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!
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!
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.
Synthetic turf, a comparatively young industry, is taking the world by storm and ushering in a new age of modern landscape design.
In this blog, landscape design professionals discuss why they promote turf for the home and for business. They’ll also provide their own best practices for creating seamless landscapes.
Why Landscape Designers Prefer Synthetic Turf Over Sod
Once upon a time, landscapers and property owners scorned the mere mention of ‘AstroTurf.’ The resemblance to cheap, odd-colored carpet and its low-quality construction were the driving forces behind this disdain. But then, rather quickly, things just got better.
Manufacturing technology improved, chemistry enhanced the material quality, and the U.S carpet industry grew exponentially – making synthetic turf more readily available and at a much lower cost. As the West continues to endure extreme drought conditions and lawmakers push for greater restrictions on water use, artificial grass has become the hero for those of us still desiring a green dreamscape of our own.
“The tables have completely turned,” states Prem Penglin humorously, owner of Penglin Paving and Landscaping. “We originally started installing about ten years ago, and along the way we’ve learned a lot about product quality, that’s for sure. Back then, turf wasn’t a thing and was actually looked down upon. Also because there wasn’t so much of a drought as there is now, and sod was cheaper, but sod is on the downhill and turf has come up.”
Modern Landscape Design with Synthetic Turf
These days, artificial grass is no longer the up-and-coming player, but now a real challenger to sod in the landscaping industry. While initial costs of installation appear to be in sod’s favor, the long-term challenges and expenditures of maintaining an organic lawn add to the bill year after year. Turf, on the other hand, can often have a greater initial investment, but that investment pays for itself within the first 3-7 years on average.
“Turf brings a stress-free landscape. You’re able to save time and money between repairs, maintenance, watering, fertilizing, etc. So, in essence, artificial grass gives consumers a stress-free lifestyle,” explains Veer Singh, founder of Steve’s Landscaping. “Natural grass needs the correct amount of water – not too much and not too little, as well as weed prevention, the correct amount of nitrogen for the climate, fertilizer, and mow height. Even a gardener is often unable to constantly keep the optimal beauty of a natural lawn.”
When questioned about the potential limitations of turf in garden landscape designs, Veer responded, “I don’t see any limitations with artificial grass pertaining to landscape design. If anything, it opens up more options. For example, a common issue with landscape is drainage. By incorporating artificial grass into the design, we basically create a giant drywell underneath the turf. Water finds the path of least resistance, and once the water penetrates the grass, it travels through the base hitting the dry dirt below the base level. By adding artificial grass, we’re able to achieve a faster drain rate in our landscapes.”
Insane Drainage Rates
Veer has kindly provided the video below, demonstrating the turf’s ability to quickly drain water, even during a downpour.
In addition to increasing both the aesthetic and functional value of a property, synthetic turf provides an incredible opportunity for business owners as well. As Prem describes, “Turf is much more streamlined for the business, and the turnaround for it is a lot quicker. Turf also has a larger profit margin compared to sod. But even though it isn’t the main thing we do – it’s an accessory item – and it’s made all of the landscapes we’ve done look even more luxurious. If you’re working in an area that values luxury, turf is a must-have for your business.”
Veer also adds: “Turf is a simple service to add into any landscape, paver, or concrete company. The concept of pavers and concrete is similar to an artificial grass installation. By adding turf to any contractor’s service package, it will generate a higher close rate because a contractor can offer total landscape packages. When installing real grass contractors have a ton of return calls due to grass not taking into the native soil, dry spots, and simply poor post-install maintenance. For us, artificial grass has a return call rate of less than 5%.”
Higher close rate, accelerated project turnaround, increased profit margin, and reduced go-backs – all while still providing a functional and affordable luxury product? Synthetic turf really is the hero of this story.
Design Tips for Turf
Make the most out of your synthetic lawn by including these design tips from the pros:
Choose the Right Turf for the Style of Your Home
Shopping for artificial grass can sometimes feel daunting – there are so many to choose from. But by asking yourself the right questions, you can quickly narrow down to your best options.
In every Purchase Green store is a ‘Menu Board,’ which aids customers in identifying their ideal turf. Step 1 is specifying which type of application you’re installing for. This helps by prioritizing certain types of products with specific features, such as an anti-bacterial turf for pet applications, or a grass with Charge Guard carbon fibers to reduce the build-up of static electricity for playgrounds.
Then, most importantly, consider the anticipated foot traffic of the installation site. Knowing the traffic will inform you of the minimum performance requirements you need from your turf – such as grass with a particular blade shape, pile height, or density. Unless you consider your foot traffic as ‘light’ or non-existent, this step narrows your options considerably.
Lastly, style. Artificial grasses come in an array of color combinations (sometimes up to 4 different colors in one product) and with varying degrees of sheen. The tip here is to pick a style or color of grass that contrasts the property. Veer Singh has had great success in pairing Spring or Apple green turf colors with property designs that have darker tones. Conversely, properties with lighter tones pair nicely with an Olive or Forest green turf.
If this styling method doesn’t float your boat, Purchase Green recommends matching your synthetic turf with that of the natural sod in the general vicinity of the property.
