This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

August 22, 2014

Making artificial turf look real

One of the best investments I ever made was having artificial turf installed. It's been here for eight years, and still looks great. So, I highly recommend it. But there are a few tricks that you need to do to make it look more real. Luckily, they're easy.

• Don't try to keep it perfectly clean. A few stray leaves on it is part of what makes it look real. I've seen artificial turf that is so clean that it looks, well, artificial. I have a small rechargeable blower that I use every once in a while, but that's all it needs.

• Make the contours natural. I've seen artificial turf enclosed in a perfect rectangle, or some other perfectly geometric shape. Avoid that. It looks ridiculous. Make the edges flow as if it were the normal edges of where grass stops.

• Avoid the temptation to do a putting green. Unless you really want your yard to look like a Miniature Golf Course, stay away from a putting green. It's what most people think of when they think of artificial turf, anyway.

So there you go. And, oh yeah, don't try to install it yourself. Real grass doesn't have wrinkles, and places where it doesn't quite fit. It's not carpeting, there's a thick layer of finely-ground granite underneath my artificial turf. It had to be professionally tamped down, and correctly leveled. And, in case you're wondering, yes dogs can pee on it. It has tiny drainage holes that allow water, and uh, other liquids to flow through.
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