This is NOT your Daddy’s AstroTurf

When it opened in 1966, the Houston Astrodome was a unique venue. But it also had a unique problem: how do you grow grass in an indoor sports stadium?

You don’t.

So, Donald L. Elbert, James M. Faria and Robert T. Wright, employees of the Monsanto Company, came up with the bright idea to make fake grass. AstroTurf, Chemgrass, NexTurf, synthetic grass has had many names over the years. Like cell phones, personal computers and MP3 players, artificial grass has evolved over the years. Left behind is its former image of the bright-green, fake carpet-like covering on putt-putt courses and in sport arenas. Now artificial grass is so realistic, you would mistake it for the real stuff.

But unlike real grass, synthetic grass is truly green. Made from recyclable materials and 100 percent recyclable itself, artificial grass is the ultimate environmentally-friendly solution for problem outdoor areas. From pet runs to play areas, poolside or on a roof-top deck, synthetic grass employs the latest technology that makes it function just like real grass.

“People traditionally resorted to stone, concrete or other hard surfaces in problem areas,” Kimberly Van Buren, co-owner of Synthetic Grass Pros said. “Now we’re able to give them softer, greener options with artificial grass.”

Over 59 million square feet of synthetic turf was installed in North America in 2005. By 2009, that number had reached 124 million square feet.

What’s causing this growth? Lower maintenance costs, favorable environmental aspects and the want to have a perpetually green environment.

What has improved over the years? Better backings; durable yarns of varying lengths, colors and density. They wear a lot better than previous variations and it drains like the real stuff, too. Plus, fake grass comes with a warranty.

Backyard golf greens are now just a day away from being a reality. Practice putting and chipping without driving to the range or golf course. A custom green that meets your unique needs—from undulations to hole placement—is within reach both of time and budget.

“Whether you have the entire back yard at your disposal or just a
narrow strip between the fence and the pool,” Marco Gortana, Synthetic Grass Pros golf professional said, “We will help you plan your personalized green.”

Sand-based greens and shock pads cause the artificial greens to respond like your favorite course. Add a portable chipping mat and practice your short game from anywhere in the yard.

Interior designers are creating a “Zen-like spa feel” around backyard pools. By mixing synthetic landscape materials with hardscape, the end result is a cohesive blend of flagstone and artificial grass. It’s gorgeous, low-maintenance and just as beautiful after years of use as it was the day it was installed.

Side yards go from being eyesores to beautiful and functional. Useless tracts of lawn become dog runs. Schools, daycares, batting cages, indoor soccer facilities and more have discovered the benefits of artificial grass.

The Grass Queen

Seven Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Contractor

Before you go out and hire someone to do work for you on your home or at your business, there are seven critical questions you need to ask of them (or yourself) first:

  1. Do they have a permanent place of business?
  2. Do they have proper and adequate insurance?
  3. Are they a member of a trade association in good standing?
  4. How long have they been in business?
  5. What is their track record for handling complaints?
  6. What is their workmanship warranty?
  7. Can they meet your project-specific needs?

Having a permanent place of business gives them credibility.  It shows they ahve substance and are serious about doing business with you or any other client.

They should be able to produce proof of insurance or certification of insurance.  If they can’t you and they are not protected in case of injury, loss or death.

Being a member of a trade association shows they comply with ethical and accepted industry guidelines.  They are recognized by their peers to be professional.

Being in business for a significant amount of time is a judgment of stability.

How they handle complaints and deal with customers will mirror how you may have to deal with them.  Ask for references and check with the Better Business Bureau.

Warranties and support after the sale or installation is critical for your happiness and their success. What do they offer in terms of replacement parts or materials or rework?

Your project may have specific requirements:

  • Do they comply with local ordinances?  That is, do they know permitting processes for your locality?
  • Do they have a good selection of products?
  • Can they share manufacturer’s specifications with you?
  • What is their clean up policy?
  • What are their payment terms?
  • Do they conduct preliminary and periodic inspections?
  • Lots to think about but ultimately will result in your satisfaction and safety.

The Grass Queen

Water Conservation and Artificial Turf Products

Artificial turf is a better choice for the environment when it comes to water use and conservation, particularly if you live in a dry climate or somewhere that needs to conserve water. If you have artificial turf, you don’t need:

  • Fertilizer and water
  • Gas-powered lawnmowers or string trimmers

Real lawns use upwards of 20,000 or more gallons of water a year. The carbon sequestration abilities of real grass are probably negated by the mowing and fertilizers used to maintain it. Fertilizers not only pollute waterways, but require a lot of energy to produce.

A study by Sweden’s Stockholm University found that an hour’s worth of mowing resulted in about the same amount of emissions as driving a car 93 miles.

Knowing this, it is important to consider your lawn care habits and the climate of your area. If you tend to mow your lawn frequently, use fertilizer, water it daily, and think water conservation is important in your region, then perhaps artificial grass is right for your situation. It’s probably not only good for the climate, but it’s an investment that will start saving you money in reduced maintenance and water costs.

