The Dream Yard for Kids and Pets (spoiler alert – artificial turf!!)

We decided to splurge on artificial turf earlier this year for several reasons. Keep on reading to find out more! 

Why artificial turf?

We live in Houston where there is quite a bit of rain (even outside of the crazy flooding we have had in the last several years). We live very central, and, therefore, we do not have a large yard and thus not a lot of direct sunlight. It’s certainly large enough for both Ozzie (the goldendoodle) and Linc (our son) to run around, so we were stuck on how to make the most use out of it! With the amount of rain and high amounts of traffic, our yard was always wet, muddy, or both. Even when it wasn’t raining there were some stubborn patches that just wouldn’t grow grass. At first we did everything we could to avoid the transition and keep it “natural” to expensive yard services to converting completely to a new dense grass, but eventually the only option that made sense was the artificial turf. Our key requirements for the turf were:

  • Full coverage – keep us ‘safe’ from the mud / dirt in all seasons and levels of rain (with still great drainage!)
  • Soft – we wanted to walk barefoot on it (or sit and have a picnic) and feel like it’s natural
  • Low maintenance – we didn’t have to constantly weed, fertilize or put down seed

As we discussed through all the turf options, we shopped around to several local vendors and national vendors, and ultimately negotiated each component and were able to piece together the exact solution we wanted.  We couldn’t be happier!

Which kind?

There are many different kinds of artificial turf. As more people have considered artificial turf for home use, companies have created softer and more plush solutions. We didn’t choose the longest grass, but we chose one of the softer varieties that was a similar color to the original grass in place. And then importantly was that underneath there was a very solid granite base, sloped appropriately, so that the final product was very clean and also drained well.  Everything ties nicely into our existing drainage system. Finally, make sure that they put down enough sand (and really blend it in) to control odor and also to add ‘weight’ to the turf so it stays down nicely.  We used Zeofill and have been really happy with it. Please reach out to me if you want to learn more about our shopping around and the final turf or installer we chose!

What’s the maintenance?

There really is minimal maintenance. Beyond this, if you live in a very dry area, you would need to water the grass to get rid of the dust that accumulates. The only real maintenance requirement is if you’re using this in a dog household. Animals can pee and poop on the grass (in fact, cleaning poop is even easier than on real grass), but the grass can start to smell if you do not spray odor eliminator on it from time to time. This is just an attachment to the hose with the odor eliminator solution – it takes maybe 10 mins to spray our 800 sq. ft yard. You can find the solution here if you’re interested!

Are there any cons over real grass?

The artificial turf can get hot in direct blazing sunlight (it is plastic, after all!). However, in our case that’s in the afternoon when in Houston you wouldn’t necessarily be going outside (our hot summers are miserable!). As such, we haven’t found that to be a problem at all. It really is an issue for a couple hours a day for only a few of the hottest months of the year.  This particular turf is actually designed to cool off quickly.

I have included a few photos below of Ozzie and Lincoln playing in the yard.  Also please reach out about the bamboo installation (blog post on that to come!!)

 

 

 

Let me know if you have any questions or if you’d like a Houston artificial turf recommendation! Thanks for visiting A Lyons Tale!

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