The Purchase Green Blog shares our artificial grass information such as artificial grass installation, what is the best artificial grass, where to buy artificial grass, DIY artificial grass projects, events & more!
Drought tolerant, drought resistant–what’s the difference? Is there a difference? What if there’s not even in a drought where I live? Should I still care?
The terms “drought resistant” and “drought tolerant” are frequently used interchangeably, but there is a difference. A plant that is drought resistant is able to go without water for a long time. Drought tolerant means that it can grow with a minimal amount of water.
Regardless of whether there is or isn’t a drought, reducing your overall water usage is not only an environmentally-friendly choice, but it’s also more economical in the long run. Maintaining a perfectly trimmed, green lawn takes a LOT of water, time, and maintenance.
Some replacements for grass lawns are pavement, gravel and mulch, but–in our humble and completely unbiased opinion–there is a better way to fill that space. One that is more functional, more attractive, and more green.
Replacing natural and–dare I say–needy grass with drought resistant grass turf allows you to free yourself of obtrusively high water bills and long hours of convincing yourself to go mow the lawn. No more!
Using Drought Resistant Grass
Because it requires no water, turf can be considered a huge part of drought resistant landscaping. Artificial grass replaces natural grass in a way that gravel and mulch just can’t. Drought resistant landscaping as a whole can incorporate all of these products in a really beautiful, practical way.
Using artificial grass as an alternative to natural grass doesn’t mean sacrificing all the greenery. This backyard is a smorgasbord of native plants, drought resistant grass, gravel, stone pavers, mulch; it’s interesting. It’s a space that not only conserves water but looks good doing it.
An expansive backyard of natural grass can use 99,000 gallons of water per year. That’s big money. Investing in drought resistant grass can pay for itself in 3-5 years from those water and maintenance savings. No water, no pesticide, no mowing.
Decades ago, it was obvious when you used artificial grass. It was unnatural-looking, stiff, and was made out of some not-so-safe ingredients. But now, one of the only indicators that you have an artificial grass lawn is that it looks so darn good all the time! Either you’re very meticulous and spend a lot of money on upkeep for your natural lawn, or you bought a drought resistant artificial grass lawn a couple years ago and do some regular cleaning to keep it looking fresh. If it’s the latter, how does it feel to save water, time, and money all while having a gorgeous, natural-looking outdoor space? Probably feels pretty good.
July 2019 was the hottest month on record, and this year we’re ready for it. In the sweltering heat, what better way to cool down than hopping in the pool? Today, we’re listing our favorite backyard pool landscaping ideas for beating the heat and enjoying our outdoor spaces this summer.
The Desert Oasis
The pool, the pavers, the fire pit–everything about this space is wonderful. And all tied together by our Arizona Platinum – Spring grass! With Independence Day coming up, this backyard is fit to entertain day and night.
The Pup’s Paradise
This pup loves his Nature’s Sod backyard paradise! Do you think he does little doggy jumps off the rock into the pool when it’s hot outside? I’d like to think so.
The Classic Combo
Simplicity triumphs with this beautiful open backyard. A cool pool + Marathon turf = fun in the sun!
The King of the Court
The only thing better than a pool? A pool and a basketball court! Balling up with this install’s Spring Fescue grass is always a win.
The Asymmetric Fit
Rectangular pools not really your speed? No problem! We can shape our turf to fit your space, like we did with this backyard pool landscape using Marathon – Olive grass.
And there you have it: our favorite PG installs to give you some backyard pool landscaping ideas! This holiday weekend, keep it cool in the pool while our Cool Yarn grasses keep your turf cooler in the summer sun!
An artificial grass’ backing system is responsible for supporting the dimensional stability, tuft bind, and longevity of the finished product, but the exact combination of the various types of primary and secondary components greatly impact the durability of a given grass.
We’re discussing some advancements in manufacturing technology and methodology for artificial grass backing systems – the newer and improved primary and secondary components: Silverback, Eco Cell, and Armorloc 3L. Both are of a proprietary design and, as a system, create some of the toughest grasses available on the market.
