I have a confession…
I did something…
And, I am going to do it again.
I installed faux turf, you know artificial ~ fake grass in our backyard.
It was one of the top 5 best things I did for this house.
And I plan on giving the new (old) house the same treatment.
Our 1/2 shade, 1/2 sun, poolside lawn could just never thrive.
Part would be over watered. Less water and the other part would get scorched. With the girls & friends jumping in and out of the pool there was constant traffic & mud.
We decided to go faux about 8 years ago. I researched, got estimates and weighed the pros & cons.
- save water & lots of it
- looks great ALL the time
- permeable, unlike some other lawn replacements
- reduce pollution by not mowing & blowing with gas machines
- no mud, ruts or bald spots
- great for shade
- sometimes gets hot in the sun (not really & I live in SoCal)
Well, those pros sure weigh more than the cons if you are staying in your house for awhile to recoup the investment.
We couldn’t be happier with the decision to go faux. We saved $ and our yard always looks green & gorgeous! It “wakes up like that“!
You know how I love to garden, but I was never a fan of lawns ~ so much water, so much maintenance. We removed 18 sprinkler heads, reduced our water & lawn care bills. Yippee!!
So let me give you…
The REAL TRUTH on FAKE GRASS
What is fake grass?
Fake grass, or artificial grass, is a mixture of plastics. The installation calls for a fairly deep under layer of sand and/or decomposed granite. A layer of ground up rubber can also be used to make it more shock absorbent if you are playing lots of sports on it.
Invented in 1964 & introduced in the Astrodome in Houston in 1966, fake grass has been around & come a long way.
There are varying types & grades of artificial grass. Quality is based in the number of “yarns” or blades per square inch, whether there are differing blade heights and how realistic it looks. Some even come with golden or dried out looking blades scattered throughout to give it a more natural appearance.
How is fake grass installed?
With my handsome, but handy challenged, husband and our odd shaped yard ~ professionally, but you could DIY it. However, cutting the tough plastic is difficult. I know, I tried making mats out of the left over pieces. Moreover, making the seams – or better yet seam, singular, invisible is essential.
Faux grass is installed much like carpet. It needs to be stretched tightly, be put atop a secure base & the fewer seams the better. The base needs to be prepared as well. Three to four inches of decomposed granite at least.
Bender board is used around the edges and spikes are driven in to hold the grass in place. Large staples are employed where the seam meets. We have one seam & I wouldn’t know where it is unless I saw it the grass being installed.
What is the cost of fake grass?
Approximately $10 – $20 per foot installed. Not cheap, but when you consider the amount of work required to produce & install it and the over time cost savings, if you are planning on staying put for awhile it makes sense.
We bought ours through Home Depot. HD had partnered with a company here in California. I figured I had Home Depot to back them up & they were having a great sale at the time. Brilliant between pavers! Photo courtesy Conservation Grass.
How do you care for fake grass?
Just spray with water once in a while to wash it down. If you have messy pets you may want to use a cleanser infrequently. Just squirt some on & spray with the hose.
As residential installations are relatively new for this product, it is hard to tell how long it will last. The estimate is 10 -20 years, but quite possibly longer. Ours is 8 years old & looks as good as the day it went in with never an issue.
I made you a sheet with questions to ask yourself & a artificial grass company. If you are considering it, click here. You can copy & paste it and email to yourself so you have it when talking with companies & getting estimates.
Long live fake grass!
So can you tell how I feel? I LOVE me some artificial turf!
Disclosure: I am all real, except for my back lawn. Didn’t want you to think my faux-ness went any further.
Save water, save time, over time save $, don’t pollute, don’t get itchy from rolling in the grass, stay permeable!
** Kelly **
p.s. don’t forget your question sheet!