Re: Astroturf to the Future!


First you use up the water; then you use up the petrochemicals; then you get the women.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 9:12 AM
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Actually, plastic comes in at 2.7% of petroleum consumption, 1.7% of natural gas, and 1.7% of electricity used in in its production.

And plastic as good and essential stuff--despite its obvious abuse, and its incremental role in the destruction of the environment.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 9:17 AM
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Freedman noted that SYNLawn artificial grass is made from soybean oil and recycled plastic bottles collected from national parks

It's not like you want a lawn that some filthy bum or inner city punk has touched with their mouth.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 9:39 AM
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3.1 Genetically Modified Soy? I can hear the backlash now.

Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 9:45 AM
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I looked into this stuff when we had a terrace and a dog. Apparently it retains heat and odors, so it didn't seem very appealing. I know real lawns are maligned, but man, are they nice for kids to play on.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 9:52 AM
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"Kids, make sure you puts shoes on before you go play on the hot plastic dog-pee carpet!""

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 9:58 AM
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I would like a good viable substitute, though. Maybe just some rocks.

Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 10:31 AM
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We have rocks. It's not bad, though if you were in the falling down a lot stages of walking I suspect there would be some injuries. I can sit on it just fine - it's no different than a rocky beach. At least the maintenance is minimal.

Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 11:14 AM
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Here is where my ignorance betrays me. Don't we, like, specifically use water-intensive grass for our lawns? Aren't there more draught-resistant alternatives out there? Not xenogarden, but grass-grass or at least kinda-sorta grass.

Posted by: trumwill | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 11:44 AM
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We had some discussion about this last month. We looked into this stuff, there are some houses around here with it even though we don't live in an area that's naturally a desert like some other parts of the country, and it seems to function pretty well even with dogs. The main issue was the enormous cost- $8-12/sq foot. Installing irrigation was about $4k then another $3k for installing sod. If I just order sod myself it's about $1k, plus I would need to rent a rototiller and roller and buy some soil amendment in bulk so figure another $1k.
Right now we just have a dry dusty yard that's somewhat high in lead so bad to breathe the dust, I've thought about just watering the dust every day but then you might as well have grass if you're still using the water.

Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 11:50 AM
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Haven't a lot of sports stadiums been using new and improved fake grass for years already?

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 12:00 PM
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10: You can also just lay down grass seed really thick. It doesn't look pretty right away, but it works.

Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 12:33 PM
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The thing with rocks: if you're in an area that can grow grass without irrigation during part of the year (e.g., spring), rocks can be an absolute disaster because a) people tend to skimp on the depth of the rocks because they're pricey b) weeding in between rocks is a pain, so most people don't, and then they have weedy rocky yards.

We're exactly in that climate and not sure what to do. Grass grows fine in the spring but goes dormant in the heat. Secondary water isn't metered, but I can't imagine that's going to last. Right now the flowerbeds are all xeriscaped/waterwise (with mulch instead of rocks.)

Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 12:47 PM
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Oh yeah, our rocks/gravel are on top of some sort of sheeting material + concrete (this was not our choice), so while a few weeds do show up they're very easy to pull out.

Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 2:25 PM
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Haven't a lot of sports stadiums been using new and improved fake grass for years already?

Yeah. The 3G "artificial grass" turf fields are tremendously better than old-school AstroTurf (which was basically carpet laid down on concrete), although it's still not exactly lush and it heats up something fierce in sunlight (since the base is ground-up black rubber). The other option some teams have gone for is a combination of natural and artificial grass.

Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 2:54 PM
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So, wait, the rock thing... It's just rocks? Like a zen garden of rocks? I've having trouble picturing this. A whole yard of rocks?

Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 3:32 PM
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In my experience, when it comes to landscaping you can never have too many rocks.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 3:33 PM
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The whole trail was rocks. Also, I did not know there were so many ferns in the world.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 3:59 PM
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Both in Seattle and Berkeley I let grass go dormantvon the summer. It greens up perfectly well on its own. It's a prairie plant, that's what they do, is handle dry summers. And! It's still cool and pleasant to walk on in the summer while you aren't mowing it! Get ahead of the trend.

Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 6:08 PM
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We've got supposedly drought-resistant native plant grass in our backyard. We paid a lot for it, from the ladybird johnson center up in Austin. Then the drought ended, and not with a whimper.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-24-15 6:17 PM
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Went down to LA this weekend. There are noticeably more xeriscaped front yards. If you aren't interacting with it, the fake grass looks surprisingly natural (as does the painted grass). Most people don't interact with their grass, so it is probably doing just what they want it to (look green around their house).

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-26-15 10:33 AM
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