Mrs.P was a special case. Her beautiful, loving dog eats EVERYTHING! And by everything we mean everything…..grass, dirt, gravel, tree bark, etc. That can make it very difficult to enjoy your yard when it is getting chewed to pieces. Mrs.P’s solution was to cover the entire yard with dog friendly artificial grass. And we obliged, gladly.
Before and After Pictures
Mrs.P started with a very nice landscaped but soggy yard. Therefore, synthetic turf was definitely the best solution in Mrs.P situation. Even if it was just to replace the existing grass. As you can see in the pictures, there was plenty of opportunities for the dog to find food. Cascade Greens was able to eliminate that by filing every inch of yard with artificial turf. The turf itself is nailed down to the gravel or edging around the fence line to deter and digging or pulling up of the grass.
Dog Friendly Artificial Grass Infill Options
Cascade Greens offers multiple types of infill for all different types of applications. In the case of Mrs.P, she needed our best pet friendly option for not only her dog but for herself also. Although it is not required, we highly recommend that a yard that has a dog on it be infilled with a combination of Durafill and Zeofill. Durafill is our antimicrobial infill that helps deter the growth of germs and bad stuff in your turf from the dogs urine. Zeofill is our newest addition of infills and is used to help absorb odor and is activated by rain water. Both infills require no extra maintenance. The infills do cost a little extra, but are worth the money!
Call Cascade Greens today for a FREE consultation. We have the solution for your yard problems!
This a great article on artificial turf that talks about improved safety and color options when it comes to artificial turf. Key points to focus on are the availability of specific shades of color and texture that are specific to what type of grass grows in your area as well as padding that is available for safety under playgrounds and sports fields.
It does provide some information on crumb rubber. We only use crumb rubber on our sports fields, we do not use crumb rubber in our residential installations. Cascade Greens also offers antimicrobial infills for added cleanliness and odor elimination in residential installations.
New Artificial Turf Designs Improve Safety
Artificial turf was developed by chemists at Monsanto in the mid-1960s. It was first known as AstroTurf after it was installed as the sports surface at the Houston Astrodome in 1966. Now, 50 years later, more than 11,000 synthetic turf athletic fields are used at schools, colleges, parks, and professional stadiums across the U.S., according to the Synthetic Turf Council.
Synthetic playing fields are often preferred over natural grass because they are easier to maintain, longer-lasting, and can be used in a variety of weather conditions. The padded surface also helps reduce the likelihood of impact injuries. One of the most popular artificial turf fields today is called an “infill” system, where the top layer of artificial fibers overlies a sequence of shock-absorbing pad, leveling layer, drainage layer, and natural compacted subgrade. The fiber layer on top is partially infilled with tiny granules of rubber, sand, or other materials (“crumb”) that settle at the base of the turf fibers. The particles help support the turf pile, keeping the fibers upright. The infill and the underlying shock-absorbing pad also reduce the possibility of injury when players fall.
Improved Fiber Design
Thanks to advances in fiber design, advanced materials, and manufacturing techniques, the newest generation of synthetic blades can be made to match the color, texture, and bounce of the grass that grows naturally in the area. Not only does the artificial turf look natural, it looks and feels like it was “grown” locally. As a result, “artificial turf is rapidly replacing grass as the surface of choice for many sports facilities due to the many advantages that they bring—both from artificial turfs and hybrid versions, where a hybrid grass pitch features 100 percent natural sport grass reinforced by artificial turf fibers,” writes Randy B. Hecht in a recent blog for Oerlikon, a Swiss-based global technology group.
Field safety is also enhanced by better designs of the grass fibers. Different material chemistries and blade shapes can impact temperature, color, bounce, and other performance characteristics. For example, S-shaped blades reflect sunlight evenly, so the turf maintains a uniform color on a sunny day. Temperature of the playing surface is a concern for athletes. In hot weather, artificial turf can reach temperatures as high as 180 degrees F. W-shaped blades diffuse sunlight and heat through the curves of its blades, lowering the overall temperature of the turf up to 15 degrees. Hollow blades can further reduce temperature levels on the field.
