As Houstonians, we are no strangers to the challenges of maintaining a lush, green lawn throughout the seasons in our city’s unique climate. The scorching summer heat, sporadic rainfall and occasional winter freeze is enough to leave any landscape looking lackluster, not to mention the toll it takes on our water bills and the amount of maintenance. If you have ever thought to yourself, “there must be a better way,” artificial turf may be the solution for you.
Artificial turf has come a long way from the early days of plastic-like green mats. Today’s synthetic turf looks and feels more like real grass, and it has many benefits that make it a popular choice for Texas homeowners. In this blog post, we will dive into everything you need to know about artificial turf.
Benefits of Artificial Turf:
Durability: Artificial turf can withstand heavy foot traffic, drought, and extreme temperatures, making it ideal for Houston’s hot and humid climate.
Aesthetics: Synthetic turf looks lush and green year-round, and it can be customized to fit the design of any landscape.
Safe for children and pets: Most synthetic turf is non-toxic and free of allergens, making it safe for children and pets to play on. We like products made in the USA and/or certified accordingly.
Low maintenance: Turf does not need to be watered, mowed, weeded, or fertilized, which saves time and money. You just need to blow off weeds and debris on occasion!
Anti-microbial: Turf has antimicrobial properties, minimizing the need for harsh chemical treatments and reducing the spread of bacteria and viruses, providing a safe environment for children and pets.
Did You Know that Synthetic Turf is Actually Sustainable?
Turf doesn’t just look good, it has some surprising upsides when it comes to the environment as well. It is made from recycled materials, like recycled plastic bottles and rubber. Additionally, turf saves water! A big win for us and the planet. According to the Synthetic Turf Council, an average sized lawn with turf can save up to 55,000 gallons of water per year.
Important Considerations when Selecting Turf:
Not all turf is created equal: There is a massive range in price and quality when it comes to turf. We won’t fault you for thinking its tomayto, tomahto, but not all turf is cut from the same cloth. Low quality turf can look fake, wear out quickly, and even pose safety hazards. If you want to ensure that you are getting a high-quality turf, look for these features:
Drainage: A good turf has a drainage system, like porous backings, that prevents water from pooling on the surface, which can lead to mold and mildew.
UV Protection: The hot Texas sun can fade or damage low- quality turf, so choose a turf that is UV protected to prevent fading and deterioration.
Certifications: Look for turf that has been certified by reputable organizations like the International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association (IPEMA) and the Synthetic Turf Council (STC).
Maintenance and Longevity:
Although turf is a low maintenance alternative to grass lawns, it still needs to be installed and cared for properly to ensure longevity. Regular brushing and removal of debris can help prevent matting and prolong the turf’s life. It can last up to 20 years if maintained and installed properly, which makes turf an excellent long-term investment and a value add for your property.
Are there any downsides to Synthetic Turf?
Most of the potential downsides of synthetic turf are easily avoided by selecting high quality turf and ensuring proper installation. The good stuff looks better, feels better underfoot and lasts longer. However, here are some things to take into account…
Upfront Costs: The upfront costs of synthetic turf can be higher than that of natural grass. Although your water bills will be lower and you will recoup the investment within the first few years, it is a point of consideration for many homeowners.
Infill Material Concerns: Many synthetic turf installations require infill materials to provide stability and cushioning. Some infill materials, such as crumb rubber made from recycled tires, have raised concerns about potential health and environmental risks. While there are alternative infill options available, it’s essential to research and choose materials carefully.
Some Maintenance: While synthetic turf requires less maintenance than natural grass, it’s not entirely maintenance-free. Depending on the turf, periodic cleaning, grooming, and disinfection may be necessary to keep the turf looking its best and prevent odors and bacterial growth, particularly in areas frequented by pets.
Hot in the Sun: Turf absorbs and retains heat from sunlight, causing it to become significantly warmer than natural grass, which can lead to uncomfortable surface temperatures, especially in hot weather conditions.
So- To Turf or Not to Turf?
Turf can be a beautiful, low maintenance, and sustainable choice for lawns and landscapes in Houston. Durable, safe for children and pets, functional and eco-friendly- turf ticks all the boxes for creating a beautiful outdoor space that you can enjoy year-round. However, it is important to choose a high-quality turf, and make sure it is properly installed and maintained.
At FiveSTAR Landscape Design, we specialize in installing high-quality turf that meets the highest standards of performance, durability, and aesthetics. We ensure that every installation is done with precision and care, delivering exceptional results that exceed your expectations.
Ready to take the next step towards a greener, more sustainable lawn? Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and discover the difference that FiveSTAR Landscape Design can make for your outdoor space. Let’s turn your low maintenance turf dreams into reality!