Drought has always been a problem for lawns. These days, it’s a problem that is becoming more and more common, leaving everyone looking for some type of drought-resistant landscaping.
The fact is, traditional grass laws consume vast amounts of water, and if they don’t receive enough, they turn an unsightly brown color, leaving your yard looking unkempt. If drought conditions go on for long enough, a traditional lawn can die off entirely, leaving ugly patches of dirt where there was once beautiful green grass.
There are several ways people have attempted to reduce water consumption on their landscape. One popular one is to utilize succulents instead of grass, which can be excellent if the landscape is purely decorative. However, if your lawn is meant to be an area where sports can be played or where children and animals can frolic, then nothing beats a grass lawn.
If you want to save money, do your part to conserve water, and still reap all the benefits of a traditional grass lawn, then synthetic grass is the answer you’ve been looking for.
How It’s Made
Synthetic grass is usually made from plastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene, or nylon. Often, recycled materials are used in its construction. The material begins as white pellets which are extruded into strands that are roughly the width of natural blades of grass. This is also when green colorant is added to the material. UV stabilizers to protect the lawn from constant sunlight are also a critical element.
The strands are rolled onto large spools, not unlike the bobbins used for sewing thread. Once the strands have been spooled, a machine attaches them to a sheet in a process called tufting. These sheets are what will ultimately be installed as artificial turf in the landscaping process. However, there are a few more steps that will need to be undertaken first.
It’s important for artificial grass to be water-permeable in order to allow for proper drainage. Having the proper material for backing can help to ensure this. A material called infill, which is made from what is known as crumb rubber, is placed between the strands. Crumb rubber is often made from recycled car tires and it will allow water to move between the synthetic grass blades without damaging the turf.
The strands must also be secured into place, which is usually done with a liquid adhesive. Finally, the whole thing is baked in a large oven, curing it into the sheets of artificial turf that can then be sent off to landscaping companies for installation.
Installing Synthetic Grass
The installation begins when the original grass is removed. When the synthetic grass is installed, it must be on a level surface. There must also be a proper place for rainwater to drain. For this reason, most artificial turf is installed upon a layer of sand. Over the sand, a barrier is placed to prevent the growth of weeds. Your installer may also decide to install gutters into place for water drainage.
After the weed barrier has been secured into place, the artificial turf is rolled out in sheets. Depending on the size of the area, the sheets may need to be cut to size. For larger areas, smaller sheets of artificial turf must be joined together. Your installer will do this with an adhesive specially designed for the process.
Once the sheets have been properly sized, they can be rolled out over the weed barrier. They are then secured into place with lawn spikes. Professional landscapers do an excellent job hiding their work so that you won’t notice these large nails when the synthetic grass has been fully installed.
As we’ve mentioned, natural lawns demand a very large amount of water. Actually, a lawn needs about 1.5 inches of water every single week; during wet weather, this may happen naturally. However, most areas do not get that much rain. This is especially true during years when very little rain falls. These dry years are becoming more common, which has fueled the demand for drought-resistant landscaping.
Synthetic grass doesn’t require watering at all, which will save you a great deal of money on your water bill as the years go by. It’s not just a financial incentive either. Everyone should be doing their part to conserve water during a drought year, and having synthetic grass on your property is one of the best ways you can do that. The more homes and businesses switch over to synthetic grass, the more water will become available for other uses, such as safe drinking water.
There are more benefits to artificial turf than simply saving water, of course. Grass will turn brown during drought conditions, but it will also die off if it doesn’t get enough sunlight. This means that a lawn can die if it’s chronically cloudy or if it’s planted in the shade of a large tree. Synthetic grass does not have this problem, as it remains a vibrant green regardless of the weather and location.
The other major benefit of synthetic grass is the fact that it doesn’t require fertilizer or pesticides to thrive. Natural grass lawns can have a negative effect on the local environment since the fertilizers used to help them grow can enter the local water supply as runoff. Pesticides can do the same, ultimately harming native plants and wildlife. Synthetic grass circumvents the need for these environmentally unfriendly chemicals entirely.
Who Installs It?
If you are interested in having artificial grass installed on your landscape, contact Sportech Construction. Sportech specializes in both residential and commercial artificial turf installation, meaning that whether you need it for your home or business, you will be covered. We can even help with financing. Contact us for all of your drought-resistant landscaping needs.