“Our [blade] is designed to make turf stand up straighter and taller than other grasses, making it look realistically tall,” states Global Syn-Turf, a major provider of artificial turf, on its website. “As with naturally growing grass, M-shaped blades reflect light at various angles preventing water, or mirror effects, from flat even surfaces.”
Recent concerns have been raised about the health risks of crumb rubber infill, the most common infill material used in artificial turf fields. Some reports indicate the pulverized rubber contains carcinogenic compounds and can be ingested or inhaled into the body. “More healthy” options for crumb rubber include:
- Particles made from the recycled rubber outsoles of athletic shoes, which purportedly contain fewer hazardous chemicals.
- Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) pellets that feel like rubber and can be easily recycled.
- Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), a synthetic rubber used in roofing and sealing.
- Acrylic polymer-coated sand particles.
- Organic infill composed of coconut fibers, cork, or processed nutshells Softer Landings.
The top priority for artificial surfaces is player safety, especially reducing injuries from falling. Synthetic turf systems have been modified to include higher pile heights and deeper granular infill materials in an effort to create a softer surface. Other factors that can improve softness and field performance include type of plastic, blade design, density, and pattern, design parameters that impact bounce and roll resistance, and shock-layer systems.
Perhaps the most intriguing development in shock absorption technology for artificial fields is coming from the automotive industry. Viconic Sporting, Dearborn, MI, is experimenting with a material that is used by the automotive industry to reduce the impact of crashes. Viconic’s promising new impact-absorbing layer, which looks like sturdy bubble wrap, is made from resilient thermoplastic urethane material that buckles on impact. However, the energy absorbers (“bubbles”) do not pop upon impact. “Instead, they crush down to about 90 percent of their height, absorbing the energy of the player’s fall, and then recover to their natural shape and are ready for the next impact,” says Joel Cormier, Viconic’s director of development engineering. “A low-level impact on a playing surface will likely not engage the energy absorbers. With a high-energy impact, these structures collapse and buckle in a very efficient manner to absorb the impact energy.”
The shock pad is installed underneath the artificial turf and snaps together for easy assembly. “The goal is to reduce the forces that a player experiences from impact with the playing surface,” says Cormier. “If we can reduce injury in the automotive field, hopefully we can do the same thing for synthetic turf. We see potential for the product to be used everywhere, from youth soccer to the NFL.”
Mark Crawford is an independent writer.
Artificial Turf Installation by Cascade Greens
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Mr. Johnson called Cascade Greens in 2004 for a site visit. He was looking to put a large putting green in the front section of his property. We installed a 5000 square feet putting green with fringe and sand bunkers. We also installed three tee boxes to chip from.
Through out the years we have returned to perform maintenance on the green and tee boxes. Keeping the green free from debris is a simple task that the homeowner can do themselves, but the rest should be left for Cascade Greens. In a normal maintenance visit we can (as needed) add or level out infill, compact the green, repair seams, and clean the cups and sand bumnkers. Depending on location or length between Spruce Up!s, sometimes the green will need a little more in depth cleaning.
Putting Green Before
In Mr. Johnson’s case, we hadn’t been by in a while and his green needed a good scrubbing. We used an eco-friendly cleaner, a scrub brush and a power broom to remove some surface debris and moss. It is amazing what a little elbow grease can do. It took about a day and a half to get the green upto par and the sand bunkers looking fresh again.
Putting Green After
This job is a good reminder that yearly or even bi-annually or quarterly maintenance may be what’s best to keep your putting green up to par. Putting greens that are in shady areas or have many trees and shrubs near by may need a little more attention than others. Any questions you may have about if and when you should schedule a Spruce Up! Feel free to email or call anytime.
These are some common synthetic turf maintenance questions we get asked…..
What do you mean my synthetic turf needs maintenance?
