Artificial Grass Installation DIY: My Experience, Tips, and Insights!

Are you a DIYer looking for guidance on how to start your artificial grass project? Or maybe you’ve already started and got stuck looking for the answers you need. It’s Shayla here with Purchase Green, and I’m happy to help! I’m going to take you through the steps of artificial grass installation DIY.

I’ve been wanting to do my own artificial grass installation DIY for a while. When my parents told me that they wanted some artificial grass for a dog run, I was super excited to help them out! I was finally going to be able to put into practice all of the knowledge I had been learning and writing about for months as a member of the Purchase Green marketing department.

Before we get into it, I just want to iterate that every project is different. My project is a 50 square foot dog run, which is obviously a different experience from installing an entire backyard full of grass. However, the quantity of material and time taken are potentially the two biggest differences there may be between my project and yours. 

Also, even though I work at Purchase Green, I am not an installer. As I researched for my project, I realized that a lot of the DIY artificial grass content out there is not actually DIY. I found that many of the DIY videos were done by entire professional installation crews. So I wanted to make sure that this project was actually do-it-yourself. I went through the whole process that an average DIYer would experience. I have never done anything like this before, but I’m going to try my best to outline everything that can help your DIY project go smoothly. So let’s jump into it!

Here’s a video of the entire process, starting with materials and going all the way through the finished product.

What You’ll Need

Here are all of the tools, accessories, and miscellaneous things we used for the installation broken out between things we already had at home and things we bought at Purchase Green:

We had:

  • Square nosed shovel
  • Bucket
  • Measuring tape
  • Gardening gloves
  • Trash bags
  • Cup
  • Hammers

We bought:

Because we wanted this to be as easy and low-cost as possible, we opted for a basic installation that doesn’t require any kind of perimeter product like Bend-a-Board. The basic installation isn’t as robust as far as securing the grass and making it look perfect, but my parents were just looking for a nice touch of green and wanted their dog to not track dirt and mud into the house. Easy enough! We followed along with the Purchase Green 2021 DIY Installation Guide. Let’s get into the backyard!

Site Walk & Prep

In the housing complex where my parents live, they can submit landscaping requests for free. There was a huge bed of dead plants and weeds in this space. Luckily, that was able to be taken care of by the complex, so we were left with this patch of dirt.

We started by measuring the dimensions of the space – 26’x2′. We knew we could save a ton of money by using remnants – and the space was small enough that we would have some great options. We had to keep in mind that Purchase Green doesn’t cut remnants – they come as-is. So we hopped on the remnants shop on the Purchase Green website and found our local store – San Marcos.

When picking the right grass, I considered a few things:

  • the square footage of the remnants and how they’d fit together
  • if it was a good grass for dogs
  • if it had Cool Yarn to keep the grass a little cooler when it’s in the sun

I ended up finding two Arizona Pro remnants that would fit great in the space and would work for their dog, Peaches. Arizona Pro is a Cool Yarn grass so it’ll reflect more heat from the sun, and it can withstand high traffic – perfect for Peaches!

After picking our remnants, we moved onto tools and accessories – what we were going to need to actually install. Since our installation was only 50 sq.ft., we only needed one 10lb box of 5″ nails and the smallest roll of weed barrier. We decided that since our one seam was only going to be 2 feet long, we would just use nails instead of seaming tape and glue. Again, not as robust, but more cost and labor-effective.

For our infill, we decided on HeroFill since it’s the best option for areas with pets. Regular silica infill stinks when pets use the area, but Herofill controls odors caused by pets, mildew, and mold – it’s also antimicrobial. We got two 50lb bags of infill, but we only ended up using one. We got a turf broom to brush up the fibers and get the infill down toward the backing. We also got a carpet knife to cut the remnants and 8″ shears to cut the weed barrier. And finally, we bought some Turf Bomb for added odor prevention and treatment down the road.

Excavation

After picking up all of our materials at the San Marcos store, we got it back to the house and finished excavating the site. We opted out of using a subbase for, once again, cost and labor reasons. If you have a bigger or unleveled space, or if you need a better drainage solution, I’d recommend subbase. Subbase also helps prevent weeds and movement of the turf, so it’s definitely something to consider. I think the finished product would’ve turned out a little better if we did have a subbase underneath, but we just didn’t want to deal with it.

The recommended excavation depth is 3-4 inches with a subbase. Because we didn’t use subbase, we excavated about 2 inches below the cement line because our Arizona Pro grass is 1.7″ tall, and we didn’t want there to be a huge dip going from the patio to the grass. We removed as much organic material left in the dirt as we could because as that decomposes, the turf can shift and wrinkle. We compacted the soil with a square-nosed shovel. A hand tamper would’ve worked better, but we didn’t have one.

Underlayment

After we compacted the soil, it was time to lay the weed barrier. We nailed one side down first so it wouldn’t blow away, then rolled it out and folded it to fit the space. We used the whole roll and used the 8″ shears to cut around the fence poles and big concrete slabs along the fence. Then we nailed it down every foot or so along the perimeter.

Measuring, Cutting & Orienting

We brought in the Arizona Pro remnants and unrolled them to sit in the sun for a bit to get the blades to stand up. We wanted the grass grain to face the house, so we took the larger piece and lined up the already cut edge with the cement. We left overlap on the other sides because we were going to have to cut around some poles and concrete. Once we got it lined up how we wanted, we nailed down one side, stretched the other side and started cutting along the fence line.

Definitely take your time measuring and cutting because once you make a cut, that’s it. We got our edges trimmed and started nailing everything down. We nailed every 6 inches along the perimeter and every foot down the middle. Something I found when nailing is that it’s important to try and keep the grass blades out from underneath the nail head. You want the nail to get right into the backing in between stitch rows, and if there are grass blades stuck underneath the nail, you can see the top of the nail in the ground.

