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Old 11-07-2007, 12:02 AM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
15,726 posts, read 26,753,064 times
Reputation: 20351

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Has anyone put in an artificial grass yard? would you do it again? I like grass but I am not sure that I want to pay for the water to maintain it. Are there options besides having compressed rock in the back yard? If we were to put grass in the back what kind is good for the area? Also what is a good mix in a yard. This is a small lot, 100' by 56', so the back yard isn't the biggest in the world. We want a place for the kids to play and wouldn't mind a larger patio than the covered one that runs along 2/3 of the rear of the home.

 
Old 11-07-2007, 02:34 AM
 
Location: Red Rock, Arizona
683 posts, read 2,395,969 times
Reputation: 512
There are some terrific artificial grass products available. Do a search for "artificial or synthetic grass" and you'll find quite a few products that are available. Once they are installed, they're virtually maintenance free. They are so much better than they used to be and don't even compare to the old Astro-Turf that was nothing but plastic carpet laid on top of concrete.

Before you start landscaping your backyard, do some research on xeriscaping. You can create a beautiful yard using the seven basic principles of xeriscaping. And contrary to what a lot of people believe, a small amount of grass is not a bad thing when it serves a purpose. I have three kids and a couple dogs, so I want a small lawn out back. If they need a larger space to play football or baseball, they can go down the street and play in the park. I don't need any grass in my front yard for aesthetic purposes or ground cover, there are plenty of plants and trees I can use to make my yard very attractive. And when it's done properly, good landscaping can help reduce temperatures around your home and clean the air.

Detailed Home Gardening Info: Xeriscaping (http://ag.arizona.edu/gardening/xeriscaping.html - broken link)

If you decide to have some grass, there are a lot of varieties of hybrid bermudas that do well in Arizona. They can get by without a lot of water. Consider using rainwater harvesting techniques to supplement your irrigation needs. Some people are also using gray water from the washing machine and bathtub.

If you're going to have a small lawn and need to buy a lawn mower, check out an old-fashioned reel mower. The product being manufactured and sold now is a lot better than the one Grandpa used to have. They work great on bermuda grass and they are a lot safer for kids to use. They're also quiet and don't burn gasoline.

Guide to choosing and using a manual reel mower

To extend your patio, look at building a large pergola next to it. You can use flagstone for the floor and grow some bushes around it or vines that grow up the sides and over the top. My favorite is Cape Honeysuckle.

Landscaping in Arizona is a lot of fun while it also has many challenges. Start doing some research and you might discover a great hobby. There's plenty of information available on the internet. We're moving into a new house next year and I can't wait to get to work on my yard. One other thing I'm looking at building is a garden railroad, I'm really excited about that. Good luck!
 
Old 11-07-2007, 02:41 AM
 
Location: Red Rock, Arizona
683 posts, read 2,395,969 times
Reputation: 512
By the way, here's a great tool for anyone wanting to landscape their yard. I have used it more than anything else I have.

WRRC - Water Resources Research Center (http://ag.arizona.edu/azwater/products/cd/index.html - broken link)
 
Old 11-07-2007, 04:35 AM
 
203 posts, read 747,022 times
Reputation: 105
thanks for that link. good info there
 
Old 11-07-2007, 05:50 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
29,345 posts, read 39,740,850 times
Reputation: 18786
One of my neighbors put in artificial grass this year. It looks a little too good to be real and it was noticeably warm on bare feet. He wanted the grass look without the maintenance. It stops the mowing obviously, but you still have to deal with dirt and leaves and twigs getting into it. When you mow a real lawn, most of that gets chopped up and mulched or thrown way.
 
Old 11-07-2007, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Tucson
42,837 posts, read 79,046,428 times
Reputation: 22814
Quote:
Originally Posted by SOON2BNSURPRISE View Post
Has anyone put in an artificial grass yard? would you do it again? I like grass but I am not sure that I want to pay for the water to maintain it. Are there options besides having compressed rock in the back yard? If we were to put grass in the back what kind is good for the area? Also what is a good mix in a yard. This is a small lot, 100' by 56', so the back yard isn't the biggest in the world. We want a place for the kids to play and wouldn't mind a larger patio than the covered one that runs along 2/3 of the rear of the home.
I've been looking into it, too. Saw a couple of types in a nursery. Didn't like them. Lowe's carries pretty nice artificial grass, though. They had about 5 or 6 kinds varying from about $7 to $10 per sq.ft. IMO the most expensive one was pretty - quite real-looking, nice color, soft, and thick. It's supposed to last for 10 years. The less expensive types last 7 years. It's an OK option for a small area. It can get pricey for a large yard, but then again it's not like the upkeep of nice landscaping comes cheap or effortless anyway.
 
Old 11-07-2007, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Tucson
42,837 posts, read 79,046,428 times
Reputation: 22814
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillyBaroo View Post
By the way, here's a great tool for anyone wanting to landscape their yard. I have used it more than anything else I have.

WRRC - Water Resources Research Center (http://ag.arizona.edu/azwater/products/cd/index.html - broken link)
Looks like nice software . There are plenty of similar free sources online, though. I have a list of "approved" plants I need to check against. Palm trees are not "aesthetically pleasing"... Natural desert all the way.
 
Old 11-07-2007, 09:37 AM
 
3,632 posts, read 14,672,926 times
Reputation: 1286
I looked into it when I was having a hard time growing my real grass in the front yard. We have about 800 sf of grass and it would have cost us about $6000 for artificial. I'm not willing to pay that at this moment, so we worked harder on the grass. What we should have done or should do in the future is get rid of the grass and put in rocks. That would make it much easier to maintain, cheaper, and more "green".
 
Old 11-07-2007, 02:56 PM
 
599 posts, read 2,077,181 times
Reputation: 130
One of our neighbors originally installed artificial grass and recently replaced it with real grass because it was too hot during the summer to walk on. Even their dog tried not to walk on it during the heat. Ouch on the paws (and the pocketbook)!

Maybe there are "cooler" versions of artificial grass?
 
Old 11-07-2007, 04:38 PM
 
3,761 posts, read 10,252,124 times
Reputation: 2527
That is what I don't like about it either, it gets very hot...too hot to walk on. Real grass stays cool and has a cooling effect in itself. With the money spent on fake grass, you could have real grass maintained by a landscape company for years.
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