This is a question we don’t hear very often, but it does come up. Yes, your synthetic turf needs maintenance. But guess what? It does need a little and you can do most of it yourself! When an installation is complete we send out a homeowners synthetic turf maintenance instructions sheet. This explains simple tasks you can do yourself to prolong the life of the turf. Some are as easy as blowing off leaves, another can be spraying for moss if you have shaded area. All maintenance is simple and takes very little time.
What can I do to make my synthetic turf last longer?
There are a few synthetic turf maintenance tasks that owners can do to maintain their yard and help keep it looking good for many, many years. With normal sod, there is watering and mowing and fertilizing and aerating and thatching and weeding and the list goes on and on and on. With your synthetic grass, our grandi groom will do most of the work for you. Our grandi groom is a small hand rake that helps the fibers stand back up. When you walk through your grass, after a while there is a pattern of matted grass. With a few minutes of grooming with the grandi groom, it will stand those fibers back up and look good as new again. For most yards, this is all the maintenance required on a regular basis.
What if I have dogs?
Great question! If you have a dog there is just one more task of synthetic turf maintenance that should be done on a regular basis, removing waste. It is important, especially with a small yard and on hot days, to remove solid waste promptly and water down urine. Waste from your dog does not harm the synthetic grass, but it can cause an odor if left unattended. When hot outside, the most important thing you can do is water down the section of the grass where your dog urinates. This will help the urine become diluted and get washed through the gravel. We also offer antimicrobial turf and infill to help with maintenance and odor. Check out the dog turf page on our website for more information! A happy lawn for a happy dog!
What if my lawn gets a lot of traffic and my grandi groomer just isn’t doing enough?
When you have a green lawn year round, why not use it? When your granny groomer just isn’t cutting it and your synthetic grass is starting to look flat, call us! With heavy traffic, all synthetic turf will stay matted down eventually. With regular maintenance we can help make it look better. Cascade Greens does Spruce Up!’s anytime of year! Depending on your size of yard, it can take as little as an hour starting at $96. We have larger, specialize equipment that will help your synthetic turf stand up again and look as good as new! Call today to schedule a Spruce Up! (503) 520-3188.
Cascade Greens is always available by email or phone to answer any questions before or after installation. Call today for a FREE consultation.
Here is a great article by Kate Wood from This Old House magazine. Cascade Greens offers different products than noted in the article. But it is a good source of some additional information about artificial turf. Enjoy!
The 411 on Artificial Turf
Drought restrictions may have put the squeeze on traditional turf, but the good news is it’s easier than ever to fake a lush lawn. Here’s the lowdown
IT LOOKS AND FEELS MORE NATURAL
Early turfs were made from densely woven tufted nylon, but today’s synthetic lawns use soft strands of polyethylene or polypropylene. One maker, SYNLawn, has upped its environmental cred with polyethylene derived from sustainably grown sugarcane. And while you can opt for a putting-green look, the best new turfs rely on a mix of blade lengths and shades of green—and even brown—to mimic specific varieties like fescue or Kentucky bluegrass.
IT’S A WHOLE SYSTEM
Older turfs were basically carpet: slow to drain and with zero cushioning. Now there’s more to it. For stability, the first layer is durable, porous landscape fabric, then the drainage material, such as gravel. Next comes the turf itself, which is woven onto a permeable synthetic backing. Last comes a layer of infill—silica sand or the like—to help anchor the turf and make it feel more natural underfoot.
IT’S NOT TOTALLY MAINTENANCE FREE
While there’s no mowing, you’ll still have to clear out leaves and other debris using a plastic rake. To prevent odors, pet owners must pick up waste and clean vigilantly with a no-rinse disinfectant that attaches to your garden hose. ForeverLawn’s K9Grass, designed to be pet-friendly, skips the infill to improve drainage and make digging less inviting. To decrease heat absorption, ProGreen reduced the surface area of the blades in some of its turf grasses so they stay cooler.
IT PAYS FOR ITSELF
After the initial outlay of around $10–$20 per square foot for installed turf, you’re essentially done: no buying seed, fertilizer, or mower gas, and your landscaping water usage should plummet. With these savings, you should recoup the cost of synthetic turf in five to eight years—and it can last twice that long, staying green the whole time.