Seaming

When it came to placing the other remnant, we made sure the grass grain was facing the same direction as the other one so that they’d look natural together. We lined up the cut edge the same as we did before and stretched it out and cut the overlap along the fence. Before we started nailing, we made sure that the edge along the fence would be the right length for the seam to line up. We got it all stretched and ready and started nailing the perimeter like before. When it came time to nail down the seam, I lined up the stitch rows so it’d look as seamless as possible, and started nailing every couple of inches in a staggered kind of zig-zag line. And it ended up looking pretty good, I was proud of myself! 

Infill

After we finished all the nailing, we stepped back to admire our handiwork. And then went right into infill. We didn’t have a drop spreader or anything so we just used a big cup to disperse it. It worked pretty well and we were able to get into the corners easily. I’d walk back and forth dropping the infill and my stepdad would follow behind working the infill into the grass with the turf broom. It was some good teamwork!

We got through the first bag of infill, and it seemed sufficient. Usually, you want 2-4 lbs of infill per square foot. Maybe we just wanted to be done, but opening a second 50lb bag of infill seemed like a lot, so we called it after one bag. We still have the second bag if we do decide to add some more later.

Finishing Up

After about 5 hours of work, we showed the finished lawn to my mom and their dog, Peaches. Peaches was suspicious at first, but she got used to it. Overall, we were all happy with how it turned out.

I’ve been to a handful of artificial grass installations and have gotten to watch the professional installers do their thing – and do it fantastically. After doing this little DIY installation, I cannot express enough how amazing our installers are at their jobs. It’s a tough job that takes incredible skill and attention to detail. I definitely learned a lot from this and I’m glad I get to share it with others trying to DIY their own project. In a nutshell, here are the key insights I’ve learned from my DIY project:

  • Talk to an expert! Because I work at Purchase Green and maybe know more about artificial grass than the average DIYer, I had an advantage in knowing where to go for knowledge and resources, but everything I used is available to any other DIYer! The DIY Guide was an incredible tool, and I reached out to our installation experts to help me get an idea of all the materials I would need. You can absolutely reach out to your local Purchase Green to get expert advice and help if you’re feeling stuck. You can get all of your questions answered 100%.
  • Manage your expectations! Going into this project, I knew it was not going to turn out how I’ve seen professional installations turn out. I know my skill level as far as landscaping experience goes – I have none. And I knew that we weren’t going to do a lot of the recommended methods for installation – like excavating, subbase, and perimeter board. So I knew it wasn’t going to be perfect. And I kept that in mind as I was installing. I sure did my best to make it look good and followed the directions, but in the end, the project is yours. You can decide the level you want to commit to making it look like a professional installation, whether that’s based on your budget, or labor, or something else.
  • Have help! I worked on this project with my stepdad and it was so much better than if I tried to do it by myself. Not only does he know a lot more about landscaping than I do, but it was just more fun to work alongside someone. And it made it go by so much faster. I one-hundred percent recommend having a helper or putting together your own little installation crew to have it take less time.
  • Choose the right remnants! I scoured the San Marcos remnant page for a long time before deciding on the Arizona Pros. I already knew that Arizona Pro would be a good grass for the dog, and I didn’t want remnants that were way too big or not big enough. They ended up being a nice width so we didn’t have to cut too much off, but we did end up having a lot of length left over. We made a nice doormat for the garage. If you do choose the remnant route, the thing to remember about remnants is that there isn’t the typical lifetime product warranty on them and they do come as-is, so you can’t have them cut when you pick them up in-store. 

And that’s it! I hope you enjoyed going on this DIY journey with me, and I hope it shed some light on starting your artificial grass DIY project with realistic expectations. If you have any questions, feel free to call us at 844-TURF-444 or contact your local Purchase Green to get help. And don’t forget to check out the DIY Installation Guide to walk you through a proper artificial grass installation DIY!

Backyard Putting Green Cost

Backyard Putting Green Cost Compared to Practicing at the Driving Range

Backyard Putting Green Cost

Backyard Putting Green Cost is lower with artificial grass.

Updated July 2021:

Like any sport, getting good at golf requires a lot of practice. For those who’ve always dreamed of having their own personal putting green, or simply don’t have three or four hours a day to devote to going to a driving range or a lot of money to spend on green fees, installing a backyard putting green can be a cost-effective and convenient solution.

The Cost of Playing at a Golf Course

The cost of a round of golf in the U.S. varies depending on the tee time, the day of the week and season, the golf course (whether it’s public or private), where the golf course is located, etc. However, in general, the cost at daily-fee courses ranges from $25 per round (for 18 holes) to hundreds of dollars at a resort. This means the average golfer typically spends several thousand dollars to play golf each year, not counting the cost to rent a golf cart, buy golf equipment, and so on. Multiply that amount by several years and the costs can really add up!

The Cost of Having a Backyard Putting Green

Fortunately, putting in a backyard putting green costs a lot less than regularly going to a golf course, depending on the size and type of putting green. And, residential golfers can currently choose between two options: installing natural grass or artificial grass.

Natural Grass (FYI: Most experts don’t recommend this option for residential golfers.)

Natural turf putting greens (e.g., bent grass or Bermuda grass) can be great under the right conditions (such as when a golfer has a lot of money or also happens to be a professional gardner), but this option does require a lot of time, expertise, money, equipment, and extensive labor to keep green. The groundskeeper has to water every day and mow four to six times a week.

