When talking to folks from anywhere outside the Southwest, it’s always interesting to hear their take on lawn maintenance. Most of the time, just the thought of installing an artificial lawn is completely foreign to them, but after only a few minutes of consideration, they say something like, “Well, I guess you’d never have to mow… That does sound pretty nice!” Here in the Southwest, the equivalent response is, “So you’d never have to water? That does sound pretty nice!” No matter the climate zone, a low-maintenance lawn is appealing to most.
The Reality of Artificial Turf Maintenance
“But there has to be some work involved in artificial turf maintenance, right?”
Yes, and while it’s certainly easier to take care of than natural grass, there is still some routine work involved. The good news is it’s even easier than other household routines, like vacuuming your carpet or changing the oil in your car. Here, we’ll look at just what it takes to keep your artificial turf looking good and performing at 100%.
Brushing (Traffic Patterns and Yard Debris)
Periodic brushing is usually needed.
Speaking of vacuuming, have you ever run one over a rug and noticed that it seems to become plusher? That’s because the rug fibers have been pressed flat by foot traffic and are pulled back up by the brushing and suction of the vacuum. Artificial turf works the same way. The fibers can become pressed flat over time from traffic, so periodic brushing is usually needed to return the grass to its like-new state.
If you choose the right turf and infill amount for the level of traffic you expect, you won’t need to do much brushing. Once every few months could be sufficient, or even once a year. It certainly won’t be anywhere as frequent or intensive as mowing.
If your yard has leaves or other debris, a leaf blower on a moderate setting will be sufficient to remove it. Just be sure not to move too much of the infill around. Purchase Green’s push broom previously mentioned is another great tool for debris clean-up. However, never use a metal-bristled rake, as this will damage the backing of the turf.
Sanitizing (From Kids and Pets)
Keeping your turf clean is a breeze if proper precautions are taken.
Sanitization is most often an artificial turf maintenance concern for pet owners but can apply to anyone with a synthetic lawn that is frequently used. Most of the time, routine cleaning can be accomplished with a specially-designed cleaning agent and a garden hose.
When odors do appear, the cause can almost always be traced back to an improper infill. If you’re a pet owner, choosing an antibacterial pet grass and an antibacterial infill will go a long way toward keeping your lawn smelling fresh. Additionally, it’s important to make sure the area of installation drains properly, allowing rainwater or your Turf Bomb to effectively flush odorous microbes away. To that end, the area needs to have a grade, even if only a slight one, as well as the appropriate subbase mixture tightly compacted. Taking these precautions while planning and installing your grass will make cleaning a breeze.
Installing artificial turf doesn’t always result in a weed-free yard, but still significantly reduces the amount of weeding needed.
Do weeds grow through artificial turf? Yes, they sometimes do. And when they do, they’re just as annoying as when they appear on a natural lawn. However, artificial lawns make it much easier to control weeds. The secret, yet again, is in the installation process. Weed barrier is the best first defense against weeds. It’s a filament installed beneath the grass that blocks the growth of any plant.
With this countermeasure in place, weed-killing chemicals are no longer necessary, making your soil and surrounding plant life much healthier. While you may still find an occasional weed that crops up around the border of the installation, weeding is largely a thing of the past for owners of artificial turf.
So, how much work is artificial turf maintenance? Compared to a natural lawn, barely any. The most important factor in making sure your turf is ultra low-maintenance is a proper installation.
- The turf and infill should be right for your application.
- The area should be able to drain completely.
- Weed barrier is recommended for most yards.
Keep these things in mind as you move forward in your project plan and, if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call or visit your local store. Check out our knowledge base for the nitty-gritty on all things artificial turf.