For most of us, the hum of lawnmowers and the smell of freshly cut grass often announces the beginning days of summer.
A lush green lawn is a symbol of status and luxury in many communities, and an entire industry of landscapers, lawn fertilization and watering systems, both above and below ground, has developed to support and enhance lawn care.
Commercial properties will go to great lengths to present a rich green lawn and carefully tended landscaping as part of their public image. Golf courses, country clubs and putting greens require lawns that are pristine at great expense, that is, in turn, passed on to their members.
Imagine a lawn that is always green, requires a one-time investment, little care and minimal upkeep all year round. A lawn that’s not dependent on the weather, that’s bright green without watering or fertilizing, and consistently healthy-looking — even if the yard does not receive ample, or any, sunlight.
Chemicals required to keep a lawn green, like fertilizers, which can enter the water system through run-off from rain, would not be a concern. Muddy conditions due to drainage issues would be nonexistent. What’s more, insects would not thrive in this ideal lawn, removing another concern, especially where children play.
As global warming continues throughout the world, innovation in lawns is taking place.
Synthetic lawns, also known as artificial turf or simply “fake grass” are quickly becoming a selling point in residential real estate, replacing all the labor and concerns live grass requires. (In fact, synthetic fibers are developing in all areas, from apparel to insulation to medical use, and have moved into artificial turf.)
There are a variety of sources and price points for synthetic lawns, with guarantees starting at 10 years. Firms specializing in synthetic lawns offer full service, from design to installation to upkeep. These companies start the installation process by removing the top layer of vegetation and leveling the surface of the area to be covered.
Crushed stone, sometimes referred to as “crusher run,” is laid over the leveled surface, then the turf is installed. A variety of layering techniques of stone and other crushed materials allow drainage and prevent water pooling, mildew or insects.
If plantings or shrubs are desired, areas of the yard are left uncovered, to allow for access to soil. Roots from trees and shrubs will not interfere with the artificial turf. Plantings can be easily watered or sprinkler systems installed for simple maintenance.
Patios, terraces and urban rooftops are the ideal installation area for artificial turf, as the surface below is flat, without any plumbing, roots or obstructions underneath. Swimming pool decks are another good spot for artificial turf, as chlorine will not harm the material, and muddy areas are eliminated.
It also makes maintenance easy. If you need to do maintenance work, say, on a playground, you can just roll back the artificial turf to access the area below.
While artificial turf has been proved to be safe for children, as there are fewer chemicals and insects, many pet owners have concerns and reservations about its use. A special grade of pet-friendly turf has been developed that is porous and can be hosed down to prevent odors and remain sanitary. Will your pet know the difference? Regardless, you, the pet owner, will be happy with the easy care and low maintenance.
Additional types of synthetic turf have been developed for putting greens, landscaping and even area rugs. There is a type of lawn for every particular need, with so many companies offering different proposals and options.
The best advertisement for this developing product is a lush, bright green lawn in the middle of winter when other yards are faded or brown.
Synthetic grass is a quick and easy, maintenance-free method to enhance a yard, terrace or rooftop. Growing grass from seed is a labor-intensive process that can delay the sale of a property. Having sod planted by a landscaper is expensive and requires maintenance.
Efficient and economical, artificial turf can help your sellers with enhancing their property, adding curb appeal or enhancing a rooftop or terrace that may never receive sunlight.
Gerard Splendore is a licensed associate real estate broker with Warburg Realty in New York. Connect with him on LinkedIn.