Scott Lowrie, CEO of Controlled Products, developed Silverback as an alternative to traditional means of secondary application and design. Classic manufacturing methods will use greater amounts of urethane or latex coatings to achieve a stronger backing – depending on what’s referred to as a mechanical bond between the primary and secondary layers. But Scott was able to identify a way in which to save on manufacturing costs yet still produce a superior product – by creating a system that focused on chemical bonds instead. A chemical bond is the inherent attraction between specific components with molecular structures that cohere and bind very well together. The polyester/propylene blend in Armorloc 3L backings and the polyurethane in Silverback coatings are examples of such cohesive combinations.
Additionally, Silverback has a lowered viscosity, which allows it to fit through and fill in gaps between the tufted fibers and primary backing, revealing more surface material to chemically bond to. In contrast, older technology applies an aerated secondary layer that is too frothy to seep through those gaps, causing the product to be more susceptible to loss of tuft bind and mechanical degradation over time. Other manufacturers also often use higher filler counts in their secondary coatings, whereas Silverback uses less filler materials in a higher grade of urethane.
The result is a chemically bound backing system that is proven stronger, longer lasting, and more durable than competing products.
EcoCell, while not new to the PG product lineup and a primary component in several our grass’s backing systems, is also integrated into the Silverback coating for a more positive impact on the environment. EcoCell derives from a natural vegetable oil pressed from castor beans, an ingredient commonly found in food preservatives, medicine, skin care, and hair care. Making up 25% of Silverback’s solution, EcoCell is a sustainable, bio-based additive that allows us to replace a percentage of nonrenewable petroleum-based oils that would be used otherwise.
What’s going to be most distinguishable about Armorloc is it’s construction. With traditional manufacturing, the two to three layers in a primary backing would be held together solely by the sewn fibers, but this resulted in a backing system vulnerable to excess movement over time. Armorloc 3L uses three layers of a polypropylene and polyester blend that are woven and stitched together before the tufting process; and the layers are arranged in such a way that the direction of each’s filaments are intersecting in different directions, producing a non-directional primary backing material. The outcome of this design was three distinct feats – the first being increased dimensional stability.
While temperatures rise and lower, the multidirectional layers in Armorloc 3L resist expansion and contraction, also referred to as “creep”. Because each layer in the armorloc 3L expands and contracts only in the direction of their filaments and each layer is woven into one another in opposite directions, the layers work against each other to create significantly less movement and a much more dimensionally stable product. Furthermore, in addition to the multidirectional layers, the Armorloc 3L backing has an increased overall stitch count, which also reinforces the dimensional stability.
The second significant achievement of Armorloc is its ability to support a stronger tuft bind. Due to the primary backing layers being woven together, this causes a “self-healing” effect during the tufting process. The nature of woven and weft filaments is to return back together when disjointed, so as needles puncture the backing to tuft a bundle of fiber through, the woven polyester and polypropylene filaments compress back around the fiber to lock it in.
And lastly, Armorloc backings greatly improve moisture and rot resistance. On top of Armorloc 3L being fully permeable, the polyester layers are a non-absorbent synthetic material, further reducing the likelihood of moisture soaking and rotting the backing.
The Bottom Line
Individually, Armorloc 3L and Silverback have forever changed the course of artificial grass manufacturing, but their strength truly shines when brought together. The marriage of Armorloc and Silverback has produced a backing system proven to be the best in dimensional stability, tuft bind, tear strength, and ease of installation.
Products utilizing this backing system have greatly reduced their risk of wrinkles, expansion, and shrinking once installed, as well as any potential for “creep”. This system is also fully permeable and achieves an extremely high tear strength – excellent for sport applications.
And because the Armorloc backing is woven and stitched and Silverback soaks into the weave and weft of Armorloc then bonds chemically, it creates a more pliable turf to allow for straighter cuts with less fray – making this the preferred backing system by installers. Then, with the addition of EcoCell, this improved system comes full circle, answering to the environmental impacts of manufacturing by substituting a nonrenewable resource with a sustainable one – earning certifications such as LEED and Bio-Preferred.
If you’ve decided to install artificial grass, first, congratulations on making a wise, water-saving decision. Not only will artificial grass help to significantly reduce your water consumption, it also provides you with a beautiful, functional lawn that will pay for itself in just a few years.
Once you’ve determined where you want to install your artificial grass and the dimensions of your soon-to-be-amazing new lawn, it’s time to start excavating your existing soil. Excavating soil is a critical step in a proper artificial grass lawn installation. The native soil that will be excavated will be replaced with a sub-base. What is artificial grass sub-base?
