Front & Backyard
Times are changing, and for economic, environmental, and personal reasons, a real lawn is not the aspiration for many people it once was. Maintaining a real lawn costs money for watering and cutting; fertilizers and anti-weed chemicals can be bad for the environment, and many people do not have the time.
Thanks to design possibilities and fewer installation restrictions, artificial turf is an attractive alternative. Advanced manufacturing makes synthetic grass indistinguishable from the real thing, and plastic blades have even become more lifelike. Unlike real glass, its synthetic brethren can be installed nearly anywhere and is ready for immediate use. Here are some front and backyard design ideas to consider.
- Artificial grass can be used in the driveway, between concrete slabs. This saves on the cost of installing more cement and makes an attractive contrast to the casual observer.
- If you have a heavily shaded patio but still long for some green, try fake turf.
- Utilize a design that mixes multiple materials: Lush synthetic grass, combined with stamped or colored concrete, cobblestone, natural tile, or sand.
- You are not a “square,” and neither is your lawn. With fake grass, try an installation pattern that alternates multiple shapes: Wide swirls, circles, rectangles, half or crescent moons – all interspersed with artificial grass.
- Create a chess board, with natural stone alternated with fake turf.
- An area for bocce ball, a full-size chess board, a putting green, or even checkers.
- Liven up the patio or deck around your pool. Install a strip of synthetic grass several feet away from the edge of the pool, then contrast that with an artificial beach of sand and shells.
- Add a touch of permanent green to your flowerbeds. Build staggered beds, one higher than the next, but alternate between artificial grass and real dirt for flowers or vegetation.
If you are a homeowner with an active dog but little time to maintain a natural lawn, one of the best options is artificial lawn. Lush and durable, today’s fake turf is designed to mimic real grass. Why bother with the weekly chores of tending to the real thing, when another option exists?
Synthetic grass is a terrific alternative for pet owners, especially when you look at some of the benefits:
- A fake lawn maintains its appearance all year long
One of the most time-consuming chores a homeowner must contend with is maintaining their lawn. It requires regular watering – which can be a problem in many communities – not to mention cutting and tending to weed and critter infestations. Pets only exacerbate these problems. Dog poop and urine are the natural enemies of real grass, but synthetic lawns? Not so much. Thanks to advancements in manufacturing, the best fake turf maintains its appearance all year.
- Synthetic turf can be installed on any hard surface
If you are short on an actual lawn, artificial grass also can be installed on any hard surface. This is especially useful for pet owners with small yards, but whom also may have a patio that can be turned into a green space for your pet.
- Banish lawn pests forever
With fake turf, you never have to worry about infestations from ants, worms, beetles, or any other lawn pests. You will never again see a squirrel attempting to burrow into your lawn trying to bury or retrieve their nuts.
- Lawn chemicals are a thing of the past
Real grass is notorious for fertilizer and other chemicals it needs to maintain its appearance. All of these can be dangerous for your pets, but with an artificial lawn, you can say goodbye forever to liquid or granular chemicals for your turf.
Special Events & Weddings
Special events are expensive and time-consuming, especially where the grass is involved. If a friend or loved one wants to use your property for their event or special occasion, you feel obligated to make sure all areas for public use are aesthetically pleasing. This applies to lawn and garden areas, where people will congregate. But a lawn can be hard to get in shape and maintain prior to the event. An artificial lawn is just the opposite.
If you need more green space, synthetic grass can be installed quickly while utilizing multiple designs. Depending on your need, it can even be installed temporarily or for a pre-determined amount of time. Why use artificial turf for your special event or wedding? Here are several reasons to consider:
- Artificial grass can be quickly installed to match accompanying scenery or even a theme.
- Synthetic grass is a good choice if you are concerned about maintaining balance with the environment. It needs zero watering, chemicals, and is manufactured with recycled materials – which can be recycled again and again.
- If you have enough time, fake grass can be installed in a unique manner that will leave a lasting impression on your guests. You can be creative with your design, installing it on slopes, walls, furniture, in flower beds, or in a contrasting pattern to create an illusionary effect.
- Your event requires significant shaded areas, but you also wish to incorporate green space for added color. Because most grass will not grow properly in the shade and needs time and significant water to do so, the best alternative is synthetic grass.
- Fake grass is made to be abused. No matter how many guests are present, they will not be able to wear it out – and nothing short of an open flame or sharp, penetrating object will damage it.
Decks, Patios, and Roofs
If you are a city dweller with a minimal yard or patio but still long for the appearance of a lush, green lawn, then why not consider the benefits of artificial grass?
- Sure, your neighbor down the hall may have snagged the largest corner condo in your building, but can he brag that he has a lush, green space installed 30 floors up? Probably not.
