Do you like your synthetic lawn?

juju222(z9 AZ)September 24, 2007

This is sort of a spin-off from my thread on how to get rid of a gravel yard.

Synthetic lawn is one of our considerations and I am curious about some specific likes and dislikes you may have.

Also, wondering if there is some site where we can drive by and see what it actually looks like in a yard, not just as little sample. Maybe some commercial buildings use it? We are in Sun City.

Thanks a bunch!

Judy

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amalgamation

Hi Judy,

I have two words for you - Off-Gassing.

Actually, three - HOT!

I looked at some fake lawns and hey, they look pretty good. However, they smell. No. They Stink. The chemical smell of hot plastic - ew. You know the smell of a new, plastic shower curtain or liner? That's it. I didn't notice the smell while looking at samples, but, here in Tucson it's *hot* outside. I was curious as to the possibility of melting, but not enough to ask since the smell was a deal breaker.

Also, the ones we looked at all were very hot and radiated heat. I was told that all brands are hot. Makes sense since they are plastic. I haven't looked at your "gravel yard" post yet, but I know many people (here) complain about how hot their yard is once they install gravel. If that's an issue for you with the gravel, consider it with the fake lawns too.

Sorry to be such a Negative Nelly, but I hope this info helps :)

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 5:25PM
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juju222(z9 AZ)

Hey amalgamation - This is exactly why I posted the question. All viewpoints are appreciated!

Yes, one of the reasons we don't like the gravel rock is the radiant heat - the other is the, well, ugliness.

I wonder if, besides the heat factor, if the smell would diminish in time, as the smell of the shower curtain would?

Thanks,
Judy

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 7:28PM
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kazooie(kapiti coast, NZ)

hi judy, there are a couple of houses in our neighborhood that have this fake grass in the front yards. from a distance, they look nice and green, but once you are walking past the yard, you can tell that it is totally fake. although they don't need to be mowed or watered, looks like you would still have to use a leaf blower/yard vac on them to pick up all the debris that can collect on them from other plants in the yard.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 1:43AM
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juju222(z9 AZ)

kazooie, that's good to know...I am leaning away from the synthetic lawn now...I don't want anything that looks fake...and it doesn't sound easy to keep clean either!

Thanks for your input.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 12:54PM
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solar_gh

Before you condem all fake grass, I was just at a party with a 7 year old lawn of plastic. we couldn't believe how nice it looked and it wasn't too warm at all on a 90 degree day. We had to look carefully to see it was fake grass!!! I was told it was the only artificial turf used by the NFL and the players love it too. He had recently removed the kid's swing set from part of it and you couldn't tell it had ever been there.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2007 at 3:00PM
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wishtrish

My neighbors have fake grass in both front and back. They paid for mediocre stuff for the front (looks a little putting-green style) and in the back they have the really nice long blade stuff. I haven't noticed the smell and I am there just about every day. I did notice it was hot in summer, but not as hot as rock by any means, and I sat on it for several summer bbq's. It looks really nice both front and back, but part of the reason I have 3000 square feet of grass is that I love the cool, soft feel of it under feet. My neighbor complains that it gets matted sometimes, but it stands back up with a little push-broom action and looks just as good as new. However, she puts her slip-n-slide on the driveway (I know, OUCH!) rather than endure the flood damage of water-play.

Would I use fake grass? Maybe in the front yard where it would always look perfect and never need mowed or grow weeds. But in the back where I like to hang and my kids play barefoot, nothing beats the real thing. :)

I will tell ya this: If you are going to pay someone to mow your lawn rather than doing it yourself, I feel it is worth it to invest in fake grass. Otherwise the cost for the good stuff is so astronomical, it just seems ridiculous. We got an estimate to put it in our backyard that was in excess of $30K. We opted for bermuda. Then our mower broke and we paid someone $50 a week to mow for us for 18 months before my husband went and chose a new mower (which he insisted he do HIMSELF and which he never had time to do). They say that the astro-turf has a 30 year gaurantee, and at my calculations, it would pay for itself in 12 years in just upkeep costs, not to mention water and sweat equity.

Trish

    Bookmark   October 18, 2007 at 12:19PM
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gemfire(z9/10 AZ)

My neighbor put in a mixture of fescue and perennial rye and its beautiful, yeah he has to mow it once in awhile but its the prettiest on the block and he has the fresh green grass to put in his composter.

gemfire

    Bookmark   October 21, 2007 at 2:16AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

That fescue and perennial rye will croak when summer comes, it only works to overseed winter dormant lawns like bermuda.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 4:09PM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

I think the best cooling is trees. Just my opinion - grass looks really weird in the desert. And Bermuda... ugh. I've refused to buy houses that had Bermuda.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 10:17AM
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WHTZOMB(9-Peoria)

I love maintaining my lawn as much as I love maintaining my plants! The smell of a freshly mowed lawn is golden and only takes 5 minutes. I know of a couple houses with fake grass. After 10 years, it has started to change in color and weeds do start to grow around the border of it. I use Fox Farm fertilizer just to see how beautiful it can get! With fake grass, it's always the same. Which may not be a bad thing.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 11:35AM
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campv

We have the real stuff here in Camp Verde. The lawn we have is small 18'Lx12'W (putting green)surounded by gravel/trees/plants/pool
I would not have it any other way. The smell of grass. The soft scape. The color. The touch. The grass is a drought/heat resistant type and we have a small push mower. Don't have to mow in the winter it goes dorment. Everyone thought we were crazy, but now when they see it and smell it they wish they had done the same thing.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 6:22PM
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GoofyYno(8)

