With Las Vegas’ water restrictions – and a Lake Mead that continues to fade– the idea of artificial lawns may be increasingly appealing to Southern Nevada homeowners.
While the fake turf doesn’t feel quite the same as Mother Nature’s creation, it does offer several advantages for Vegas residents, besides just the green effect in the yard. The top two are that you don’t have to water it and you don’t have to mow it (or trim it, or weed it … in the searing summer).
For those families buying a new home in Las Vegas and have to put in new landscaping anyway, artificial turf may be even more appealing. Some expense is already built into the equation, and synthetic turf could be designed into the landscape from the very beginning rather than retro-fitted. And you would have it for the entire residency, plus as an upgrade when the time comes to sell the house.
Synthetic lawn doesn’t offer the same cooling effect in torching summer weather as natural turf and can heat up under direct sun. Some homebuyers have taken samples from multiple installers and left them out in the summer sun so they could test which were the coolest.
Artificial lawns clean up fairly easily using a leaf blower, broom or hose. They can be spread over a full back yard or used for area touches, or for such things as a practice putting green or dog poop area (you’ll have to train Fido where you want him to go). Make sure you get a reputable installer – or know what you’re doing — as proper drainage is important. The savings are considerable if you are handy enough to install it yourself. That might be easier in an accent area that a larger lawn.
According to a report by Odell Engineering, artificial lawns are not self-sanitizing like natural turf and need maintenance to avoid algae growth. It added that a “Well-functioning irrigation and subsurface drainage is key to flushing the system of harmful substances. Anti-microbial in-fill products are also available to help minimize bacterial growth.”
Initial costs are much higher for synthetic turf than regular grass – estimated at $5 to $20 per square foot – but you only pay it once. If you’re converting natural grass to artificial, you may be able to get a rebate of $2 a square foot from the Southern Nevada Water Authority for up to 5,000 square feet. There are restrictions, like it has to be permeable for water and air and half the area has to be natural. But it might be worth checking out.
You can get synthetic grass in lighter or darker greens and in varying length and evenness to suit your taste. Las Vegas is home to many providers of artificial turf. You can find them by Googling “artificial lawnsLas Vegas.”
If you choose this green path, you’ll spend money initially but save water, expense and a heck of a lot of yard work over the years, and always have a green, neat lawn without dirt or yellow patches.
Do you have a cool artificial turf area? Email a photo of it — or questions/ideas.
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