When you think of synthetic grass, you may be thinking of the strange-looking products that were rolled out on your parent’s lack lawn 20 years ago. These were generally weird colored green carpets made of short plastic grass blades adhered to a backing. These products were rarely staked down correctly, and almost never used an underfill of any kind to make the “grass” feel soft. What you got was a messy product that came up at the edges, wore poorly and had ridges where it wore in one direction like a carpet. In essence, it looked totally fake and was rarely something that you would choose for your home if you saw it somewhere else. Luckily, synthetic grass products have come a long way since those early days, and today it is almost impossible to differentiate between real grass and fake grass, provided it is professionally installed.
Over the years, an interest in having grass in areas that are not typically easy to grow grass has gained in popularity. It is now common for people to attempt to create their own “oasis in the desert” where they transform their living spaces into areas that do not seem logical for the vicinity. Examples of this are common in desert communities like Las Vegas, but are also common in less extreme areas like southern California, as people use artificial plants and desert landscaping to create an area that looks and feels like the tropics, only without the work that would go into upkeep. The main drawback with attempting to create an unnatural environment is that it is nearly impossible to keep alive if the climate is not right for it. This is the case with many landscaping elements used in our areas, and as a result the demand for more realistic artificial grass was born. People want to feel the lush and soft grass that they see in other areas, and they want it in their own backyard without the constant maintenance that goes with it. The artificial grass products that are available today are not only thick and feel real, but also come in a variety of different types depending on the look and feel you desire. You can even get putting green grass if you want to practice your short game in your own yard!
One of the secrets to a natural looking artificial grass installation is the underfill material. A professional installation will include the leveling and sculpting of the ground, as well as clearing it of any existing plants. A weed barrier will be put down to prevent anything from growing underneath that could eventually come up under the grass. A fill material is evenly spread and compacted, then the artificial grass product itself is staked down on top of it. This will create a spongy feel and simulate real grass when you are walking on it. The result is a realistic looking and feeling product that you will be hard pressed to know is not actual living grass, only without any of the mowing, trimming and watering necessary.