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

April 29, 2016

Why you should not get artificial turf, but why I like it

One of the things I really like here at the Tropical Paradise is the artificial turf. Yes, it looks as great in real life as it does in the photos that I post here. I've had it for about eight years, and it cost me a little over two thousand dollars.

If you're pondering artificial turf, I think I can help. You have to ask yourself what's important to you.

Personally, I love the look of grass, but I never really liked the hassle. Mowing, edging, watering, etc. And in a small space like mine it was really annoying. I suppose if I had a gigantic yard, and a riding mower it would be different. But my yard is small and I use it everyday.

But I've listened to people ask about it, and I have a few thoughts of why you may not want to get artificial turf.

Don't get artificial turf if:

• You plan on doing it yourself. My artificial turf is a beautiful illusion, and the installation was absolutely perfect. There are no corners that don't fit quite right, there are no wrinkles. The ground was cut down very deeply, and there is a base of fine granite, which was tamped down very firmly with heavy equipment. If you lay it down like indoor/outdoor carpet, it will look terrible. No, I won't tell you that, so I'm writing it here.

• You don't see the financial advantage. Plunking down thousands of bucks on a project like this means more than getting your credit card out. It means looking at the costs that will go away over the years, the water, the mowing, the seeding. For you Economics majors out there, you can also consider "alternate cost" - if you consider your time to be of value.

• You don't mind having a mess. Some people just prefer a more "rustic" backyard. You know, a place where they can leave old car parts lying around. Artificial turf is not dirt and weeds. If your yard is meant to be more functional than decorative, then stay with real grass.

By the way, artificial turf has perforations, so that rain and my dog's piddle goes through it. The only maintenance I do on it is to blow it with a lightweight rechargeable leaf blower a few times a month.

Artificial turf

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