Cost: (For an approximately 1,000 square foot backyard putting green, according to the University of Arkansas)

  • Greens mower: $1,000-$5,000
  • Mower sharpening: $100 per year
  • Rootzone: $500-$1,500
  • Cup (hole) cutter, cups, and flagsticks: $300
  • Fertilizer: $75 per year
  • Fungicide: $150 per year
  • Insecticide: $50 per year
  • Creeping bentgrass seed: $50
  • Tifdwarf, TifEagle, or Miniverde sprigs: $150 to $300

Plus all the time required to mow, water, and maintain it.

Artificial Grass

In contrast, experts typically recommend installing synthetic putting greens due to greater manageability, as well as the improvements to artificial grass’ manufacturing technology. Artificial putting greens available in today’s market look and respond like real putting-green grass. More importantly, this type of grass can be quickly and easily installed in a backyard and is virtually maintenance-free.

Cost:

Installing a backyard putting green can cost as little as $4 to $6 per square foot if completed as a DIY project, and can last more than a decade. What’s more, laying artificial grass is much more straightforward than you might expect.

If you’re concerned with the cost of a full artificial grass installation, then check out our guide to DIY installing artificial grass. That can certainly help reduce the project cost.

To see a few examples of backyard putting greens, visit the Purchase Green website or the Houzz website.

Download our step-by-step guide to installing your backyard putting green.

Step-by-Step-Guide--Installing-Your-Back-Yard-Putting-Green---PurchaseGreen

Patio Turf: Advantages, Average Cost, and Application Tips

artificial turf for patios

Patios, balconies, and decks are often awkwardly shaped spaces with limited surface area to work with. Maximizing these spaces can be challenging, eventually leaving some (even myself) to end up neglecting them, not recognizing the missed opportunity. But, for those who are tired of the dirty concrete and lacking appeal, patio turf is an easy first step to elevating your outdoor space.

Why Patio Turf Works

Drains Quickly

All Purchase Green artificial grasses drain at a rate of at least 27 (cubic) inches per square yard per hour, with some product types draining even faster than that. In short, artificial turf for the patio will not worsen the pooling of water and other liquids. In fact, adding a drainage mat beneath the turf – such as AirDrain – can improve how well your balcony or deck keeps dry.

Great for Kids and Pets

Small apartment living with kids and pets is not easy. Providing them adequate room for exercise, play, and personal space is important for their home life. Open up and maximize your small outdoor living area with patio turf to instantly increase the space’s functionality and comfort. You can even give the surface some extra cushion by adding a Shockpad beneath the turf.

Easy, Temporary, and Inexpensive

Did you know that the easiest installations are patio turf projects because they require the least amount of product and prep work? Lucky you! They’re also durable and functional, but still a temporary solution that you can remove later on. Double yay! And, to top it off, they’re super inexpensive, with most Purchase Green locations offering discounted remnant pieces – the perfect sized artificial turf for patios!

Versatility

Whether your goal is to create a space for outdoor recreation, such as yoga, aerobics, bocce ball or golf, or if you want to compliment your balcony garden with ground cover, or even if you want to simply enhance the appearance of your home – artificial grass gives the DIY homeowner versatility.

Your Material Cost

The average cost of a DIY artificial turf installation is between $3 – $6 per square foot. This range encompasses the cost of all tools and materials needed for the job. However, because patio applications require the least amount of material and prep, these projects average closer to $3 per square foot.

Your Material Checklist

Double-Sided Seaming Tape: This seam tape is specially made for temporary applications, ideal over hardscapes, such as asphalt and cement. Double-sided seam tape is used to secure the perimeter line and interior sections of the turf directly to the hardscape surface.

(optional) AirDrain Drainage Mat: Proper drainage is crucial to all artificial grass installations, especially those installed over hardscapes like patios and rooftops, and AirDrain will assist in increasing the overall drainage rate of the area. AirDrain is a sub-surface gid that is installed beneath the turf to collect and redirect water away to an exit drain or predetermined point. As a result of AirDrain’s 1-inch depth and 92% air void, air easily circulates and water passes through rapidly – helping keep turf cooler, further preventing odor and bacteria buildup, as well as reinforcing injury prevention by improving the surface’s shock absorbency. Additionally, AirDrain mats can hold up to a ½ gallon of water per square foot, if needed, until it can reach the exit drain – allowing the turf surface to remain dry.

(optional) Shockpad: An optional item, the 8mm shockpad is a great addition to a patio turf project for extra comfort. The shockpad can adhere directly to a hardscape surface or AirDrain mat using the 29 oz Ultrabond glue, which is also used to adhere turf to the surface of the shockpad.

Turf Bomb: Artificial grasses regularly exposed to pets and foot traffic may benefit from periodic cleansing with a deodorizer that’s safe for synthetic turf, such as Turf Bomb – a non-toxic, hypoallergenic, biodegradable disinfectant that is specially made for artificial grass. Attach the Hook and Hose sprayer, included with your purchase of a 32 oz bottle of Turf Bomb, to your garden hose to lightly soak the turf, then leave the mixture to dry. Repeat as desired.

Turf: Of course! But which one is best for your needs? Chat with our product experts online, over the phone, or in person at any of our retail showrooms to find out which grass has the features and specifications you need. And don’t forget to check out the deals at your nearest Purchase Green store! Most locations sell discounted remnant pieces, available for free will call.

Watch these How-To Videos

Our media library is filled with great videos that demonstrate how to use and install our products – check ’em out!

Join the Club!

Purchase Green is committed to being your expert resource for all things artificial grass. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media for regular landscape inspiration, tips, and industry insights!

     

drought tolerant landscaping with turf

Drought-Tolerant Landscaping: An Environmental Solution

Water conservation is of interest to all: individuals, businesses, and policymakers. Protection of water began in 1948 when the Clean Water Act was signed into law. Since then, water as a resource has been looked at in an entirely new way, as an entity with integrity and intrinsic value, driving the need for more drought-tolerant landscaping.

