How to build a lawn for your guinea pigs (Apartment-balcony friendly!) (2024)

For guinea pig parents who want to give their guinea pigs a taste of nature but don’t necessarily have a lot of nature around them, we have a great DIY solution! This is great for those of you piggy parents that live in urban areas and don’t have your own gardens for your piggies to run around safely in.

Recently, GuineaDad has been building and putting together a grass platform, or a “lawn,” as we affectionately call it. As with any kind of project, this takes time and patience and as long as you put in both of these things, you’ll have a great grassy lawn area for your guinea pigs to frolic around safely!

GuineaDad lives in an apartment that happens to have a nicely-sized balcony, and that’s where he has placed the lawn. While the balcony doesn’t get a whole lot of direct sunlight, the grass has still been able to grow very well! So if you’re planning on doing this, but are worried about getting decent sunlight for grass growth, don’t be discouraged.

We also have a few vlogs on YouTube that detail the process of this build, which you can watch over on our YouTube channel.

Why do guinea pigs need a lawn?

Even though guinea pigs are able to get a good amount of exercise in their cage as long as it is large enough and if they’re given floor time inside your home, it can get pretty boring seeing the same places and things day in and day out.

By creating an area outside that your guinea pigs can use safely, they’re able to get some exercise in the fresh air, and they’ll get a little vitamin D from some sunlight! You’re also able to control most, if not all elements of your guinea pig’s exposure to the outside world by doing this as well.

You may be wondering, is grass good for guinea pigs, or is it okay for guinea pigs to eat grass? As long as you choose a safe grass type for your guinea pigs, they should be able to eat it safely as well.

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Materials you’ll need

Wood for the floor and walls

When it comes to the wood for the floor of the grass platform, make sure you get some that you will be able to easily cut and hammer into, because you might need to make adjustments for the size of your balcony and the size of the lawn that you’re trying to build. For the bottom and floor of the lawn, we utilized plywood sheets.

For the wood that makes up the walls, make sure that the planks’ width is wide enough that your guinea pigs won’t be able to hop and popcorn over! This, of course, is for their safety!

You’ll also need some pieces of wood that you’ll use to secure the plywood together and support them. (GuineaDad sacrificed the walls of the Queen’s Castle for this purpose, but similar-shaped square pieces will work well for this too!)

Overall, when it comes to the type of wood that you choose to use, make sure that you’re not using any softer woods like cedar or pine. If you’ve read our blog post on the best bedding for guinea pigs, then you’ll know that cedar and pine woods give off a scent that is toxic to guinea pigs and can destroy the linings of their respiratory tract and make them sick. Always use solid hardwoods.

Power drill and screws

This will make it a lot easier for you to assemble your lawn platform. It’ll also save you some time, since you won’t be manually screwing each piece of wood together.

Pea pebbles

The purpose of pea pebbles is for even and consistent drainage of water, while helping with constant hydration of the roots without any rotting. It’s important that the grass gets enough water, but isn’t overwatered. It’s an important balance!

Weed control film

This one is exactly what it sounds like! It helps with preventing the growth of weeds, which can ruin your grass.

All purpose garden soil

This one is pretty self explanatory, but grass needs soil to grow! Gardening soil is great for all purposes because it’s easy to improve its overall condition if it were to dry out or run out of nutrients.

Watering can

This will be used not only to water your grass, but it will help you with cleaning your balcony and making sure that it’s clean.

Ryegrass Seeds

The kind we got is technically supposed to be used as a spot treatment, but it worked well for the purpose of growing a small lawn! Ours had mulch, plus the seeds and fertilizer all in one. The packaging also says that it can grow in sun and shade, so this works well for us!

Ryegrass is a type of grass that is often utilized for grazing and hay for many animals because of its high nutritional value, and is also good for your guinea pigs.

How to build the lawn

Step 1: Clean your balcony

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It’s important that the whole area is clean, not just the part where you’re planning on placing the lawn! This is for your guinea pigs’ health and safety, and it benefits you as well. Here’s the motivation to do some cleaning—it’s for your piggies!

GuineaDad spent time sweeping away all the dirt, dust, and any other kinds of debris away, and sprayed it down with water using a watering can! His balcony has a drain, so he swept the dirty water into it!

Step 2: Lay down the wood for the floor and walls.

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This is so you can get a visual idea of how it’s going to look before you actually start putting it together. You’ll also be able to rearrange anything that you need to, without going in blind or unprepared! You will also need to utilize your smaller pieces of wood and place them down at the seams of the plywood to map out where they need to be connected.

In our case, we used six sheets of plywood, and placed the connecting pieces at the four corners where they meet. To be clear, these wooden support pieces are going to be underneath the lawn! So they’ll be in contact with the floor of your balcony, not the grass and soil.

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Step 3: Secure and attach the walls.

