Growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area. With a wiener dog.

June 15, 2015

Replacing your thirsty lawn with artificial turf

If your lawn looks terrible, either because you aren't giving it enough water, or enough attention, and you are considering getting rid of it, I strong encourage you. If you're thinking of paving it all over, or pouring concrete on it, or using gravel, I strongly discourage you.

Grass looks beautiful. When it's green and nicely trimmed, and edged, and fertilized, and watered, and all that. When I first bought my house, twenty years ago, I spent a lot of time, and money, and water, on my grass. Then about eight years ago I had artificial turf installed. It was the best investment I ever made.

This is what it looks like this morning, and as you can see, it still looks great. I've had people walk on it and not even realize that it wasn't real grass until they reached down to touch it. And since I'm so happy with my artificial turf, I've become quite an advocate for it. And it you're thinking of it, here are some stray thoughts:

• Have it professionally installed. This isn't indoor-outdoor carpet! I've seen people who probably thought that it was best to do it themselves, and it looks terrible. When mine was installed, it took a crew a day to dig out the old dirt, fill the area in with fine sand, which was tamped down to be even, and then install and cut perfectly along the edges. By the way, artificial turf is perforated, so that water, rain, and uh, dog piddle goes through it. I rinse it down with a hose on occasion, but not much. Actually it looks better, and more like real grass, if there are some stray leaves on it. Nowadays you can get the kind that even has a few "dead" pieces of grass in it, which is more realistic.

• Don't be tempted to do a putting green. Just about everyone has asked me why I didn't do a putting green. It's because I didn't want my backyard to look like a miniature golf course, I wanted it to look like a backyard.

Oh yeah, and here's something that you really can't really do on a real lawn, use lawn furniture. I leave my lawn furniture out all of the time, it won't kill the grass.

It will be over 100 degrees again today in Phoenix. I won't need to water my grass, or mow it, or anything. I like my artificial turf!
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