Concerns over periods of drought and water availability have increased in recent years. More individuals, and businesses, depending on their geographical location, may even be subject to water usage restrictions due to drought conditions. As of July 20, 2021, 40.1% of the U.S. is in drought, affecting 48 states.

Homeowners, landscapers, businesses, municipalities, and many others who wish to maintain their backyards, grounds, and sports fields may feel overwhelmed by water usage restrictions. They also may feel responsible for doing their part to limit water usage and wastage.

Purchase Green offers a creative solution to a large-scale problem; one that affects local and global communities. We have expertise in drought-tolerant landscaping that not only looks fantastic, but provides a sustainable approach to water usage and conservation, recyclability, and more.

Opting for synthetic turf over maintaining a traditional lawn is guaranteed to conserve water over time. According to the STC, “A typical grass sports field requires between 500,000 to a million gallons of water or more each year.” While this does depend on the geographical area and usual rainfall, maintaining a green space without regular watering is not feasible.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the average American family of four uses 400 gallons of water per day. In areas, especially desert climates, where rainfall is low, this is simply not sustainable for ensuring water accessibility to all. Choosing a synthetic option for some or all of your green space can help you personally save hundreds of gallons of water per year.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority estimates that every square foot of natural grass replaced saves households between 400 and 750 dollars annually in water usage costs, depending on the size of the yard. Synthetic turfs provided by Purchase Green are low maintenance; they don’t require watering, chemical fertilizers, or pesticides.

Occasionally, debris, leaves, and other particles that have fallen on the turf may need to be removed. A rake or broom are simple and efficient tools for removal. Purchase Green installations look just like real grass, with vibrant green hues, minus the maintenance headaches and unnecessary water usage.

Moreover, synthetic turf options reduce carbon dioxide expenditure. Many lawns require mowing to maintain aesthetic value. One hour of push mowing creates as much pollution as 11 cars, according to EPA studies, and riding mowers create as much pollution as 34 cars. This alone can directly help conserve water, as carbon dioxide accelerates climate change, which worsens drought conditions.

Purchase Green’s priorities lie in education, honesty, precision, and conversation. These are not only important as a business model but also to form a community around preserving natural resources!

How to Install Artificial Turf: A Guide to Project Planning

Whether you’re a landscape professional or a handy DIYer, the general guidelines for estimating a synthetic turf project are the same. We’ve laid out how to install artificial turf and how to plan out your project.

Below is a step-by-step guide for thoroughly evaluating a job site, identifying risk factors, and how to best prepare for a successful and lasting installation.

Step 1: Examine and Identify Risk Factors

First, observe the streets and path leading up to the install site and take notes if you see potential obstacles for either the crew, the tools, or delivery trucks. Narrow streets can be difficult or even impossible to maneuver with a large trailer, and narrow gates or steps can make it much more difficult to move material.

Next, seek out and take note of all risk factors, including irrigation or electrical systems, large rocks, trees, roots, and nearby reflective surfaces.

Job sites with irrigation systems often have their sprinklers capped at the pipe level. Although, some elect to leave sprinklers as they are and simply install the turf around them. The latter is usually recommended for DIYers, but it’s completely optional and up to personal preference.

To cap a sprinkler head, ensure that the new cap is compatible with the system. In most cases, a threaded half-inch cap will suffice, and in fewer cases, you may need a three-quarter-inch cap. To begin, turn off the water line and remove the dirt surrounding the head, creating a hole roughly two to three inches in diameter. Remove the pre-existing sprinkler head and lightly coat both the new cap and the opening of the sprinkler line with a primer and sealer. Once primed, screw on the new flat cap and refill the hole.

Then, turn the water line back on and observe the capped sprinklers, making sure there are no leaks. If the sprinkler system for the lawn is an isolated system – meaning, all the sprinkler heads on that valve are located in only the installation area – you may cut and cap the line right at the valve; this is typically a one-inch non-threaded cap, which you would prime and seal in the same way.

Alternatively, drip lines can also be installed for more precise and conservative watering. However, if more complex solutions are needed, Purchase Green recommends seeking instruction from irrigation professionals before you install artificial turf.

Electrical systems and underground wiring may exist in landscapes to power lights, water features, and other elements. Electrical wiring is even a factor for some putting green projects that include our lighted cups. Unless the contractor or DIYer is familiar with handling these types of systems, again, Purchase Green recommends consulting with a professional before installing turf.

Identifying underground systems is critical in the estimation stage. Their exact location must be known and/or avoided during installation to prevent punctures.

As for trees, they can either be removed or installed around. Though, as you can imagine, installing around root systems can present certain challenges. The task is possible, just tedious. To be safe, Purchase Green suggests conferring with an arborist to ensure that the installation process will not harm the trees and their roots.

Installing artificial turf around tree trunks and roots takes careful planning and an eye for detail.

Beware Localized Heating

Another common risk factor is reflective surfaces, often from south or west-facing windows, resulting in localized heating – which is not covered by Purchase Green’s product warranty.

Localized heating occurs when reflective surfaces catch sunlight at a particular angle, then redirect and focus that light onto a surface below. In many cases, the reflected light creates temperatures that the surface material cannot withstand, so the material deforms.

Common culprits of localized heating are nearby metal objects, such as cars or barbeques, and even everyday objects like plastic pools, tarps, fire pits, white fences, or glass tables – even neighboring windows. Purchase Green recommends using turf samples to test potential areas of concern by placing them in the path of nearby reflective surfaces and observing. If it is recognized that there is potential for melting, you can opt to install window tints, awnings, solar screens, or not install turf in zones where there is a risk.

