Benefits of Adding Artificial Turf to Your Backyard

Benefits of Adding Artificial Turf to Your Backyard

By Diana Elizabeth Steffen

We decided to install artificial turf in a section of our property, and we absolutely love it! If you're thinking about adding artificial grass to your landscape, I'll share our review and discuss our plans to install more in the future!

Why We Entertained the Idea of Using Artificial Turf

For as long as I can recall, I was not sold on the idea of installing artificial turf anywhere on our property, despite the encouragement of my husband. Over the years, however, artificial turf has come a long way in terms of looks.

With so many variations and colors, it looks really good. So good, in fact, we now have it! We didn’t install it everywhere on our property, just a very small area which we refer to as the kitchen garden. We planned to have a large cement walkway with spacing between. We debated between using real grass or pea gravel, for a European look. The maintenance and survival for the grass would be difficult, but friends said I would hate continually pushing the scattered pea gravel pebbles back into place. The idea of green grass, even if year-round being artificial, would be more aesthetically pleasing.

In some areas of the country, it’s necessary to seed rye grass every winter. For hot areas like Phoenix, the summer heat (with temperatures up to 115 degrees) kills the rye grass, and only Bermuda grass (a weed grass) survives. By winter, the Bermuda grass dies, so residents must plant winter rye. It’s an ongoing process and expense, which is why artificial turf is a popular, lower-maintenance option. Note I said lower-maintenance, not “no maintenance,” as I will explain briefly!

We decided to install artificial turf see how lovely it looks! 

Two Reasons We Said Yes to Artificial Grass

  1. Some areas are too complex for grass. For our yard, it would be difficult for natural grass to grow without water, seeding grass rye twice a year, and trimming it! Even if it successfully grew, the maintenance between the concrete would be time-consuming.
  2. Faux turf means it will always be green and make the area more lush. Summer grass in Phoenix is Bermuda. It’s crunchy, and coverage would be spotty.

Where to Install and Where to Avoid Artificial Turf

Faux turf is great for intricate parts of a backyard – like by the pool or lots of concrete stepping stones – and it never requires watering! Maintenance is ideal for those who don’t want to deal with the needs of real grass (people who are busy with other things and don’t want to do lawn work every weekend). I then noticed faux turf in high-end, multi-million dollar homes in L.A. – on driveways, in yards – even millionaires don’t want to deal with the maintenance. And it looks so good – all the time.

I think artificial turf is a great solution for smaller areas. If you had a full acre of faux turf, maybe that won’t be super ideal. Perhaps you would want real grass, but honestly, to each their own! It’s your lawn.

Tip: Install where the grass is just a wee bit higher. Walking across will maintain the feeling that you are level and walking straight across without feeling as if the grass dips down. Our professional installer gave this tip. 

It’s not hot like some people mention, so I’m going to assume it all depends on the turf you get and where you place it. I haven’t found much of a heat issue, but I am rarely barefoot except in my home. I find the concrete to be hotter! I would avoid placing it around trees, as it may damage trees by radiating heat and burning the tree leaves and roots. Please consult with a landscape designer and nursery for feedback about your area.

The company we went with sprayed for weeds, put down a sandy mix and compacted it, laid down the turf, fluffed it with some machines, and added lots of charcoal particles.

How to Maintain Artificial Turf

But how do we keep it looking good? Do we blow it? Blowing hardly does much for us – but we heard about this turf rake on Amazon from a friend, and it helps a lot!

Rake on Amazon

Facts around the web about artificial turf:

  • There is charcoal under the grass that absorbs odors (should your pet go)
  • The only maintenance is hosing it off if the grass is dusty.
  • It can last anywhere from 10-20 years.
  • Buy a turf rake/grass broom to get leaves and debris off your turf.

Some Artificial Grass Manufacturers

  • Synlawn
  • DuPont
  • Forever Lawn
  • Turf Direct
  • ProGreen
  • Conservation Grass
  • Royal Grass

I’m so glad we went with this look—it's less maintenance, and I can now focus on my flowers and other areas!

Diana Elizabeth Steffen is a Phoenix-based photographer and blogger at dianaelizabethblog.com, where she shares her home and garden projects with her camera in hand!

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