The Grass Queen

Artificial Turf for the Four-Legged Members of the Family

Synthetic or artificial turf varieties vary by their usage.  As we discussed in an earlier post, different characteristics allow for different uses.  Even Fido gets a specialized variety—just like you would choose a natural turf, so should you consider a special artificial turf for your dog run, kennel or pet play area.

Synthetic turf products, like Pet Perfect Turf, have the following characteristics:

  • A dense blade weave to support the heavy foot traffic of dogs.
  • Short pile height to make cleanup easy.
  • Easy draining backing so that it can be rinsed with mild disinfectant

These specialized turf products are good for the following applications:

  • Backyard dog runs
  • Shelters
  • Kennels
  • Apartments
  • Veterinary clinics
  • Parks and pet play areas

Cost for these products vary, but typically cost in the $8.00 to $10.00 per square foot range.

The Grass Queen

How to Measure Turf

Just as you might choose a diamond for color, cut and clarity, artificial turf and grass products are measured and defined by different characteristics. There are four basic measures of the quality and type of turf:

  • Pile height
  • Face weight
  • Color
  • Yarn type

Pile height is the height of the actual blades of “grass” in inches. They vary in size from 0.5 inches to 2.5 inches. The shorter lengths are used for putting greens; the longer versions for pet turf and lawn applications.

Face weight is the weight in ounces of a square yard of the product. Like carpet, the grade varies with application and ranges from 40 ounce to 120 ounce, with 60 ounce being typical.

Colors are as varied as “real” turf. There are many different colors, mostly variations of green, but the most common are:

  • Field green
  • Grass green
  • Olive green
  • Lime green

Some varieties of turf will include more than one color, depending on the natural turf they are mimicking.

Yarn type is the description of the blades. Most are Polyethylene variants that includes types that are labeled monofilament and slit film. Thatch is the textured yarn within the blades.

Consider your application carefully and, as you would in choosing a carpet or floor covering, consider wear patterns, usage and aesthetics.

The Grass Queen

SGP at the Construction Expo

Where else but at a trade show can you ask questions directly and see and touch the products you want to buy.  Trade shows are a great way for buyers to meet sellers. They also let buyers talk to other buyers and for sellers to meet potential partners.

The Construction Expo coming up at the Dallas Convention Center is certainly something we don’t want to miss. If you are an architect, engineer, designer, general contractor or commercial or residential builder, you won’t want to miss it either.

Synthetic Grass Pros will be there along with a number of other suppliers to the building and construction business.  This is a business-to-business trade show, so if you own, operate or work for a business that can benefit from either the expo or the training sessions, then plan on attending.

There will also be seminars and classes on everything from Quickbooks to real estate investing to low-cost marketing to construction sales and bidding.

Learn more at www.constructionexpo.com.

See you there.

The Grass Queen

Types of Artificial Turf

Synthetic turf and grass products come in almost as many varieties as natural grass. For purposes of this post, we are going to put them in three categories:

• Landscape turf
• Putting greens
• Sport turf

Each of these types have specialized “varieties”. Landscape turf is most like “real lawns” and are typically broken out into these types. There are multiple types, including courtyards, lawns, pet areas and playgrounds.
• Spring
• Fescue
• Lawn
• Envirograss

Putting greens are also split into different categories, based on pile and blade length as well as color. There are over 50 styles of golf greens with the various types to match your golf skill level. The two most popular types are.:
• Perfect Putt
• Pro Putt

Sport turf products are usually categorized as either:
• Sport turf (used in football, baseball and soccer applications)
• Fastgrass (for indoor facilities)
• Colored turf (for logos on the field or in an end zone)

Depending on the location and need, these are starting places for choosing the right product for the right application.

The Grass Queen

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Marco Gortana professional golfer

We at Synthetic Grass Pros are excited to introduce a new member to our specialized design team. Marco Gortana, a professional golfer debut in 1995 has years of experience in the design and installation of Golf Greens. Who better qualified than a professional golfer to help you in every step of your very own customized golf green?

Marco plays in tournaments around the world including South Africa, Dubai, China, India, and Europe, and of coarse USA. You may have seen him at any number of the local Golf Courses, public and private. Along with his putting green experience he gives private golf lessons and consulting.

If you would like to speak to Marco give us a call at Synthetic Grass Pros

972.420.7800

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New Outdoor Showroom Open

Our Outdoor Showroom is open for everyone to see. Over 2400 square feet in size to let you see the newest Artificial Grass. Along with the Landscape turf we have a large Putting Green. Our Putting Green offers a Chipping area and even a Sand Trap. Golf Balls and Putters are available to give our Green a try. Informational signs are posted with types of grass and even pricing. Brochures are free and offer information about Artificial Grass and the manufacturing process and testing. You will also see concrete curbing by Curbmasters which boarders our showroom. Feel free to visit anytime, the showroom is never closed.

Address: 2078 Savage st.

Lewisville, TX 75057

972-420-7800

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