Artificial Turf

frank300June 22, 2012

I have been in touch with landscapers and I want to redo my front yard. Now it has old mulch that has deteriorated and weeds are growing and it is attracting cats.

Some options I have considered are rubber mulch and rock and one landscaper recommended artificial turf. I have a few questions.

1 - Is artificial turf popular for lawns in New York State?

2 - Does that help or hurt a home value?

3 - Can anyone share their experiences with it?

4 - If I consider this option, are there certain questions I should ask,

Thanks in advance

frank300

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duluthinbloomz4

Pros:
�Lower maintenance - aside from vacuuming and possible repairs over time.
�Pesticide-free.
�Saves water.

Cons:
�Heat hazard. Heat-absorbing properties - on a 98-degree day, the temperature on the turf could rise to more than 120 degrees.
�Lead.
�Zinc plus the other contents of the "crumb rubber" which could contain toxic metals like arsenic, cadmium, chromium, and selenium.
�Toxic run-off.
�Adverse affect on asthmatics. Breathing in dust of ground-up tires could exacerbate breathing problems for asthmatics.

There's a fair amount of info on the web - where I got the above. Just me, but I wouldn't buy a property that had it - people would "wonder" how the 'lawn' stayed so green in those early winter snowless months. Maybe worth considering in Arizona or elsewhere in the Sun Belt or if I had a postage stamp sized yard.

I'd find it easier to dispose of weeds than I would big piles of astro-turf once I tired of it.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 11:08AM
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tanowicki

A friend has it in her backyard under a large maple. With a dog and kid the only thing they could grow there was mud and with a small yard, she didn't want to give up most of it. It works well there and it's the nicest fake grass I've ever seen. They have since acquired land next door but that won't be turfed since it doesn't have the mud problem.

It does make it harder if you change your mind about where you want to plant things. I wouldn't want it in my front yard unless it was a truly troublesome spot and nothing would grow.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 12:17PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Why not use a natural fibre-type of carpet that will biodegrade in time? You can probably get old wool carpet off craigslist often enough, or from carpet layers or similar sources.

It wouldn't necessarily be green, of course, so if you are talking the front apron around your home, this might not work. But if you're talking an area of the back yard, as described by tanowicki above, I really don't see that it has to look like grass.

I have some cut-up pieces of an old Persian carpet that are going to be covering the bare ground where I'm removing some lawn in the back yard at the moment. The ground covers will grow over and through them in time.

Karin L

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 1:58PM
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deviant-deziner(Oh zone)

1 - Is artificial turf popular for lawns in New York State? - Sorry, I can't address that question , but you might want to ask other New Yorkers.

2 - Does that help or hurt a home value? - In my area, Northern California where we do not receive any measurable rainfall for about 6 months of the year, a high quality artificial turf in the **right location can add value to the property and value to the end user.

3 - Can anyone share their experiences with it? - DuluthinBloom summed it up pretty good. Artificial lawn when exposed to sun can really heat up. I've had it burn my bum and made me do the 'hopping over hot coals' dance when it was placed in a full sun location.

4 - If I consider this option, are there certain questions I should ask, - Yes, be concerned about the type of 'matrix' that they 'top dress' the artificial turf with. Some suppliers are not using the ground up tires/ recycled rubber anymore due to the high metal content . Ask about the type of backfill material and really do a good site analysis in regards to heat gain when choosing it for the right conditions.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 3:07PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

In New York State? Definitely not! There may be urban pockets in NYC where it is done, but concrete would be much more typical. At least you can park on that.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 3:57PM
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aloha2009

We too have considered the artificial grass for a 12' x 12' area. I hadn't done much reading on it besides hearing that it can be hot (120 degrees? - ouch). Add the element of toxicity, I'll pass.

I've read about some of the less mowing, less water options. Does anyone have any first hand experience with them?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 4:20PM
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Fori is not pleased

There is a home near me with a high end faux grass lawn. He even gets weeds in it, which makes it pretty convincing.

Lawns here are green year around so it doesn't call attention to itself.

Many dog parks use it. I wonder if dogs trained to poop on artificial turf at dog parks would hold it in until they got to your new lawn. That would stink.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 4:54PM
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tanowicki

I have "no-mow" grass in my backyard. I mow it every two weeks and that's being lax. It could probably be mowed slightly more often. I mow my conventional front lawn every week and that would probably be too often.

In the heat of the summer, when the front lawn goes dormant (turns brown), the no-mow truly becomes no mow and stays green.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2012 at 6:34PM
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PTLandscape

One disadvantage of artificial grass is something called 'urban flooding'. The suggestion of using it like carpet tiles might overcome this, as it would allow drainage of rainwater between the 'tiles'. We already have huge problems with losing gardens to house building with the consequent concrete driveways, patios and decking.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 10:33PM
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bahacca

I cannot answer the NY question, but we priced out and nearly pulled the trigger on our back yard being done in turf. For us, it was a matter of a few issues. 1-rainfall or lack thereof was necessitating a hefty water bill just to water the grass. 2. Because of tree growth over the years, there were several areas that simply would NOT grow any longer, no matter what kind of seed/sod we put down. With our large yard, it was going to be about 14K to put down the turf. THe company we chose did NOT use the rubber tire fill. I am now forgetting what it was they used instead. This was several years ago and we failed to pull the trigger as my DH was laid off 2 days before we were to sign the contract. We are now planning a new remodel, so i'm thankful we didn't do it, but in the new plan, a small portion of the yard will be turf. One area that will be surrounded and up steps, so not ideal for getting a sprinkler system set up nor ideal for a mower. Another area that is shaded 99% of the day and hasn't grown grass in decades. In a drought ridden area, I feel the water savings outweighs the other potential issues with the turf.
I know in my area, there are rebates available for replacing turf with artificial turf through the water company, but in areas where rainfall is plentiful, I doubt these are offered.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 1:05PM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

We are going to do it, but it will be called a putting green, flags, sand traps and all!!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 8:31PM
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zoey2013

Sunwing artificial grass for dogs saves you money since little or no maintenance is required. Muddy spots and dog urine stains are gone. Dog waste and dog urine wonâÂÂt discolor or stain it; dogs canâÂÂt dig through it and donâÂÂt chew it. You spend less time cleaning your dogs since Sunwing artificial grass for dogs prevents muddy paws and dirty pets, and helps you maintain a
pleasant, safe environment for your pets.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2013 at 4:41AM
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