Fake Grass Grows Popular Amid Heat


Close-up of artificial rolled green grass. | Image by Yuriy Chertok, Shutterstock

A well-maintained lawn requires frequent upkeep and care, but with the scorching heat, water restrictions, and increasing utility costs, many local homeowners are asking themselves if having natural grass is even worth the trouble.

The change in sentiment has a lot to do with the high maintenance cost of grass, including expenses like water bills, fertilizers, and sprinkler systems. This has led to increased demand at local turf and synthetic grass companies, which are seeing a surge in interest in no-fuss alternative lawn options.

Texas in 2022 is easily on track to outpace 1998 and 2011 as one of the hottest summers. The state is already clocking the third hottest summer on record, with 27 out of 31 days over 100 degrees in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and persistent highs forecasted through August.

As natural lawns across North Texas wither under the smoldering summer heat, it is no surprise that homeowners are making the switch to synthetic.

Initially describing the pool area in their backyard as a “muddy mess of dead grass,” the Leon family in Dallas converted their entire backyard to artificial turf and have not had a problem since. They plan to do the same with the front yard.

“The cost is way lower than getting any irrigation system put in and then having people come out and mow your lawn all the time,” Karen Leon told NBC 5. She added that everyone could enjoy water activities outside without mud getting everywhere.

With natural grass unable to withstand the summer’s record-breaking heat, more landscapers will soon be busy laying down replacement sod over all the dead grass, said Synthetic Grass DFW, the company contracted by the Leon family.

Madison Chapman, the vice president of Synthetic Grass DFW, discussed how the technology had undergone several changes over the last few years. “They’ve incorporated a lot of details in the aesthetics of the grass, variations in the blade links, different colors and textures incorporated in the grass to make it look a little bit more realistic,” he said.

According to Chapman, home-based artificial grass is entirely drainable, just like regular grass, and it’s different than the turf you would see at a sports stadium. With proper care, synthetic grass can last for decades.

Depending on the yard size, installation typically costs between $8 and $10 per square foot and includes the cost of material and labor. Chapman said his clients saved thousands on their water bills after the transition.

Chapman says maintaining an artificial yard is simply up to general upkeep. However, Chapman cautions consumers to watch out for low-quality fake grass, which he said can release dangerous toxins as it degrades over time.

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