Moderator's Note: The tutorial below was originally posted by Jeff Kraker (Coaltrain) in the "Ground Cover 101" thread. A copy of it has been moved here to the Archives for safekeeping. The original tutorial remains open for discussion and questions:

Here is a little tutorial on how I plant Silflor. Silflor is a product sold by Scenic Express. You can purchase Silflor in sheets of different greens and browns and in three different heights, or in little clumps called Tufts. For HO scale the medium heights makes a good knee high grassy weeds. I like using summer and late summer tones.

When I use the sheets of Silflor I tear off small patches, some long and narrow and some bigger rounder patches. The Tufts work very well for a more irregular height patch of grasses. I always use clumps even when I want to cover a large area because I like the uneven spacing that it creates.

Here is how I plant the Tufts.

Here is how Tufts come. The Tufts are small patches of grass with a somewhat sticky base and they are all stuck on a a tube of plastic sheet. What you see in the image is half of the amounts of tufts, there are more on the back side of the backing.

Here is one tuft removed from the backing sheet and stuck on my finger. The sticky base is not strong enough to hold the tufts to the layout and require some glue for a permanant installation.

work in small areas at a time. I start by adding patches of white glue on top of my soil scenery base. I pull tufts from the backing with and push then into the glue. It you are using the sheets, tear small patches from the sheet and push then into the glue. Don't use your finger to mash down the Silflor in the glue or you will have a mess.

Let the glue dry under the Silfor and then add more of your soil ground cover over the Silfor to hide the base, this is really important if you are using the sheets of Silflor. Use a soft brush to work the soil down into the Silflor.

If you are using a fine soil you can get it worked down into the Silflor by scrubbing the tops of the Silflor with your soft brush.

I like to blend the Silflor with fine WS ground foam. In this image I am using fine green grass WS ground foam around the edges of the silflor to represent new grass growth. Brush foam off the the silflor before you glue down the foam. After I get the soil and foam around the silflor I use dulited matte medium to bond everything in place.

here is an HO figure to give you an idea how tall medium height Silflor is.

to make grass that is growing between the ties I use sheets of silflor that I cut into narrow strips. I make a puddle of white glue on a piece of cardboard and dip the bottom of the silflor into the glue. The I place the strip of silflor between the ties. when it dries I brush on fine soil of balast to hide the base of the silflor.

most of the ground cover around this coal tipple is Silflor.

View my HO railroad

the Roanoke & Southern