The presence of critters such as gophers or moles can be challenging, and while the process of excavating three to four inches typically deters them, it is still possible that they will return. To help curb this problem, you have the option of installing one or multiple layers of weed barrier, and in some instances even gopher wire; though it’s important to note that this is not a guaranteed solution, unfortunately.

Additionally, weeds can be just as stubborn. Like gophers, if weeds are preexisting in or around the installation site, it may be challenging to keep them away. However, there are proactive actions you can take to mitigate their invasion, such as applying a pre-emergent product to help prevent weeds from protruding and using non-toxic weed killers to eliminate those that do without damaging the turf. If the weeds are particularly invasive, installing a layer of weed barrier is recommended both below and above the subbase.

Step 2: Measuring Square Footage

Now it’s time to measure. You can begin with measuring the total linear footage of the perimeter – most easily achieved using a measuring wheel. Walking the perimeter line with your measuring wheel will allow you an opportunity to determine where a perimeter product should be installed and how much of it you need. Remember that steeply graded areas or areas without a constructed restraint, such as a retaining wall or sidewalk, will likely require a perimeter board – such as Bend-a-Board.

This 1.5″x1.5″x12′ Bend-a-Board acts as a perimeter for the artificial turf being installed against a fence.

Next, calculating the actual square footage. To do so, simply multiply the length and width of the install area, but don’t forget to subtract planters, trees, and other areas within the perimeter that would not be replaced with turf, as the goal is to establish the true square footage so that we know the minimum amount of artificial grass required. If needed, here is a handy square footage calculator.

After you’ve established the length of the perimeter and calculated the true square footage, you will have enough information to determine the linear footage of grass required for the project. Though, factors such as the grass’ roll width, the desired grain orientation, as well as the shape and size of the installation area will impact this number. For example, if a job site is odd-shaped and orienting the grass grain in the standard direction increases the material cost, then you may elect to install in a different direction. Alternatively, you could consider a 13-foot-wide product rather than a 15-foot-wide to reduce material waste.

Step 3: Illustrations and Visualization

Now to illustrate your estimate and calculations with drawings of the job site. These drawings should be to scale and as accurate as possible, seeing as they will be used as references when quoting and planning the job – such as indicating the placement of a perimeter product, seams, and the grain of the turf. Though there is no perfect plan, in the end, there are a variety of ways to approach every project; simply do your best to be smart and creative.

Below are some examples of project illustrations from our install managers:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice how the estimator draws arrows to indicate the main vantage point of the job site – where the majority of spectators will be when viewing the lawn. For the most aesthetic outcome, it is recommended to install turf in such a way that the grain or direction of the grass is pointing toward the main vantage point. As previously mentioned, installing turf in this way is not a hard and fast rule, and is often disregarded if orienting the turf in a different direction could conserve material.

Illustrations will also greatly assist in calculating the material and labor required for seams, if applicable. The estimator will draw dotted lines of the grass’ roll width to indicate where individual pieces would meet and be seamed. This visualization helps to accurately place and measure seam lengths so that you know exactly how many nails or how much seam tape your project requires.

How to Install Artificial Turf

This has been a pretty extensive guide on how to install artificial turf. It was a lot of information, but we think it’s hugely important for DIYers and homeowners looking for turnkey installation to have every bit of knowledge they can get.

Our goal is to educate our customers to make the best decisions for their projects, not sell them products that they don’t need. With this guide, you can be assured that you have the knowledge to start planning your artificial grass project, and the understanding of what our installation crews and team members do to help you get the lawn of your dreams.

 

Preparing Nevada Business Owners for 2027’s Nonfunctional Sod Ban

In 6 years, a Nevada sod ban will block certain uses and installation locations for natural sod. However, the advantages of this law will not just impact the environment, but local business owners, too. Here is how they can best prepare. 

las vegas nevada sod ban

How will the Nevada sod ban change the Las Vegas landscape? Photo by Cameron Rainey from Pexels

What’s the Scoop, Nevada? 

Since 2000, Nevada’s drought has limited the Las Vegas region’s opportunity for economic growth, indicating an unstable future. With the most intense drought period occurring just earlier this year, the need for lasting water conservation must be met soon.  

On June 4th, Nevada State Governor Steve Sisolak signed a law that will restrict many public and commercial sites within the Southern Nevada Water Authority jurisdiction from using ‘nonfunctional’ natural sod. The Vegas area is expecting to replace roughly 31%, or approximately 6 square miles, of commercial landscape space.

The Nevada sod ban restrictions will apply to sites that receive little to no daily foot traffic. Affected locations include commercial courtyards, street medians, and entrances to housing developments. Single-family homes, parks, and golf courses do not meet the requirements for the sod ban. 

What’s the Impact of Nevada’s Sod Ban? 

With bipartisan support, as well as backings from various groups and associations, Nevada lawmakers are taking major strides to “allow for more sustainable and efficient use of resources, build resiliency to climate change, and help ensure the community’s current and future water needs continue to be met,” as stated by Southern Nevada Water Authority General Manager, John Entsminger. 

Replacing 6 square miles of sod will result in saving around 11 gallons of water per person per day. This equals about a 10% reduction in water consumption from the region’s primary source – the Colorado River. Although, with clear environmental benefits, how might this ban impact Nevada locals on an individual level?  

Purchase Green Supports Small Business 

While limitations to the ban are still being defined, business owners and property managers can stay one step ahead. There’s time to determine the important needs regarding synthetic turf’s style, performance, and longevity – as not all are made equal.  