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For the front and back walls, it will be easier for you to attach them while the floor is flipped over with the support pieces still on top. This is because the attachment will be done with the bottom of the wall first. Once you attach those, you can flip the whole thing over and start attaching the side walls.

GuineaDad did all of this alone, but it can be an easier (and faster) project if you have someone to help you!

Step 4: Lay down the weed control film.

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Once the frame and platform have been created, you’re ready to start the gardening portion of this DIY project! The weed film comes in a roll, so you’ll need to lay it down and trim it to fit. Make sure that all the nooks and crannies are covered, and that there is a little bit to cover up to 2 or 3 inches of the walls as well.

Step 5: Cover the bottom with the pea pebbles.

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The purpose of these are to prevent weed growth and to prevent the roots from rotting, while also retaining moisture so your grassroots will be hydrated. If the roots rot, then your grass will die, and you will have done all that work for nothing! You’d have to start over.

The pea pebbles will also improve the drainage whenever you water the grass. You’re going to need more than you think! The pea pebble layer should be around 2 inches thick. We bought eight bags of this, and we used all of it.

Step 6: Pour in the garden soil.

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Make sure every inch of the pea pebbles are covered in the soil as evenly as possible! This is so the grass can grow evenly as well. GuineaDad used his hands and the soles of his sandals to spread out the soil, but you can definitely use a garden shovel or small rake to keep your hands a bit cleaner.

Step 7: Sprinkle the ryegrass seeds onto the soil.

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As we mentioned before, what we used was supposed to be for spot treatment, but because we’re just making a small lawn for guinea pigs, it works well for that purpose. We used three large containers of this!

Make sure you’re spreading this evenly over the soil to ensure even grass growth! You’ll know you’ve spread enough of the mulch/seeds/fertilizer mixture when you can just barely see the soil through it. This will make sure the grass grows thick and lush! We want there to be lots for the guinea pigs to munch on.

Step 8: Water!

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We used a watering can since we don’t have a hose like a normal house would! GuineaDad Water your lawn until it’s sufficiently damp, and try to do this as evenly as possible.

Step 9: Let your grass grow!

This is where more of your time and patience will be needed! Make sure you’re watering your lawn every day, but make sure that you’re not also over-watering. As we mentioned previously, GuineaDad’s full balcony doesn’t get full exposure to sunlight, but it has still been able to grow pretty well, considering!

That means that the “sun and shade” purpose of the ryegrass works very well, and we recommend getting this kind if it’s also available to you. If your balcony gets good sunlight, this will still work well for you too.

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(These are our progress shots from one week of growth.)

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(And then two weeks of growth!)

As an AI language model, I have a wide range of knowledge on various topics, including DIY projects, gardening, and pet care. While I don't have personal experiences or emotions like a human, I can provide information and insights based on the data I've been trained on.

Now, let's dive into the concepts mentioned in the article you provided.

Grass Platform for Guinea Pigs

The article discusses a DIY project for creating a grass platform, or "lawn," for guinea pigs. This project is especially useful for guinea pig owners who live in urban areas without access to a garden. The grass platform provides a safe area for guinea pigs to exercise and enjoy fresh air.

Benefits of a Grass Platform for Guinea Pigs

The article explains that while guinea pigs can get exercise in their cages and during floor time inside the house, having an outdoor area allows them to experience new environments and get some vitamin D from sunlight. Additionally, creating an outdoor space for guinea pigs allows owners to control their pets' exposure to the outside world.

Safety Considerations

The article emphasizes the importance of using safe materials for the grass platform. It suggests using solid hardwoods for the floor and walls, avoiding softer woods like cedar or pine, which can be toxic to guinea pigs. The width of the planks used for the walls should be wide enough to prevent guinea pigs from hopping over.

Materials Needed

The article lists the materials required for building the grass platform:

  • Wood for the floor and walls
  • Power drill and screws
  • Pea pebbles for drainage and moisture retention
  • Weed control film to prevent weed growth
  • All-purpose garden soil for grass growth
  • Watering can for watering the grass and cleaning the balcony
  • Ryegrass seeds for grass growth

Steps to Build the Grass Platform

The article provides a step-by-step guide for building the grass platform:

  1. Clean the balcony thoroughly.
  2. Lay down the wood for the floor and walls to visualize the layout.
  3. Secure and attach the walls.
  4. Lay down the weed control film.
  5. Cover the bottom with pea pebbles.
  6. Pour in the garden soil.
  7. Sprinkle the ryegrass seeds onto the soil.
  8. Water the grass until it's sufficiently damp.
  9. Allow the grass to grow, watering it daily but avoiding over-watering.

Please note that the information provided here is a summary of the article you shared. For more detailed instructions and visuals, it is recommended to refer to the original article or the accompanying YouTube videos mentioned in the article.

I hope this information helps you understand the DIY grass platform project for guinea pigs. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask!