The Most Attractive Landscapes Have Variety
While a landscape that is solely turf can be the look that some prefer, design professionals suggest having variety in your front or backyard landscape design.
If possible, add curvatures to your perimeter, rather than straight lines.
Create smooth and beautiful transitions from your lawn by lining the perimeter with woods chips or rocks.
Add planters and shrubs for balance and color. You can also install turf AROUND trees and their roots!
Add Undulations to Create Realism
Undulations are slopes in the landscape, usually with slightly different heights and grades to them. Adding undulations to larger installation sites greatly improves the realism of the landscape. However, keep in mind this could marginally increase the material cost of the job.
The Orientation of Turf Impacts the Finished Look
The majority of synthetic grasses have an obvious directional grain, due to the way they are manufactured and stored.
The general rule of thumb is to orient the turf’s grain toward the main vantage point. This perspective of the grass blades is known to be the most realistic. If you’re installing in the front of a property, face the turf grain toward the street, where most of the viewers will be. Or, if you’re installing in a backyard, you can orient the turf toward the home.
However, some may elect to orient their turf non-traditionally, sometimes to minimize material waste or to orient toward a different vantage point – like a pool, BBQ, or cabana. It really just comes down to personal preference.
Alternatively, Purchase Green offers a line of multi-directional grasses. These are grasses with blades that are curled in every direction. This type of construction allows for greater flexibility when orienting and also makes hiding seams so much easier.
First and foremost, always dry seam before permanently securing the turf. Dry seaming is a method in which you freely position multiple pieces of turf before gluing them together to help ensure an invisible seam.
Next, you must consider which seaming method is best for the installation’s layout. The two most common seaming methods are in-line seams and butt seams. In-line seams are seams cut parallel to the stitch rows of the artificial turf backing. Butt seams, on the other hand, are cut perpendicular to the stitch rows. See an example below in which both of these methods might be used on one installation:
The vast majority of installations will only need in-line seams. In-line seams are also the simplest method, for both DIYers and installation professionals.
Not All Turf Styles Should Go Between Pavers
When you place strips of turf in-between pavers, make sure enough of the pile height is exposed above the hardscape edge, but not too much as it will overpower the concrete slabs. Designers recommend using a turf with a pile height between 1.6″ and 2″ for the best aesthetic.
Additionally, grasses with a firmer fiber have blades that will keep them standing straight and above the paver edges. Softer grasses, such as products with a flat blade shape, will compress and compact much easier and can be difficult to fluff up again once installed in narrow spaces.
Save Your Waste
Last but not least, save your material waste! It could come in handy someday.
Accidents happen and can sometimes result in damage – such as moving the BBQ to close and melting the turf blades. In instances like these, use excess material from the initial installation to patch damaged areas.
Many people also find creative ways to make use of their scraps, such as doormats, decorative table placements, or even keeping a roll of turf for the garage gym. You’re only limited by your imagination!
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.
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!
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!
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 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.
Some of our stores will be closed for this coming Saturday and Monday in observance of Memorial Day. We hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day!
Stores Closed 5/29 – 5/31:
· San Dimas
· San Diego
· San Marcos
· San Jose
· Rancho Cordova
· San Fernando Valley
· North Las Vegas
· Yuba City
· North Bay
· East Bay
· South OC
Below are just a few examples of common questions from pet parents that we answer in our eBook:
Is artificial grass toxic?
Does artificial grass smell bad?
Does artificial grass get hot?
How do I choose the right grass?
In this guide, Purchase Green industry experts also discuss the product specifications that matter most (such as pile height, face weight, and blade shape) – so that you know how to pick the best turf for your pet’s needs. Another hot topic is infill, the biggest contributor to preventing odor build-up, and we tell you the do’s and don’ts for proper infill application.
We wanted to share what we’ve been up to since moving into our new location and re-introduce ourselves to the North Las Vegas area!
The new Purchase Green Artificial Grass Las Vegas! We’re now located at 4310 Losee Rd Suite 1, Las Vegas, NV 89030.
Lots of space in our showroom! We’re ready to serve you!
We’ve got racks on racks on racks of artificial grasses, and we’re excited to show you the best products in the industry. We’ve got grass, solar lights, and all the tools and accessories you’ll need to finish your artificial grass project. We’re always happy to answer any questions, whether you’re in-store, over the phone, or on our website.
And who are the friendly faces that will help you out at Purchase Green Las Vegas? Here we are!
We’re here at 4310 Losee Rd Suite 1, Las Vegas, NV 89030 Monday through Friday from 7:00am-4:00pm. Looking to DIY an artificial grass area? We can help with that! We can get you everything you need to feel confident with your installation. Or maybe you want turnkey installation. We can help with that, too! Just tell us about your project, and we can provide materials, installers, and a lifetime product warranty for your turf.
As you’ve probably guessed, we’re always happy, helpful, and happy to help with all of your artificial grass needs. We’re experts on artificial grass, and we love to share that knowledge so that you know you’re making an informed, educated decision every step of the way. Stop in soon to discuss your project and get everything you need at our one-stop shop!