DIY Turf Blog

Synthetic Turf offers options during drought


No mowing and saves water, too? Synthetic turf indeed sounds like the perfect lawn for parched landscapes.

Recent technological innovations make today’s fake grass look better than the real thing. Dogs like it. Neighbors can’t tell the difference. And in the grips of prolonged drought, a no-water green space has its appeal.

But artificial turf may not be for every home – especially if the owner plans to sell any time soon. Some cities, such as Sacramento, still prohibit its use for front yard landscaping.

Sacramento’s city code specifically says “no artificial turf,” says Jessica Hess of the city’s utilities department. But that restriction generally is enforced only if there’s a complaint.

California’s prolonged drought has many cities and people looking twice at synthetic lawns and reconsidering such bans. Some cities, like Roseville, suggest synthetic turf as part of its grass replacement initiatives.

Elsewhere around the state, water districts and cities are considering rebates or other incentives for synthetic lawns. Artificial grass usually costs $3 to $5 per square foot and $8 to $15 per square foot installed. Most synthetic lawns last 10 to 15 years before they need renovation.

Sacramento radio host “Farmer” Fred Hoffman used synthetic turf to not only save water, but create a perfect putting green at his home in Herald. His wife, Jeanne, is an avid golfer.

“It is completely hassle-free,” Hoffman said of the putting green. “I clean off leaves or the nearby bark that blows onto the green with a broom or leaf blower. It still looks as good as the day we installed it (in 2011).

“We have found that during gatherings of friends and family, the putting green is more popular than the swimming pool, horseshoe pit or the bocce ball court,” he added.

“I am thrilled with my artificial grass. Going out to the backyard during summer, fall or winter, now feels like entering another room. It’s almost like having carpet.”

In some ways, artificial turf is like carpet; it’s woven from fibers.

“Today, there is much more variety and better pricing,” said Brian McGibbon, who serves on the Synthetic Turf Council task force to create guidelines for artificial turf. “Innovations in the last four years have led to new yarn shapes that are more durable and more resilient to foot traffic. Also, a variety of tan thatches and different face yarns give makers the flexibility to replicate different types of grass better.”

Most people first see synthetic turf on sporting fields. As its evolved, artificial grass has gained popularity for all sorts of play areas, for people or pets.

Synthetic lawn has particular appeal to people with dogs. No more yellow spots, but what about urine and other waste? New turf systems feature antimicrobial underlayers as part of their backing. Sublayers ensure proper drainage.

“We have two golden retrievers that love to play ball, but we did not have an area suitable as depending on the weather it was either a dust bowl or mud pit,” said Michelle Bernstein, who installed premium synthetic turf in her backyard.

“Honestly, this is the best thing we have ever done,” she added. “The dogs love it, and no more tracking in copious amounts of dirt. We love it because it looks so nice and we look brilliant because of the water restrictions. This is a large area that no longer needs water.”

Andrea Grenier of Roseville used synthetic lawn to solve another landscape problem: a difficult slope.

“Dragging a lawn mower up and down a steep set of steps was not going to be fun,” Grenier said. “And yet I still wanted at least some lawn to provide a transition between the concrete patio slab and the terraced walls (in her backyard).”

Grenier opted for a style of synthetic turf with thin blades of slightly varied height. The result looks like lush groomed grass year round – without the lawn mower.

“Even my husband has become a believer!” she said. “The neighbors think it looks great from their vantage point, too.”

To learn more about the advantages of synthetic lawn and everything you need to know before installing your artificial grass visit the Artificial Turf Express Showroom in San Jose, CA.  We specialize in providing top quality artificial turf for Contractors, Landscapers and the “Do-it-yourself” crowd.

We provide same day project support or offer drop-ship and special order services to most locations surrounding the Greater Bay Area. We stock all the necessary items needed for the installation of artificial grass products. Items in stock, in addition great premium quality turf, we stock; in-fill, sand, nails, staples glue as well as other items you may need. Our focus is on providing you with everything you would need to complete your project.