- A place to relax. As young professionals move back to bustling city centers, one of the things they long for is somewhere to relax – and it is not the café or corner bar down the street. Have artificial grass installed on your rooftop patio or large balcony, and you have an instant slice of the bliss that existed in your parent’s home in the country – but never knew you missed.
- A synthetic lawn, when strategically installed, gives you more space to entertain. Cramming a group of people into your dining or living room will get old pretty quickly, but fake turf gives you a little more space to work with.
- Your apartment manager or condo association allows pets, but the nearest dog park is six blocks away. What to do? Install fake turf on your patio or balcony.
Artificial turf is an attractive option for a rooftop installation because it will help maintain overall building temperature, is resistant to weather damage, creates more usable space, and is simple to maintain.
Golf and Putting
Avid golfers with room to spare and a desire to hit the links year-round have a new weapon in their arsenal: Synthetic grass. Most homeowners do not have room for much more than a putting green or small miniature course, but fake turf makes this dream a possibility. Depending on the design and amount of artificial grass to be installed, much of the work can be done over the course of a long weekend. Why install your own putting green or miniature course?
- It can save money. Instead of driving to the local range to practice, simply walk out your back door.
- Get the kids involved. If you want your children or grandchildren to take up golfing, having your own artificial putting green or three or four-hole miniature course is the perfect way to ease them into the sport in a stress-free environment.
- Increase your skill level. Honing skills needed to successfully putt – hand-to-eye coordination, concentration, stamina – all translate to other facets of your life. Practice them on your own schedule, then apply them to your job or other tasks.
Success on the golf course is often a matter of repetition. With your own putting green or miniature golf course, you can repeat the same physical actions repeatedly without having to worry about paying extra money or infringing on another customer’s scheduled time.
A putting green or small course made of artificial grass can be a source of pride if you did the work yourself. By designing the green space, you can make it challenging and fun. Build in a few challenging dips or rises for a putting green. For a miniature course, you can throw in challenges like chutes, gardening stakes, a long maze, or even obstacles such as a mountain or volcano that golfers will have to shoot through.
Ever since artificial turf was introduced in the mid-1960s, it has been a mainstay of indoor athletic fields worldwide. Thanks to advances in technology and the cost-to-benefit ratio compared to real grass, synthetic grass is a more popular option for commercial applications than ever before. The benefits of fake grass for commercial installations beyond the typical putting green or practice field are many:
- Less maintenance. Ask any lawn care professional, and he or she will have to admit the obvious: A high-quality fake turf is less expensive to maintain. It requires zero watering, cutting, and pest control efforts.
- Beautiful all year. When compared to the appearance of real grass over a calendar year, the winner is clear. Synthetic grass maintains its deep green and lush appearance regardless of the weather, indoor or out.
- Unique designs. Real grass is limited by where it can be installed, but plastic grass has far fewer limitations. It can be installed on rooftops, patios, in dense shade areas, on walls, furniture, indoors, and outdoors under the most challenging environmental conditions imagined.
- Ready for use after installation. Real grass needs weeks of growth and maintenance before it can be used, but artificial turf is good to go from the moment it is installed. And it can be used all year-round.
- Recyclable. Because synthetic grass is made from high-grade plastic, it can be torn up and recycled after its natural lifetime has expired. After 10 to 15 years, it can be recycled and used for a wide variety of products including, once again, artificial turf.
What are commercial applications best suited for fake grass? Commercial landscaping, miniature golf courses and putting greens, pet areas, playgrounds, sports fields, rooftops and balconies, and many other sports and special applications. Synthetic lawn is durable, holds its appearance, and requires little maintenance.
It may seem ironic, but the first application for artificial grass in the early 1960s was an athletic play area at a prep school in Rhode Island. Developed by Monsanto, synthetic grass initially lent itself as an artificial surface where there would be constant physical use. Guess what? The same holds true, more than 50 years later.
Plastic or synthetic grass is the perfect application for playgrounds far and wide, whether inside or outside. Wherever young children are involved, it is your responsibility to find a play surface that is safe and aesthetically pleasing. Most children do not care if a playground has weeds or not, and while the fake turf is weed free, there are many other reasons to consider it for your playground installation.
- Withstands the demands of high traffic areas.
- Requires minimal maintenance.
- Does not result in mud puddles after a rainstorm.
- A synthetic lawn will not attract insects or other critters that children may be allergic to and will also not create dirt being kicked up or germs circulating through the air.
- More safety. You can never be sure what lurks beneath real grass – like rocks or pieces of metal – but with an artificial lawn, you can manage the installation. This means that a cushioned base can be installed beneath the fake lawn.
Finally, instill the notion of conservation early in the minds of children. Artificial does not require all the resources that a natural lawn demands, like watering, fertilization, or fuel needed for cutting.