Purchase Green Product Experts can identify the best possible turf from over 30 options, each with varying styles and functions. Grass features can increase usage and comfort by reducing the amount of heat retained from the sun. Or they can kill harmful bacteria and keeps surfaces sanitized. Some have multiple blade shapes and directions for the ultimate realistic look. Additionally, consider a professional installation by starting with a free on-site estimate.  

Contractors are in a special position as well, with the opportunity to advertise themselves to a broader pool of prospects by offering turf as an additional product and/or service – if they are not already taking advantage of the turf market. 

Purchase Green teams in Nevada – which service North Las Vegas, Henderson, and surrounding cities – maintain a reliable inventory of goods. Our warehouses stock up to 160,000 sq. ft. of turf at all times for fast order fulfillment, delivery, and same-day will call. With Purchase Green, contractors can also qualify for discounted material pricing or gain access to leads when they sign up as an Installation Partner.  

Purchase Green is an organization that believes in the power of knowledge and creating genuine, lasting partnerships. Regardless of experience or industry, we’re confident that – with Purchase Green – contractors, landscapers, and business owners alike will find the solution they need! 

Artificial Grass and Pets: What You Need to Know

Updated June 18, 2021:

We’re proud to announce the publication of our new “Pet Turf Guide”. If you’re looking for more information about pets and artificial grass, including how to choose the right grass and keep it clean and fresh, this is the guide for you. Become the expert on artificial grass and pets.

Artificial grass is becoming increasingly popular among homeowners looking for a drought-friendly alternative to a traditional lawn. Artificial grass demands less upkeep and maintenance, requires no water, and can be enjoyed year-round. However, many people have questions and concerns regarding their pets and how they might be affected by a switch to artificial grass. Continue reading

Purchase Green Houston Breaks $1 Million in First 6 Months

Establishing a new brick and mortar is no small feat, often requiring countless hours of scouting, documenting, training, and marketing. Purchase Green, after opening 30+ locations since its founding in 2008, recognized this burden and has since formulated a Store Opening Procedure to minimize pain points in the onboarding process, for both corporate and franchise operations alike.

Even still, challenges persist no matter how prepared one might be. For this reason, newly opened Purchase Green stores are given a bit of reprieve for their first year, allowing these younger locations the opportunity to generate awareness and revenue – with the understanding that projected earnings will continue to rise over time.

So, it is quite remarkable when a Purchase Green store as young as six months has already breached $1 million in revenue – for the first time in this organization’s history – and with trends indicating there is still much to gain in their market. But how did Purchase Green Houston do it? And how might others mirror their success? We met with our Houston, Texas team for their insight into what they believe has set them apart.

The following interview was conducted by Parris King, our Content Marketing Manager, who spoke with Bob Felix, Regional Manager of Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, and Austin territories, as well as Jose Jimenez, Store Manager of Purchase Green Houston.

Parris: “Bob, you are a Purchase Green veteran. By now you’ve helped establish several of our stores – so, what do you think are Houston’s key strengths and/or advantages that have set it up for success?”

Bob: “We found that the further we are moving into the Southeast, there is less direct competition; and what competition is here, they have a much higher markup. Houston is fairly untapped with a strong middle class, and even though it did take a little bit of time for people to find us, we were still able to make a splash as soon as we got here.”

Parris: “Interesting. Following that, what do you think sets Purchase Green Houston apart from the competition that is there?”

Jose: “We’re focused on building relationships with our contractors; and because of that networking, we’re receiving new contractor customers every week.”

Bob: “Yes, exactly. We have a number of relationships that we heavily nurture – it also helps to not have to rely on our Master Distribution Center in California for materials, but instead grow the Houston warehouse as the next ‘hub’, so we always have stock on hand. But we still have to groom installers out here – there’s just not a big installer culture in Texas like there is in California. We’re trying to educate them, but we’re just barely breaking the first couple of layers on that.”

Parris: “I love how focused your team is on your contractor customer base. Purchase Green as an organization really does encourage that for all of our stores because contractors will ultimately be your bread and butter. Jose, you really hit the nail on the head there with emphasizing those relationships – and from your experience, what would you say is necessary to have or do in order to build a strong network of contractors?”

Jose: “Well, I treat them like they’re a part of the Purchase Green family – because they are, really. To me, I talk to them like they’re my friends, and I know they appreciate that.”

Bob: “That’s a big deal, and I try to do the same thing in other stores – you want to make the conversations loose but with the education aspect on point. Maintain that sort of atmosphere in the store if you can because when you think about it from the customer’s perspective, they’re finally away from the job – they’ve been out on the field all day or running estimates, and by the time they get to you they need a place to decompress. I’ve even had people tell me, ‘This place is like my living room’ – especially when you’ve created an inviting showroom space with plants, furniture, and other decorative elements – I mean, I love Purchase Green Houston’s showroom atmosphere.”

Parris: “Absolutely. Customer service at that level truly boosts the potential of a store, in addition to creating a comfortable environment. Although, as we head toward the close of Houston’s first fiscal year and gear up for the 2022 season, what do you see as being possible next steps to advance Houston even further?

Bob: “We’re still trying to rev up our Install Partners. When you land in these markets that are more-or-less un-tapped, it’s tough to manage all of the incoming leads when you have a limited capacity for installations. You know, you have to make all of these relationships with contractors when you’re new to the area and learn who’s who – and you can’t go to the next step without having that reliable pool of quality Install Partners first. So, for Purchase Green Houston, we’re trying to meet as many contractors as we can to build our Partner program, and then we can begin to work on In-House Installation teams.”

Parris: “What is your process for identifying quality artificial grass installers?”

Jose: “One of the things that I like to do, as one example, is after a contractor purchases from us I’ll do a personal follow up call to ask how the job went, if they could send any pictures, or if there’s anything else they needed – and at that time they usually share their learning experiences from that job.”

