Artificial turf requires less maintenance than a natural lawn but needs regular cleaning. Any pet excrement on the surface must be removed manually as it cannot decompose or be absorbed like in soil.
Most artificial turf is made from polyethylene or polypropylene. These plastics are created from petroleum or natural gas, a resource with high levels of embodied energy. Contact Vantaoutdoors for professional help.
Artificial turf is eco-friendly and easy to maintain since it doesn’t require chemicals. It is made of synthetic fibers that are impenetrable to dirt and water, which makes it easy to clean. Stains are inevitable on any lawn, but they can be easily cleaned with hot water and soap. Pet urine and feces should be hosed off quickly before they can dry, as pet waste can produce a foul odor in the yard.
The production of eco-friendly artificial grass begins with the creation of synthetic granules of polyethylene which are a renewable resource, unlike fossil fuels that have a negative impact on the environment. These granules are then extruded into long thin strands that resemble natural grass and are stitched together on a tufting machine with a backing made of urethane foam. The tufting process creates an uncanny resemblance of fully grown natural grass.
After the tufting process is complete, the artificial turf is packaged for distribution to wholesalers or directly to homeowners. During this phase, it is shipped using freight trains as rolls of artificial grass are too large for plane or long distance automobile transportation (WA Government). The packaging used in the manufacture of eco-friendly turf includes paper sheets inside to protect the product from becoming deformed during transport and a heavy plastic wrap that encloses the entire roll of turf.
Once the turf has been installed, it requires infill which is spread over the surface of the synthetic grass to provide support, stability and cushioning for feet. It can be made of a variety of materials including silica sand, rubber or organic materials like cork or coconut husk. By choosing a eco-friendly artificial grass that uses a soybean oil backing system, you can support US soy farmers while reducing your carbon footprint.
Weeds do grow on artificial turf, but aren’t as deep-rooted as they would be in a real lawn. They can be pulled easily by hand or sprayed with a non-toxic weed killer. It’s also important to remove natural debris like leaves and twigs from the artificial turf on a regular basis to prevent it from clogging the drainage system which encourages weed growth.
Easy to Maintain
Artificial turf is a lot easier to maintain than a natural lawn, and many of the same tasks can be performed on a regular basis to keep your home’s synthetic yard looking lush, fresh, and weed-free. Regularly removing debris, cleaning stains and brooming pet hair are some of the most important maintenance tasks you can perform on your turf.
Debris like leaves, twigs, and debris from flowers can trap moisture and cause damage over time. Keeping these materials away from your turf will keep it healthy and help you avoid costly repairs down the road. Use a leaf blower, broom, plastic rake or a hand rake to remove these materials from your turf on a regular basis. You can also rinse your turf with a hose to remove dirt, dust and pollen that may have accumulated on the surface.
Stains are another common concern that can be easily resolved with some simple cleaning products and routine care. Since turf is made from water and oil-resistant synthetic fibers, stains are less of a problem than they would be with natural grass. However, spills will still occur and should be cleaned immediately as they can leave a permanent stain on your turf. To prevent stains, clean up any liquid spills promptly and wipe solid stains with a cloth soaked in hot soapy water or mineral spirits to lift the stain from your synthetic turf.
In the case of pet urine, a quick spray with your hose will be enough to wash it away and reduce odors in your backyard. If stains don’t wash away with a hose, try soaking them in cool water from a bucket. If stains are persistent you can try spraying the area with an odor neutralizer such as Febreeze or a household cleaner such as a mild dishwashing detergent or ammonia.
If your turf is in a sunny location, you may have to remove twigs and other organic debris from the perimeter of your yard more often as they tend to collect and clog drainage systems. It’s also a good idea to pull any weeds that pop up on a regular basis and apply pre-emergent weed control to keep them at bay.
Synthetic grass lawns don’t need to be watered, mowed, fertilized, or weeded. This saves homeowners time and money and is especially helpful in areas of the country that suffer from water shortages. The low maintenance requirements of artificial turf also make it an eco-friendly option, as it reduces the amount of chemicals that are needed to maintain a natural lawn.
The yarn that makes up the surface of artificial turf is woven into a durable backing, usually polyethylene or polypropylene, using a process called tufting. The yarns are then texturized to mimic the appearance of grass blades. While the synthetic turf industry does use recycled materials, there is a significant embodied energy in petroleum and natural gas used to make plastics and electricity used to power tufting machines. The resulting artificial grass is a durable and long-lasting product that looks and feels like the real thing.
Regular maintenance on a natural lawn involves the use of harsh and potentially toxic chemicals. Chemicals are used to kill weeds, control pests, and keep the lawn healthy and vibrant. Some of these chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and can have negative health effects if they are ingested. Many of these chemicals are also harmful if they run off into local water sources, making them an undesirable choice for homeowners who want to keep their children and pets safe.
There is no need to fertilize an artificial lawn, which also helps protect families and pets from the harmful side effects of over-fertilizing. There are also no bare spots to deal with, as artificial grass will remain lush and green even in high-traffic areas.
The edges of the artificial turf tend to collect leaves and other organic debris, so it’s important to regularly comb or rake them. This will lift matted fibers and redistribute the sand infill, helping your lawn look its best.
Choosing the right type of infill for your artificial turf can make a big difference in its lifecycle and performance. Silica sand is the most common choice, as it is affordable and easily accessible. However, it can be more abrasive on delicate artificial turf and may be more likely to wear away over time. For a longer-lasting and higher-performing infill, consider a recycled rubber material such as crushed miscellaneous base (CMB) or decomposed granite (DG).
Artificial turf is very long-lasting, and can keep up its good looks for decades. It can resist wear from heavy use and weather elements, so it is the ideal choice for areas that get a lot of foot traffic. This includes dog runs and other outdoor spaces that see frequent activity, as well as homes with kids or teenagers.
Because it requires no watering and minimal maintenance, it saves homeowners time and energy. It also reduces the need for fertilizers and pesticides, curtailing chemical runoff and protecting the environment. With so many benefits, synthetic grass is a smarter alternative to natural lawns.
To manufacture turf, nylon pellets are mixed with dyes and other chemicals to create a taffy-like consistency that is then molded into rolls. The manufacturing process requires immense embodied energy from petroleum and natural gas extraction, plastic production, and electricity used to power the machines. Additionally, the turf is transported over vast distances for distribution and disposal (WA Government).
Typically, there are two types of infills for artificial grass: silica sand or a silicon mixture that helps prevent the tufts from melting under heat. It is important to choose the right infill for your specific needs, as it impacts how long the turf lasts and how much heat it retains. The type of infill also impacts the longevity of the turf, as the rubber crumb used in some sports fields can be harmful to children and adults who play on it (Kim et al).
For residential applications, a non-toxic sand or silica blend is the most popular option. It is safe for pets and children and does not hold heat, allowing the turf to remain cool in summer months and stay firm under heavy use. In addition, the infill for artificial turf prevents odors and provides good drainage for your home’s landscape. It is also easy to clean and rinse, making it an eco-friendly alternative to natural lawns.