But, you may wonder, why do I need to install a sub-base? Why can’t I just install my artificial grass on the soil as is? The answer has to do with some basic scientific principles – expansion and contraction. Soil naturally expands and contracts over time depending on climate. For natural grass this presents no problem because it is growing in the soil. For artificial grass, however, such expansion and contraction can result in buckling, wrinkling and an uneven surface.
This grass is being installed next to a hard concrete edge
The solution for preventing this is to replace the soil with a substance that will not expand or contract. A proper sub-base comprised of either class II road base (also known as crushed miscellaneous base or CMB) or decomposed granite will provide an excellent foundation for your artificial grass and will help ensure you get the most out of your investment.
CMB vs DG
CMB is a blend of recycled concrete and/or recycled asphalt and consists of a sand-gravel mixture of varying-sized particles up to ¾ of an inch in size. Decomposed granite, or DG, is granite rock that has weathered to the point that it readily fractures into smaller pieces of weak rock and/or into mixtures of gravel, sand, and silt-size particles of clay. Both are great materials for your sub-base. CMB is more easily compacted than DG but doesn’t drain quite as well. DG, meanwhile, yields a smoother finish than CMB but it is quite a bit more expensive. Generally, CMB is the best choice for artificial grass in landscaping while DG is the best choice if you’re installing a putting green.
Once you’ve decided on the appropriate sub-base material, it’s time to shake a leg…and everything else too! After you’ve spread the sub-base material over your installation site, your best option for a proper installation is to use a vibratory-plate compactor. You may also opt to use a roller and a hand tamper to get those hard-to-reach areas and tight corners. Oh, and be sure to wet down your sub-base as you’re compacting it to help remove any voids or air spaces.
Adding a sub-base may seem like a lot of extra work. But like anything worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Installing artificial grass the right way the first time will be beneficial in the long run. For more information on the installation process, check out our artificial grass installation videos or come on down to your local Purchase Green store. We’re happy to help you figure out which sub-base is right for your and how much you need for your installation.
Just installed artificial grass in your yard? Well you’re saving yourself a ton of time, money and effort by eliminating mowing, fertilizing, and watering! We still recommend up-keeping your artificial grass through cleaning. Learning how to clean artificial grass will help ensure the longevity and performance of your turf!
We recommend cleaning artificial grass each week if it sees heavy use or debris accumulation. Larger debris such as leaves or blooms can be easily removed with a rake or brush, while a hose will take care of smaller debris or dust. Grass surfaces that are used less frequently don’t have to be cleaned as often, but we’d still recommend giving it a quick rinse twice a month or so.
Got pets who are using the grass to relive themselves? Just make sure to hose down the areas that the pets use. This will help eliminate bacteria growth and odor buildup. If any stain-causing material ends up on your turf, then a quick spot clean will be in order.
Aside from that, give your turf a quick raking every few months using a lawn rake or a stiff-bristled broom/brush. Do be sure to avoid metal bristles as these can damage the artificial grass. This raking will help remove any debris that has gotten stuck between the blades of the grass.
While you’re raking, check around to see if the grass is getting flat in any areas. It’ll be easy to brush it back up with the rake/brush. Just run the brush in the opposite direction of the blades to re-position them back into their upright position.
Now you know how to clean artificial grass on a regular basis. These simple steps will keep your grass looking new, smelling great, and performing at top notch.
Periodically, say every year for residential uses, you’ll want to perform a deep clean on your artificial grass.
You’ll want to watch out for bacteria/odor build up on your grass. Noticing any persisting odors? Try doing a turf-deodorizing using our Turf Bomb or other non-toxic cleaner. Turf Bomb is non-toxic, biodegradable and hypo-allergenic so its safe for kids and pets, and is specially designed for synthetic turf use. Turf Broom will sanitize your artificial turf AND target any odors.
The most effective cleaning process is using a mechanical brush. Often referred to as a power brush or power broom, this device uses a brush of bristles that move by motor to thoroughly clean the artificial grass surface. This type of cleaning will help remove traffic wear patterns on your artificial grass lawn and restore it to a like-new appearance. It is effective at getting rid of flat spots or fixing grass that has begun to take on a matted look. Typically, with normal residential use and the regular cleaning mentioned above, this type of process will need to be performed about once a year.
