How to toughen up your garden for sports

Gardens are there to be enjoyed, and there is no better way to enjoy a garden than by having a kickabout with the kids. Especially in a world cup year, you can expect families across the country to lace up their boots and go for a game of footie.

While it may be great to have some fun outdoors, you need to make sure you have prepared your garden to take the strain first. There’s nothing worse than reaching the end of the summer and realising your lawn looks like a wasteland that will take ages to repair…

Here are our top tips to create the perfect sporting arena in your garden ahead of summer:

Artificial intelligence

The technology and quality of artificial grass has come on leaps and bounds over the past few years. The taboo surrounding artificial grass is fading because it is so realistic, and in 2012 at the Chelsea Flower Show, a gold medal was controversially awarded to a garden with artificial turf. What was once reserved for mini golf or hockey pitches is becoming more and more commonplace. Even some football teams are installing artificial 3G pitches, as they require significantly less maintenance and are strong enough to stand up to a grueling weekly schedule.

This means you can have all of the football fun in the sun without having to worry about your garden being destroyed, as you replicate the glory of scoring at Wembley.

Mix it up

If you have your heart set on sticking with real grass, the right seed is everything. Believe it or not, all grass isn’t the same and, actually there are some very crucial differences. For most football pitches they use a lot of different ryegrasses. Usually the mixes found on most football pitches have at a minimum 60% ryegrass, as most of these varieties are very durable and can survive the strain of 25 players and officials running on it weekly.

While you don’t necessarily need to replicate the exact same finish as your favourite football team, and it may be unrealistic to even be worth trying, this doesn't mean you can’t recreate your own football pitch in your back garden. The right seed mixture planted well in advance will give you the desired professional finish to have a kickabout.

Moving the goalposts

Where you may see a window or a plant pot, your children may see a goalpost, and a football will smash through a greenhouse like an asteroid with one misplaced kick. It is therefore very important to set clear boundaries for where the game can be played. If there are plans to host your own version of the summer Olympics in your back garden, it may be worth removing as many delicate objects as possible just to avoid any accidents.

Replace your divots

A garden can be the ideal place for golfers to practice their short game away from the course. This can take a huge strain on the lawn and can result in a large number of divots and patches of ruined grass. To truly protect your lawn, it may be worth investing in a square patch of artificial turf so you can still practice your shots without ruining your pristine lawn. If you do take a divot out of the lawn you need to make sure you are repairing it straight away. Any barren patches become havens for weeds and will obviously look much more ungainly.

Show your stripes

For the perfect finish to your lawn, before the big game begins, you need to make sure you look the part with some classic stripes. It isn’t difficult to achieve that perfect striped look; you just need a lawn mower with a rear roller.

The roller bends the grass, which then reflects the sunlight at different angles, creating the striped effect. The colour of the stripe is dependent on how far you bend the grass. The further you flatten the grass, the darker the grass will look.

Chevron 32VC
Chevron 32VC
Power 1200 W
Cutting width 32 cm
Contour Cordless XT
Contour Cordless XT
Battery voltage 18 V
Cutting width 25 cm
Lawn edge facility Yes
Lawnrake Compact 3400
Lawnrake Compact 3400
Cutting height max 8 mm
Cutting height min -5 mm
Weight 12.3 kg