposal location.

Step 3: Compact the Soil 

Once the area is clear, use a plate compactor or tamper to compact the soil. This will create a stable base for your artificial grass and prevent the ground from settling unevenly over time. Make multiple passes over the entire area until the soil is firm and compact.

Step 4: Add Sub-Base Materials 

Now, add a layer of sub-base materials, such as crushed stone or decomposed granite, to the excavated area. The sub-base should be about 2-3 inches deep. Use a landscape rake to spread the material evenly and create a smooth, level surface.

Step 5: Compact the Sub-Base 

Use the plate compactor or tamper to compact the sub-base material. This will ensure that the base is stable and even. Check the surface with a spirit level to ensure that it is flat and make any necessary adjustments.

Step 6: Install the Artificial Grass 

Finally, roll out the artificial grass for the best putting greens over the prepared surface, making sure it is smooth and wrinkle-free. Use a utility knife to trim the edges of the grass to fit your space. Secure the grass with landscaping stakes or adhesive, depending on the manufacturer's recommendations.

Success Tips for Artificial Grass Ground Preparation

To get the best turf installation possible, keep these helpful tips in mind before starting and while you work.

  • Take your time during excavation and leveling to ensure the best possible results.
  • Always use high-quality sub-base materials for optimal drainage and stability.
  • Make sure the ground is free of roots, rocks, and other debris that could cause unevenness.
  • Regularly check the levelness of the surface throughout the process to maintain a consistent grade.

Achieve a Flawless Artificial Grass Installation

With this step-by-step guide, you can flatten the ground for your artificial grass installation like a pro, ensuring an even surface that will look great and last for years to come. 

Want to learn more? Explore our blog for more helpful guides on topics like turf edging and what mistakes to avoid.

For the best artificial turf, accessories, and tools, shop here at Artificial Turf Express. All our products are in stock and ready for pickup, so all you have to do is pick what you need. Got questions? Don’t hesitate to call us at 408-960-2255 or send us a message online!