Artificial Turf 101

When most people think of synthetic grass, they think of the kitsch green outdoor rugs of yesteryear. Nothing could be further from the truth. Artificial turf has improved tremendously in recent years and the market abounds with natural-looking, high quality products that can easily pass for real grass. Even so, there are some things to bear in mind when investing in artificial turf. Here are some pointers to help you get the most out of your man-made Orange County, NY lawn.

 using artificial turf in backyard or front yard in pine island, ny home

Where can artificial turf be used?

The great thing about artificial turf is that it can be used anywhere regular grass can be grown and then some, provided the ground is even. In shaded areas where normal grass won’t grow, artificial turf adds lush ground covering. The most popular areas include patches between stepping stones or small lawn spaces. Artificial grass is also perfect for areas with high foot traffic, or where erosion has prevented natural grass growth. Related: Beautiful Flooring Options.

How to keep your artificial turf looking amazing

With no need to mow, water, or fertilize, an artificial lawn is ultra low maintenance, but will require limited and occasional attention. In the case of incidental messes, small pieces of debris that cannot be picked up by hand may be vacuumed. Animal waste can be scooped and disposed of and the area sprayed down with a disinfectant solution. Regularly brush your artificial turf to restore flattened blades. This is particularly necessary after compacted winter snow has melted way. Lastly, remove any weeds that might appear before they take root. As a preventative measure, be sure to keep flames, hot coal and ash away from your turf. Repairs are possible and may be necessary every few years, but a high quality artificial turf that is well maintained can easily be kept looking lush for up to 20 years.

How safe is artificial turf?

Although artificial turf is 100% safe for animals and humans, the popular use of crumb rubber as infill has come under some scrutiny. Infill refers to the particles sprinkled between the blades to give it more substance and keep the blades erect. While crumb rubber is favored because of the spring it gives turf used for sports, the substance is now suspected to be toxic, depending on how you'll use it. As an alternative, opt for sand, contaminant free plastic or an organic infill, such as cork or coconut husk.

Artificial turf for pets and kids

It's a safe a bet to say your pets will be making more use of your artificial lawn than the humans in your household, so please keep them in mind when it comes to selecting and maintaining your turf. Artificial turf efficiently drains liquid, but does not biodegrade animal waste like regular grass. For this reason, where pets are involved, artificial turf will require more regular cleaning, disinfecting and almost daily poop-scooping.

Another thing to bear in mind, is that if you have children or pets, it would be wise to invest in a turf that is designed to not to soak up the heat of direct sunlight. Some turf can become uncomfortably hot when exposed to sunlight for extended periods, so be sure to invest in cooler options if this is a concern. In some cases, simply avoiding black crumb rubber as infill is enough to prevent turf from soaking up too much heat.