Bob: “Yes, you should be given, or you should request pictures of their installs, but also try to visit them on-site if you can. And there is a certain level of professionalism that you should expect from your partners, so I like to meet with them in-store to get a sense of how they are in person. Also the simple things, like going out to look at their truck and getting a sense of how they present themselves.”

Parris: “And how do you approach the balance of maintaining an in-house crew with Installation Partners?”

Bob: “You have to get your Install Partners strong before you think about in-house. In-house teams are a whole other type of responsibility; you have to make sure you can be on top of training the crew as well as your estimators. I would say focus on your partners for the first year, at least.”

Parris: “So, it’s getting a handle on who is available to you in the area, nurturing those partnerships, and then building your own in-house team over time – although while still maintaining those contractor relationships even after the fact?”

Bob: “Oh yeah, there’s enough to go around – especially in large markets like Houston.”

Parris: “Got it. Well, that’s all the time we have for this call – thank you guys for sharing your availability with me, I appreciate your time. We’ll talk soon!”

Learning from Purchase Green Houston’s Success

The path to growth and prosperity may present differently to others, but there are key fundamentals conducive to the longevity of a store, such as hiring the right team members for the goals you have in mind and maintaining a positive corporate culture. The discussion with Bob and Jose highlighted the task of hiring individuals with skill sets that complement the needs of your store, developing your team for excellence by emphasizing the value of knowledge, and encouraging them along their process of learning.

Additionally, relationship-building with not only your in-house team but also your clients is essential to their advocacy of your business – and is what ultimately broadens your network. Something simple to employ but also easy to forgo is the personalization of your service. Ask thoughtful questions about their line of work or how their last install went. Try to identify a need and offer value – possibly by way of industry insights, installation tips, and, in some circumstances, maybe a business partnership. Managers that are focused on customer support often find many creative ways to be the most helpful and valuable to their clients, and those are the clients that keep coming back.

The Purchase Green Houston team has been an excellent example of what it means to be ‘Happy, Helpful, and Happy to Help’ – and we’re eager to watch them grow even more!

 

artificial turf market grows

Is the Future Grim or Green for the Artificial Turf Industry?

The latest generation of the landscape industry has taken root, growing exponentially in the last several decades – and, ironically, it’s synthetic.  

Artificial grass, since its initial introduction to the residential market in the early 1990s, has steadily gained traction as a result of the opportunities it presents in resource and environmental conservation, its versatility in design and application, as well as its potential for profitability in a variety of business models.

But has the market already capped? Have aspiring business owners missed their window? Is there any more room for advancement, innovation, or growth? We asked artificial turf industry experts for their take on artificial turf’s viability and sustainability in the economic landscape.   

Growth and Sustained Success in a Fragmented Market 

Many of us still remember the earliest generations of artificial grass – reminiscent of our grandparents’ carpet from the ’60s. Compared to today’s synthetic products, it’s easy to appreciate the progress made in manufacturing technology and the utilization of applied sciences in material production – further propelling market value amidst significant cultural shifts.

Anthony Vena, President and CEO of Purchase Green Artificial Grass – a business begun as a small startup in Southern California in early 2008 with now more than 30 locations nationwide – describes his witness of these industry advancements and the subsequent changes in consumer perception:

“Improvements in manufacturing combined with an increase in available skilled labor and water conservation efforts have created a more natural appearance at a cost that is now more acceptable to a significantly larger base of homeowners, while simultaneously offering a viable solution to water conservation.  Additionally, with a broader cultural change – with more folks valuing free time over the “therapeutic” benefits of gardening & landscaping – it offers a solution: a beautiful, natural-looking, low maintenance yard.” 

As production quality improved and consumer demand increased, the early 2000s experienced an emergence of commercial manufacturers, distributors, and installers, seemingly saturating and dominating the market. However, as reported by Mordor Intelligence in an artificial turf market forecast for the 2021 to 2026 fiscal years, the market is in fact moderately fragmented – presenting few obstacles and limiting boundaries for those wanting to enter the industry.  

Generally, folks looking to start a business or enter a business want to be involved in emerging industries”, states Anthony Vena, “Rarely do folks want to enter a mature industry with little growth outlook. Artificial grass IS that growth industry. It is still in the early stages of adoption with lots of untapped markets and geographies; in states where it is a bit more mature (like the southwest), it is still growing at >15% per year. With improvements in manufacturing technology, there are more and more use applications available to folks within the industry, which adds to the growth outlook. 

The Future of the Artificial Turf Industry is Green 

Having been initially produced for sport applications, today nearly one-third of the global turf market caters to landscape and recreational uses, with the market projected to reach $7 billion by 2025 – as reported by IndustryARC in their own market forecast for 2020 to 2025.  

Scott Lowrie, President of Controlled Products – a renowned organization that has led the artificial turf industry in manufacturing technology for over 25 years – encourages contractors, landscapers, and other industry professionals to consider the profitability of artificial grass: “Artificial grass is a rapidly growing industry with adoption rates that suggest it will continue this trend for decades to come. The market is still in its infancy and for those who are looking for new products and new markets, artificial turf is a great product to promote. 

Custom builders, landscape architects, real estate agents and management firms, as well as local governments are seeking the benefits of synthetic turf in increasing numbers. An Administrative Draft Report for the City of Novato, prepared by Carducci Associates Landscape Architects and Planners San Francisco, CA states:

The City of San Francisco has demonstrated that synthetic turf athletic fields accommodate two or three times more use than natural grass fields and that thousands of children and adults from community sports leagues can have a place to play soccer/lacrosse year-round. One synthetic turf field can accommodate up to 3,000 hours of use per year, equal to about 1,500 two-hour games.

