We seed rye grass every winter (the pains of living in Phoenix, and a shock to me when I became a homeowner in Arizona for the first time – what do you mean you have to actually seed winter rye?), so since this is part of our homeowner lifestyle, why would we ever consider fake grass? I thought I’d share why I changed my view about artificial turf – in particular for this new kitchen garden area. Benjamin has been dying for fake grass, btw.
I originally planned to place gravel between the concrete stepping stones, they were in our landscape plans (designed by Kameran Schaffner). But then my following/friends on Instagram DM’d me with concerns and so I took a poll – a majority voted to say turf would be best – not sure if they knew they were voting for the fake stuff, but at least I knew the look they thought would look better. Many of you know I am a fan of the European gardens, the crushed granite is so English to me – but then again I’m not in a wet climate, I’m in a hot one. I received feedback that gravel was a pain, it was hot, weeds would come up, and I would be kicking it back off the concrete pads, and it would look rather dry.
Green is lush, green is alive, well, for the most part anyway.
You can walk straight across without feeling like the grass dips down. It’s raised a bit above the cement and so it’s level with your paths.
The two reasons I said yes to artificial grass
- Some areas are so complex for grass. It would be difficult for real grass to successfully grow without water, seasonally seeding grass rye 2x a year, and trimming it! The maintenance alone between concrete would be ridiculous if it would even be successful to grow.
- Faux turf means it will always be green and make the area more lush. Summer grass here is Bermuda and crunchy, it’s bad and would be spotty.
I think faux turf is great for intricate parts of a backyard like by the pool, or lots of concrete stepping stones and ideal maintenance (because there is none), for those who can’t deal with the maintenance of real grass (people who are busy with other things and don’t want to do lawn work every weekend). I then started to notice faux turf in high end, multi-million dollar homes in LA – driveways, yards, even millionaires don’t want to deal with the maintenance and it looks so good – all the time.
I think artificial turf is a great solution for smaller areas – like if you had a full acre of faux turf maybe that won’t be super ideal, perhaps you would want real grass, but honestly to each their own! It’s your lawn.
Look above, always green and picture perfect! And when we expanded with the open-air garage, and began working on this area, I did take in account Benjamin’s wishes of eliminating as much grass as I could on our corner lot. I eliminated the real grass haha. He’s happy with it and would love if we can turf the rest of our property but’s a no for me, at least for now (maybe when I’m 70 and tired of maintaining the winter rye and such I’ll reconsider).
It’s not hot like some people mention, I’m going to assume that depends on the turf you get and where you place it. I haven’t found much of a heat issue altho I am rarely bare footed except in my home and I find the concrete to be hotter!
The company we went with (listed below and above) sprayed for weeds, then put down a sandy mix and compacted it, laid down the turf, and fluffed it with some machines and added lots of charcoal particles.
Some facts I found about faux turf
- A typical natural turf lawn requires 55 gallons of water per square foot per year, which equals 44,000 gallons of water for an 800 square foot lawn. Source
- Hardscaping 101: Artificial Grass – a good article about artificial grass
- There is charcoal under the grass that absorbs odors (should your pet go)
- The only maintenance is hosing it off if you feel the grass is dusty.
- It can last anywhere from 10-20 years.
Some artificial grass manufacturers
What I think about artificial turf a year later
After a few seasons have come and gone, meaning things have died, blossomed, and seeds have floated around and died and stuck to the grass, what do I think about it now?
Well, it doesn’t look perfect all the time, or at least I have yet to master it.
- Things get stuck, like really stuck. Blowing it off doesn’t always work, like the small puffy feathery seeds just get in there. So, I use the reverse blower/vacuum mulcher to suck it out. This is good and bad. Good because it works like you’re gently vacuuming the grass, but bad because you might be sucking up the charcoal sandy bits that are supposed to neutralize odors and keep the grass sticking straight up.
- I discovered this artificial turf rake! It’s like a comb, thank goodness a friend mentioned it as I complained about the turf. Why has no one told me about this who has artificial grass? Everyone kept saying just blow it, no blowing it does not work that easy I’m telling you.
- Be careful what is around your artificial turf. If it’s something that sheds a lot, you’re going to regret it. Our oleander is a mess, but I can imagine even messier plants so I will deal.
- I do love how it’s always green and does look great, I can shoot here for work anytime and it still looks like a lush garden no matter what time of year.
In the end, I have no regrets because I wouldn’t want pea gravel and I prefer grass. But we also couldn’t have real grass with the maintenance of it not being possible to survive or look this good, so this is what we get and I like it! I am just glad that I finally learned how to take care of it and lower my expectations that it will look as good as it did when it was first installed.
Do you have artificial grass? I’m so glad we went with with this look, less maintenance and I can now focus on my flowers and other areas. I’d love to know if you have thoughts or any questions I can answer below in the comments. Want more home decor posts? Subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss a post!
This post was originally published on June 8, 2020 and was updated May 5, 2021.
Diana Elizabeth would like to happily announce her interior doors are now done! It wasn’t the easier or smoothest project but it’s the big last one that she had to supervise. New two panel doors, solid wood, looks great! Oh, and all the hinges now match in the house, black ball hinges for the win.