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Side yard revamp with artificial grass

Becoming a Leader
Becoming a Leader

Synthetic turf proved the best option (and the most dog-friendly) for an awkward space where grass struggled to grow.





The project


This odd-shaped area in our backyard has been a tricky one to work with. We've always called it the "triangle area" because of the awkward shape of the space.


The area was very damp and the ground was covered in moss. The previous owners used the raised garden beds to grow vegetables.




One positive is that it allowed us to create a separate area away from the main backyard that can't be seen from the living area inside the house.


We plan on using this area as a garden for growing plants solely in pots and containers (strawberries, Japanese maple, blueberries, succulents etc.). Should we move, I'd love to bring my potted plants with me to the next place.




After removing the raised vegetable beds and levelling the soil we attempted to grow grass. However, with frequent walking along the side and our dog's daily "zoomies", the grass never took.




We planted Syzygium "Resilience" lilly pillies and English box along the fence. The bird bath is the Lotus Green Bird Bath from Bunnings.




We planted up an old, rusty fire pit with succulents. We drilled holes in the steel bowl for drainage.




We initially planned on having pebbles in the whole area as that would be low-maintenance and the easiest solution to solving the problem of dampness, mud and weeds.




However we created a larger issue for our dog, who would chew on the pebbles (resulting in a chipped tooth), and he also found it uncomfortable to walk on (sadly, no more zoomies). So we went back to the drawing board and hauled out all of the pebbles from the area two days later.


Artificial turf installation


Our new plan was to create a strip of artificial turf and then a crushed-granite area for the potted garden. We used the same method to create the base layer for the artificial turf as we did for our Backyard golf putting green (lay bed of crushed rock, level, compact, sand, level, re-sand, lay and nail down artificial turf, spread and brush in silica sand).


The material we used for the triangle area is a grey crushed topping (Tynong topping) that we compacted. It is similar to the orange-coloured crushed granite that you see on walking tracks at parks.




We levelled the area with sand and rolled it with a water-filled barrel roller. Then we pinned down the artificial turf, nailing down every 150mm around the perimeter and roughly every 300mm on the inside.




We spread silica sand over the artificial turf and brushed up the grass pile.




The main reason we top-dressed with silica sand is to weigh the turf down and keep the pile standing up. It helps avoid air gaps and lifting, particularly in high-traffic areas.




As for keeping the turf pile upright, it gives it a more “realistic” look. Here is how it looks when it is first laid without the silica sand and brush-up. It has a flat and shiny look to it.




We will likely need to reapply more silica sand in the coming months as everything settles. 


The area is still very much a work in progress but we're happy that the dog loves running up and down the side again. It's much more comfortable on his paws.


There are still a few things left to do for this area:


  • Brick step for the back door
  • Trimming Pittosporum trees
  • Star jasmine espalier
  • Painting fence
  • Painting fascia and gutters and roof restoration.




In the meantime we've purchased this little bench seat for the space.


Before and after














More project inspiration for your home


Homeinmelbourne also got to grips with synthetic turf in their Backyard golf putting green project.




Bunnings Workshop member Jimi's front-yard transformation included a curving stone retaining wall and crazy paving complemented by garden planting.




There are also plenty of great ideas in our Top 10 most popular landscaping projects and Top 10 most popular outdoor projects.


Let us know if you need a hand with your own project. Start a discussion and tell us what you need.


Kind of a Big Deal

Far out @homeinmelbourne That is awesome mate ! Well done. Thank you for sharing, I’m sure your backyard project will inspire Community friends who may want to use artificial turf in their gardens 😊

Just Starting Out

This garden looks great. However, I was going to come in and buy a firepit from you guys because the one we bought from you 2 years ago is completely rusted out. But the rusted one in the pictures is one I was looking at buying from you - you sell that product! Do they all rust out?? 

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Hello @lisa_25 


Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. It's fabulous to have you join us, and thank you for sharing your question about firepits.


If your firepit is made out of steel, it will eventually rust. The best way to protect it from the weather is to either make a timber fire pit cover or move the firepit temporarily out of the way so that it does not get wet. Leaving it out in the weather will make the steel firepit rust.


When you say that your current firepit is rusted out, is it just body rust all over or the rust has eaten away at the bottom creating a hole? If it is just body rust, you can still repaint it to recover its look. However, if it has been damaged at the bottom and holes have started to appear, I suggest thinking about turning it into a small garden pot where you can plant succulents.


There are a few styles to choose from, I suggest passing by your local store and seeing which firepit is suitable for your garden.


If you need further assistance, please let us know.




Just Starting Out

We love the look of the pebbles in this project! Were they purchased from Bunnings?  If so, could you please provide the name/description of the product used?  Thank you 😊 

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @Keryn_L. It's sensational to have you join us, and many thanks for your question about the pebbles used in this project.

Let me mention @homeinmelbourne so they are alerted to your question, and hopefully, they can provide an answer.

We look forward to hearing about your projects and plans around the house and garden. Please reach out anytime you need assistance or have something to share with the community.


Becoming a Leader

Hi @Keryn_L ,


Apologies for the late response. The pebbles were called “Geelong Grey” and were ordered from our local Diaco’s nursery/garden supply shop. 🙂

Finding My Feet

That looks amazing! I love that you put pebbles down but conceded they didn’t work, and didn’t give up. 

We have a similar issue With lack of sunlight, dog zoomies, and a generally ugly area. 

How does artificial turf go in warm weather? We have some carpet grass that grows under our palm trees, but here in Qld I’m not sure how hot the artificial turf would be underfoot. 


Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Hi @Cornwall99,


I'd like to extend a warm welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community; it is fantastic to have you join us.


Allow me to tag @homeinmelbourne so they are notified of your question.


As a QLDer myself, I can confirm that artificial turf can get quite hot underfoot but if it is installed in a shady area like you've described, you shouldn't have much of an issue with the heat.


You might like to create your own post with some photos of the area where you might want to install artificial grass. This way our members can see the space and offer advice and inspiration based on the specifics of your area.


If you'd like some assistance with this, let me know. I'm more than happy to help.




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