Things have changed a lot with synthetic grass. My wife HATES fake stuff, and we have always disliked fake grass. But when we did our new pool, I wanted a european look of grass right up to a small coping. the real stuff would get to muddy, so the landscaper suggested artificial grass. there are many levels now. we love ours- most people don't know it's no real, even when they are on it . it does get way too hot to walk on, but we have a sprinkler system which cools it down very quickly. minimal maintenance- although some spots are slightly matted (it doesn't bother me, but...) there are fluffing machines, I think. it seem to be durably- we've had it for a little over a year. I have 2 dogs who have a "bathroom" area around the side on real grass, but have gone a number of times on the fake stuff, without a problem. the cost was around 2.5-3x what grass would have cost us.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 11:58PM
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greengrass123

hi judy, there are a couple of houses in our neighborhood that have this fake grass in the front yards. from a distance, they look nice and green, but once you are walking past the yard, you can tell that it is totally fake. although they don't need to be mowed or watered, looks like you would still have to use a leaf blower/yard vac on them to pick up all the debris that can collect on them from other plants in the yard.

Here is a link that might be useful: Buy Artificial Grass

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 10:57PM
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richsd

In my opinion, if you install fake grass, it's like saying "I don't know how to grow real grass, so I'll install this plastic stuff to look like the real stuff."

Tiff lawns are not that hard to grow here. There are some basics people need to learn. They're heavy nitrogen feeders in the summer, they need to be cut often and short, and they need to be de-thatched on a regular basis.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 7:26PM
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AZGardenQueen

Well, I have recently installed a very small (6'X8') piece of artificial turf in my chicken run. Real grass will last about 10 minutes with what chickens do to it. So far so good.The girls love to "grub" in it (it has an open-weave backing so bugs can and do come up if you just lay it over dirt). They have not mistaken it for the real deal and eaten any of it near as I can tell. It is in a shaded area with misters so I haven't noticed a heat issue but judging by the weird "sheen" it has when the sun hits it at just the right angle, I wouldn't want it anywhere else.

I agree with pagancat who suggested trees for shade and green. This is basically the approach I have taken, using a ground covering of quarter-minus and a mix of native, citrus and fruit trees grafted on stock adapted to our desert climate. You might also consider hardy, drought-resistant ground-covers such as wooly thyme which has the added benefits of smelling wonderful when walked on and being useful in the kitchen.

Sunset magazine's website also has some very good pics and ideas on yards with lawn alternatives if you're looking for inspiration. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 8:30PM
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aztreelvr

Synthetic lawn has its purpose but be sure to do your research. For play or pet areas remember that it gets hotter than asphalt during the day (150 degrees!) although it does 'cool' off at night. In summer that would be whatever our low temperature is......85? 90? 95?

Salt River Project did some trials a few years ago with various types of artificial grass. Here's a link to the results.

Here is a link that might be useful: Artificial turf research trials by SRP

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 12:58PM
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GeeS 9b

Is there is a plastic flower section somewhere in GardenWeb?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 1:01PM
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amijo(z9Az)

because we are "older than dirt", we needed to get rid of our
grass because we don't have the energy to take care of it. Our front yard has huge ficus trees and even st. augustine didn't want to grow in the deep shade...
so... we put in quarter minus in sedona red. for our dogs
we purchased a peice of artificial grass from lowes for the back yard which looks okay from a distance. the dogs loved it for their bathroom and soon it stank to high heaven.
we went to the synthetic grass store on cavecreek and bought 15 lbs of zeolite which helps control smells. I wouldn't let kids play on it but the dogs love it. we have two elm trees which should be shading it next year and that will help the heat factor.
and yes.. it is HOT...
it radiates heat... however, its really nice not to have to work
on real grass.
for years we enjoyed a beautiful lawn... those years are gone..
the grass sold at the synthetic grass store is much nicer than what you buy at the big box stores. Its allllll way too expensive.. but so are cars and plane tickets and all sorts of things.. look what we pay for a crown for a tooth... etc etc etc

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 12:57AM
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ccarroll

I have what I term "turf" just as a walk-up to the front door (because it's cooler on bare feet than cement) and on two small patios. I'm not sure what the point would be of artificial lawn in Phoenix - why not just desert landscaping?

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 10:03PM
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JamesPerner

Yes, I like your artificial lawn. They look awesome and green. Artificial lawn has many advantages while still keeping a natural garden look and feel, making it a practical and eco-friendly alternative.
__________________
Protechcorp

    Bookmark   January 3, 2014 at 5:15AM
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JohnMiller01

I highly recommend synthetic grass because I have 2 years of experience with it. It looks very impressive and fresh and it has no side-effect. Its maintenance is also very low.

Here is a link that might be useful: Artificial Grass Liquidators

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 3:22AM
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kmfthea

I live in CA and am building a new home- our water shortage in Montecito is serious and real grass is not an option. I have 2 large dogs. Will the synthetic grass be too hot for my dogs? Even if I pick up after the dogs daily will the grass smell horrible if I don't rinse it daily? Would something like dymondia be a better choice?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 1:21PM
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AJBB(9b)

It's plastic with a rubber underlayment. It's going to be hot when the sun hits it and will off-gas for a period of a few weeks after installation. In California, artificial grass is probably more tolerable than in Arizona, where it's routinely 100+ daily for 3-4 months.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 6:19PM
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kevin497

Likes- It lowers the maintenance cost and gives the feeling of natural grass.

Dislikes- Well, it gets hot during the sun.

Well, you can take a look at the following site for instance: Artificial Grass

    Bookmark   March 2, 2015 at 4:22AM
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