Furthermore, “There is potential for increased revenue from synthetic turf. A synthetic turf field received City Council support because it can cost less to maintain per hour than a natural grass field and generate revenues that make the synthetic turf field self-sustaining.” 

As stated by Scott Lowrie, “The market has enormous white space for growth in so many different ways. It will be exciting to watch this industry continue to grow and prosper.”  

To answer the question, “Is the future of the artificial turf industry grim or green?” there is a great potential for growth in a market that may appear from the outside to be mature and oversaturated. Synthetic turf is truly a market in its infancy that is projected to grow exponentially over the next decade.

Does Artificial Grass Kill or Encourage Bacterial Growth?

Does artificial grass help or hurt bacterial growth?

Within the last decade, compelling discussions have emerged surrounding the potential for negative health impacts as a result of long-term contact with synthetic turf systems – whether that be environmental health or the health of our athletes, children, and pets. Furthermore, a more prominent debate among industry professionals and researchers currently is the prevalence of bacterial growth on artificial grass surfaces.  

The following excerpt is an observation of studies that argue the efficacy of various antimicrobial control agents applied to turf – such as topical cleaning solutions or material additives incorporated during manufacturing – and the performance of non-treated synthetic grass with comparisons to natural sod.  

Antimicrobial Capabilities of Non-Treated Synthetic Turf vs. Natural Sod 

Interestingly, researchers have identified that the survival of bacteria on synthetic turf is largely reliant on the availability of nutrients, rather than simply an absence of an antimicrobial control agent – as reported by Waninger et al (2010) – implicating antimicrobial viability of even non-treated artificial grass systems in applications with reduced traffic and limited exposure to bodily secretions; this delineation is important, as bodily fluids such as mucus act as a source of food for bacteria and slightly increase their rate of survival.

For example, a residential front yard with artificial turf appears to present a lesser risk for harboring and producing microorganisms, while a high school football field poses a greater risk. Although, it is worth noting that even if bacteria can survive on turf while in a laboratory where nutrients are provided, it has not yet been proven that this survival could occur when subjected to outdoor elements (Waninger et al., 2010).  

Secondarily, bacterial colonization and reproduction are crippled by high surface temperatures and are even more susceptible to degeneration when only briefly exposed to UV light (Hardjawinata et al., 2005). During an experiment conducted by McNitt et al (2020) – where bacterial samples were introduced to both natural and synthetic grass, then measured – bacteria could be detected on both synthetic and natural grass samples under suboptimal growing conditions, but the bacterial survival rate rapidly decreased following slight increases in temperature and UV exposure.

Additionally, and anecdotally – as it was not intended to be a part McNitt’s study, a natural sod sample was measured as having higher counts of bacteria than the non-treated artificial turf sample. Researchers surmised this was possible because: 1) natural sod does not reach the same levels of surface temperature comparative to synthetic turf, 2) natural sod’s density may provide greater coverage from UV light, and 3) there is greater nutrient availability in natural sod.    

Silver Ion-Treated Synthetic Turf 

While increased surface temperatures and exposure to UV light are exceptional at inhibiting bacterial growth – even in the absence of an antibacterial additive – the transition into fall and winter seasons brings cooler temperatures and more cloud cover, giving bacteria a much better environment for reproduction.

Additionally, indoor applications with synthetic turf have controlled, cool ambient temperatures year-round and almost no exposure to UV light, making them slightly more susceptible to harboring bacteria as well. It is in these instances that antibacterial treatments to turf come into play.  

Due to the broad spectrum of its antibacterial capabilities and low toxicity to mammal cells, silver is a commonly used antibacterial agent in various materials and machinery, including both medical and nonmedical applications. Once bacteria comes into contact with ionized silver, the silver reacts by binding to the tissue proteins in bacteria, changing their cellular structure and nuclear membrane, resulting in cell distortion and the death of the unwanted organism.

Silver is so effective and highly active, that even in low concentrations it can maintain its potency. For example, fabrics with as low as 10 micrograms of silver ion per gram of fabric can sustain its effectiveness (Spielman-Sun et al., 2018). For optimum antibacterial activity and a more thorough cover of surface area, silver is usually integrated into multiple aspects of a finished product. Purchase Green antibacterial grasses will have silver ions infused in both the grass blades and backing material.   

 So, what’s the takeaway? 

Through various methods of measurement, researchers concluded that synthetic turf systems are not inherently ‘dirty’, but performed better than natural sod when observed in controlled studies. However, the survival of bacteria is largely reliant on the availability of nutrients, and while artificial grass has no organic matter for bacterial growth, bodily fluids such as mucus can be a nutrient source.

For this reason, applications indoors and/or with high traffic – either from kids, athletes, or pets – are recommended to utilize a combination of preventative measures to further inhibit the survival of harmful microorganism; this includes installing a silver-ion infused synthetic turf, applying a topical enzymatic cleaning solution as needed or on a semi-regular basis, and, where applicable and possible, a UV-C light treatment.

As an example, the “National Football League (NFL) does not require the treatment of outdoor playing fields for either [Staph] or Covid‐19, but do suggest indoor surfaces be treated with a spray disinfectant periodically and allow UV‐C light applications indoors as a supplement to spray applications” (McNitt et al., 2020).

In the wake of a pandemic, health and safety are top of mind. When choosing artificial grass for your projects, you can rest assured that minimal bacterial growth occurs with any synthetic turf and is easily killed with topical cleaners or even just UV-C and high-temperature exposure. Purchase Green’s antimicrobial artificial grasses go a step further with the addition of bacteria-destroying silver ions.