Proper maintenance of artificial turf can help ensure that it remains in good shape over time. This process starts with regular cleaning based on a system of weekly rinsing, monthly raking, and spot-cleaning any stains. In addition to this regular cleaning, the longevity of the turf also depends on periodic deep cleaning. This typically involves the use of a power brush cleaner, which can help remove most of the debris from the surface while improving the look and feel of the turf.
Does that sound like a lot? Perhaps. But think about how much easier, faster, and cost-effective it is compared to mowing, know that you know how to clean artificial grass!
Walking into a storeroom or browsing a website with what seems like endless options of artificial turf can be intimidating, especially for a first-timer. How do I choose the right one? What am I even looking for? I’d like turf that’s, well, green. I know that for sure.
And that’s a great start. At Purchase Green, we’ve made choosing the best fake grass for whatever project you’re working on into a science.
The Menu Board breaks the options down into four categories:
When picking the right artificial grass, it all boils down to those four things.
Application is the kind of project you’re working on, whether that’s installing your dream putting green, an area for your pets, a playground, a sports field, or just doing some landscaping. Knowing what the project is will be crucial to picking the best fake grass for installation.
If you are looking for artificial grass to go in your backyard, and your pets will be using the space to do their business, there are a few things we can do to eliminate odors and make clean-up easier. A big portion of this has to do with the infill you select, which we’ll discuss later, but let’s just focus on the grass itself for now. All our grasses are “pet-friendly” meaning that they drain quickly to help get rid of waste. But, a grass that is shorter in height like Spring Fescue Pet Pro will be much easier to clean. But if you don’t have any pets using your backyard, then you won’t have to worry about the high pile height of a grass like California Native.
It’s also super important for the durability of your grass to know how much traffic will be taking place on the turf. If your project is more for aesthetics and show than for heavy activity, then a great, low-traffic choice would be something like Southwestern Sod Light. But if there are going to be kids, adults, or pets using the space a lot, a grass with outstanding memory (like a memory foam mattress) and high durability would be the best fake grass to choose; something like Spring Fescue Premier would be an excellent option.
The blade profile of the grass you choose affects a lot of aspects of how the grass will perform. One of the first things we look at is the finish of the grass, or the sheen. Simply put, how much do you want your grass to shine? Grasses with more shine can appear to have a nice morning dew on them, but if that’s not your style, de-lustered grass has a more natural look.
When shopping in-store or ordering samples online, you’ll eventually find yourself running your hands over those cuts of turf. What does it feel like? That’s what we categorize as texture; you can have turf that is more soft like Spring Rye 65 or more stiff like Vista 70.
And now we get to color! You said you wanted green, right? Again, great start. But, I have to ask, what kind of green? Our grasses come in a few different shades; olive, spring, and field are the most common.
The grass blade can be a ton of different shapes: v-shaped, wave-shaped, flat, c-shaped, hollow, double diamond, and that’s not even all! Well, gee, that just seems excessive, doesn’t it? We don’t think so. We want you to have every option to choose the best fake grass for your project, and all those different shapes have a huge impact on your grass’s performance.
For example, willow blades (found in grasses like Playscape) combine softer and firmer blades which gives a solid mix of flexibility and strength. A grass like Eco Spring 75 has c-shaped blades that are great for reflecting away UV rays and keeping the grass cooler.
If you know that you’ll be walking on the grass or have kids or dogs that will be playing on it, keeping the grass cooler with Cool Yarn is a must. Some blade shapes divert those hot UV rays better than others; something like the Marathon – Olive grass has a u-shaped blade that excels in temperature control.
And, finally, after going through the project application, traffic, and blade profile, you’ve decided on the best fake grass for you. Take a moment, celebrate, and then back to business. Let’s talk accessories.
Any installation needs to have the right accessories to keep that grass looking and feeling its best. We have a few different infill options: silica sand, green silica sand, Zeolite, and HeroFill/MellowFill. Again, depending on the project type and your budget, you’ll find that one works better for you than the others. For example, if your pets will be using the space, using an infill that controls odors is essential. MellowFill and Zeolite are great options for pet-friendly areas.
After all of that, after all of those questions, pinpointing your needs, and considering what will work, we’ve made it. Using the Menu Board tool, we were able to find the best fake grass for you and identified the turf accessories needed to make it a long-lasting reality.
All that’s left to do is contact us either in-store, online, or over the phone and tell us about your project! We’re happy to help you find that perfect grass for whatever you’re working on!