Monday, August 16, 2010

Design Tips: Fake Grass isn't just for putting greens

Around here in Portland, Oregon, February is the great grass equalizer. Everyone's lawn looks wonderful, no matter what they put on it or how much during the spring and summer. Weeds are minimal and the color is lush and verdant. Ahh, the life.

In August, however, it's a completely different story. We get very dry summers and lawns require a LOT of water to stay barefoot green. Dandelions run rampant, oxalis, purslane, other stuff I don't even know the name of.

The only thing green is clover and crabgrass. Shoot, even the moss goes brown!

Like a lot of people in Portland, I let my lawn go dormant in the summer with a minimal of care. Honestly, though, it's convenient laziness, not a "green" streak! But even most people who do water regularly, brown spots and unevenness still abound.

A neighbor of mine, though, now has the best of both worlds. They planted artificial turf. Wow. It's not your grandpa's Astro turf-covered patio. Far, far from it. It looks amazing. The texture, the height, the evenness, the color is phenomenal. It feels good too, though not as cool and soothing with your bare feet. It's soft, with your shoes on!

Made from recycled products such as old tires and plastics, most artificial turf playing fields and putting greens are made from this stuff. Lower impact for sports than the old stuff, it even kicks up "dirt" when players go down. And, dogs won't kill it with their, um, nitrogen deposits.

Definitely more expensive to install than sod or seed, the new turfs may pan out if you consider time and maintenance supplies over time for a real lawn. For a low-maintenance small space, or if you enjoy a super-low care lawn, the new turfs might be February perfect for you year round!

Until next time!
Elaine Bothe

Photo courtesy of Lewis Landscape.

For a handy guide to artificial grasses, click here, courtesy of Synthetic

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 12:01 AM 


Anonymous M. D. Vaden of Oregon said...

Some of the new artificial landscape lawns are better than I would have anticipated. One that comes to mind is in Sherwood. Looks real from a distance.

The only slight drawback, since there are Douglas fir to the west, are the small flowers, seeds, cones and needles that fall.

Raking, blowing or vacuuming is necessary.

December 5, 2010 at 9:22 PM  

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