It would appear at a cursory glance that synthetic grass is a very expensive replacement for natural grass, but the high cost is only up front. When measured over the life of the grass you will find that synthetic grass is actually a cheaper alternative to the real stuff and the savings may not simply be the cost of maintaining the grass.
So, that higher upfront cost of a synthetic grass surface is pretty quickly recouped by the lower maintenance requirements. Time, energy and the possibility of greater usage gives you a surface that will pay for itself over its lifetime.
Synthetic Grass - The Benefits Over Natural Grass
Nowadays, commercial artificial grass is far from an uncommon sight in back gardens and sports pitches the world over. The synthetic material seems to well and truly have gained space over its natural counterpart, with traits such as its durability and ease of maintenance endearing it to the general public.
Time was, however, when the situation was markedly difference. Outside of a sporting context, commercial artificial grass was regarded as tacky and an inferior substitute for the real thing, and even when used to cover playing surfaces for sports it was far from consensual.
In the midst of all the disapproval, however, turf always had a few admirers, and it is them who are largely responsible for its eventual expansion and success. This article harks back to a time before commercial artificial grass existed, to give an overview of its origin, evolution and eventual rise to popularity worldwide.
The origins of commercial artificial grass date back to 1960s America. The material was first researched and devised by a team of scientists from the North Carolina State University College of Textiles, under the supervision of the dean himself, David Chaney. Together, these men came up with a material which looked and felt somewhat similar to grass, but without any of the shortcomings this material possesses; in short, what is nowadays known as turf.
Having created and perfected this material for optimal performance, Chaney and his team began searching for parties potentially interested in a test run. It did not take them long at all to find a considerably prominent ‘guinea-pig’, in the form of baseball team the Houston Astros, based out of the city of the same name in Texas. In 1966, the Astros’ home field, the Astrodome, became the first sports pitch in the world to be covered in commercial artificial grass. It was the beginning of a story which would only go uphill from there.
Once commercial artificial grass had proven its mettle as the playing surface for the Astros, and become known as ‘Astroturf’ as a result, other sports team owners across North American began taking an interest in the material. The late 1960s and early 1970s would see synthetic turf carpets spread across both major and minor league baseball fields, and eventually make their way into American football stadiums as well. Franklin Field, home to the Philadelphia Eagles and the University of Pennsylvania varsity football team, was the first venue to feature commercial artificial grass, but other pitches would soon follow suit, further cementing awareness for the material in public consciousness.
As popular as it was becoming with sports fans, however, commercial artificial grass still had one hurdle left to jump: the residential and landscaping market. Among home-owners, turf continued to be considered a cheap-looking, shoddy material, not at all an alternative to a real grass lawn. This generalised opinion stemmed from the first few artificial turf carpets looking somewhat less than realistic, as well as from the material’s connotation with lower-income homes. As such, commercial artificial grass faced a challenge when trying to prove its worth in the home market.
This challenge would eventually be overcome, but not for another two decades. It was not until the 1990s, more than twenty-five years after it had first been invented, that commercial artificial grass finally gained traction as a valid alternative within the home and garden market. This was largely due to the vastly improved appearance and realism level of modern turf carpets in relation to their predecessors, which helped do away with many of the concerns and prejudices keeping commercial artificial grass from establishing itself a landscaping alternative.
For the following two decades, commercial artificial grass saw its popularity continue to rise, until it could stand side by side with natural grass. Nowadays, many people even consider the material superior to its natural counterpart, at least for certain purposes, and it is expectable that this trend will continue in years to come. It is interesting, however, to think of a time when commercial artificial grass was not as popular as it is today, and to learn exactly how it came to achieve its present standing in society.
Maintaining Your Artificial Sports Turf
Today installing new artificial laws for sports fields and replacing natural grass sports fields with synthetic grasses continues to be an unimaginable trend for those who are environmentally conscious. Here are some great suggestions and tips what you can do to protect your sports lawn. Firstly try getting a maintenance log from an artificial turf installer or supplier. If it is not available from the installer or supplier, then better get your own, it will definitely help you. This is nothing but a working document, note down each and every maintenance procedures which you do into the log and keep them updated.
Acquire a precise and complete maintenance procedure which you may get it from the synthetic lawn installer or supplier. Always follow the recommendations mentioned or it might increase the chances for disagreements with the warranty issues and other major repairs during the warranty period. If possible try getting a list of suggested or recommended maintenance equipments and materials from a synthetic grass installer or supplier. The most important tool for your lawn maintenance should be a fence around the artificial sports lawn which has to be gated and the entrances needs to be locked. Artificial lawns that remain unattended invite unsupervised play and tend to vandalized. Yup! These artificial lawns can withstand lot of usage, but it should under supervision always. Signage at the lawn which clearly spells out guidelines in terms of usage and that may or may not be brought onto the playing area or its immediate area, such as candies, chewing gums, glass containers and tobacco products; tells users of the lawn that you're very serious about keeping the playing surface safe as well as clean.
Keep the litter or trash cans near the concrete sports area; it can be anywhere away from the lawn so that spectators or users can dispose off papers, cans and other materials rather than throwing them onto the priceless turf! Try developing a strategy to keep off materials such as twigs, leaves or food wrappers and other kinds of wind blown debris off the lawn. These materials should not get grounded or crushed into the turf and contaminate the lawn's infill. A hedge or fence around the synthetic lawn will help you to keep away some wind blow materials off your turf. Now many field or turf managers use push or pull blowers that are powered by gasoline to remove debris from their artificial fields. These backpack blowers can also do the job really well as long as the operators are careful not to upset the lawn's infill. Regularly inspection of the lawn is very important and it needs to be checked for unusual tear or damage. Make sure you pay special attention to places which receive lots of traffic, for instance, check the goal mouths and corner kick areas of soccer pitches also check the edges of infields on softball and baseball fields, check between the hash marks on football fields to keep up the adequate levels of infill materials. A well maintained synthetic lawn is sure to last for many years offering numerous benefits.