How to build a lawn for your guinea pigs (Apartment-balcony friendly!) (2024)


How do I grow grass on my apartment balcony? ›

  1. Find a suitable shallow container with proper drainage. ...
  2. Layer the bottom of the container with about a ½ inch to 1 inch of gravel or small pebbles to assist with water drainage. ...
  3. Sprinkle your soil with the grass seeds. ...
  4. Use your misting bottle to lightly water the seeds until the soil is damp.
Sep 14, 2022

What type of grass is safe for guinea pigs? ›

Wheat grass is commonly sold in pet stores for cats, but is also perfect for piggies.

Can you keep guinea pigs on a balcony? ›

Although less inclined to climb and squeeze through gaps than cats, some will, so make sure your balcony is safe for them. For smaller animals like rabbits and guinea pigs you can set up tubes and a cardboard box filled with shredded paper and with an entrance and an exit they can hop in and out of.

Can guinea pigs have grass from outside? ›

The roots on grass can actually be harmful to piggies, so please avoid them. If you are planning to let your guinea pigs forage for their own grass (which they will love by the way!) please bear in mind that they need introducing to grass gradually.

What kind of grass do you put on a balcony? ›

You can lay artificial turf on the flat area of the balcony, and using a drainage tile under the turf will help to create a comfortable and functional space. When choosing turf for your balcony, you'll need to consider figures like the ideal pile height and aesthetic that you want the space to have.

Is it possible to put grass on a balcony? ›

If you're happy for the real grass to be temporary it may be an option, but otherwise, you'll need to consider laying down topsoil first. If It Does Grow, You've Got to Mow It: If you have a well-positioned balcony with plenty of light that's easy to water, you may be in the perfect position to give real grass a try.

Can I give cut grass to guinea pigs? ›

Lawn mower clippings are a big No No! These could result indigestive upset and illness and should never be given to your guinea pig to eat. Although cutting with scissors and putting into your Piggie cage is fine, as you can make sure you haven't cut any weeds.

Is normal grass OK for guinea pigs? ›

Providing your guinea pig with a natural staple such as grass is an essential key to maintaining healthy gut mobility and should be offered as regularly as possible. Grass not only promotes healthy GI but is high in fibre and vitamin C which guinea pigs require daily.

How do you pick grass for guinea pigs? ›

If you plan to collect it yourself (to pop in their run, hutch or cage), please always cut the grass with a pair of scissors and don't just rip it out of the ground. The roots on grass can actually be harmful to piggies, so please avoid them.

How do you take care of a guinea pig in an apartment? ›

Guinea pigs need appropriate room to roam, with separate spaces for a nest, bathroom area and food and water. No animal is meant to live in a cage all the time, so make sure to provide your pig with time outside their enclosures at least once a day to stretch their legs, explore and exercise.

Can guinea pigs live in apartments? ›

Even more, guinea pigs stay in a contained space like a crate, making them one of the cleanest options for apartment living. Finally, they're incredibly affordable. You won't have to think about costly, frequent vet bills as much as with a cat or dog.

How do you keep a guinea pig in an apartment? ›

In terms of their living space, your guinea pig needs:
  1. A secure space that's large enough for them to exercise and high enough to stand up fully on their back legs.
  2. Indoor accommodation that's well-ventilated, dry and away from direct heat sources (such as radiators or sunny windows) and draughts.

Do guinea pigs like fake grass? ›

If you have rabbits or guinea pigs or an animal that needs an outdoor run then you may be concerned about them chewing on your new installation! However, although your artificial grass may look super realistic to you, small animals won't eat it because to them it is just green plastic!

Can guinea pigs touch grass? ›

Although guinea pigs are quite small, they require a large enclosure with plenty of access to fresh grass. Guinea pigs are natural grazers and will happily spend the day munching away.

Can you grow plants on apartment balcony? ›

Just about any plant you can grow in a container is fair game for a balcony garden, as long as you have the space for it and can give it the appropriate amount of sun or shade.

What is the easiest plant to grow on a balcony? ›

1. Herbs: Herbs like basil, mint, parsley, chives, and rosemary are relatively easy to grow in small containers and can add fresh flavors to your meals. 2. Tomatoes: Cherry or patio tomatoes are suitable for balcony gardening and can thrive in containers with sufficient sunlight.

Can I start a garden on my balcony? ›

You can grow tons of fresh veggies, fruits and herbs very easily on a balcony, patio or even a sunny spot inside. Plants, especially fruits and veggies, love sunlight. Don't know if you've ever heard that, but it's true. They like at least 6 hours of good direct sunlight per day.

How do you stick artificial grass to a balcony? ›

Make sure you've done all of your cutting before even touching the artificial grass glue. Once this is done, the next step is to connect the synthetic grass sections using artificial grass joining tape. Once this is done, secure the perimeter of the artificial grass patio or balcony using your artificial grass glue.

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