The ultimate in slow growth

Suzette turns up a new wrinkle in lawn care: plastics. Immediately this pushed my OMG NO WEEDS button:

In southern California, there are quite a few private residences with advertising … boasting about the artificial turf used as lawns. I did find one or two places that do the same thing in NV — how cost effective is this, really?

Well, there’s a lot to be said for low maintenance. God knows I spend enough working on my lawn. But a testimonial brought me up short:

I have to thank Leisure Lawn for my outstanding yard. My backyard looks incredible. I wouldn’t have believed that artificial grass could look so realistic until I saw Leisure Lawn’s samples. I chose the plush and only paid $6 per sq. foot … installed. No extra or hidden charges like I found with other companies.

A hell of a lot cheaper than Karastan, yes, but I have over 6,000 square feet of yard around here. And I can buy an awful lot of weed killer for forty thousand dollars.


  1. fillyjonk »

    4 November 2009 · 8:17 am

    When they make one with a built-in vacuum that will deal with leaves in the fall, then I might consider buying it.

    Though I have to admit letting a few of the “weedy” wildflowers that come up in my lawn persist is good for yanking the chain of my Martha Stewart-esque neighbor down the street, and I might kind of miss that.

  2. Jeffro »

    4 November 2009 · 8:49 am

    $40k? And I have to wonder how long this investment would last, seeing how it’s plastic and degrading in the sunlight. Bah. Pave it and be done.

  3. CGHill »

    4 November 2009 · 8:52 am

    Isn’t everything degrading in Las Vegas? (Don’t answer that.)

  4. Eric »

    4 November 2009 · 9:41 am

    fillyjonk’s point is well-taken, although we in the plains of West Texas can add a twist. The level of our lawns rises a fraction of an inch each spring due to blowing dirt. You can effectively clear leaves from a fake lawn with a blower, but there’s no way you could deal with that much sediment without a heavy-duty vac.

  5. Lisa Paul »

    4 November 2009 · 11:13 am

    In semi-arid Sonoma, we have a completely different philosophy. We EMBRACE weeds. We call them Natives and feel very virtuous for nurturing them. Well, actually no nurturing is needed. Chemise, Manzanita, scrub oak, California wildflowers and salvia are about the only things that will reliably grow when there is no rain from March to November. And grapes, well they’re practically weeds in terms of the little water and care that they need.

    Leaves? Well, we don’t get much of those from our evergreen desert-y plants. But what we get, we call mulch and are done with it.

  6. Lynn »

    4 November 2009 · 2:07 pm

    The first thing I think of when people talk about artificial turf is “What will it look like in 5 or 10 years?” Artificial things do not automatically renew themselves. But I suppose if you have $40,000 to spend on your lawn you’ll have $60,000 to do it again in 5 years.

    I also like the idea of annoying the neighbors by letting your weeds grow. Not that my neighbors care but anytime I’m driving through a town and see a lawn dotted with dandelions I smile and think a nice person must live there.

  7. unimpressed »

    4 November 2009 · 4:07 pm

    I’m with Jeffro. Pave it. Concrete can’t be much more expensive and will last a hell of a lot longer.

  8. Teresa »

    4 November 2009 · 10:42 pm

    My next house will be a condo at least 6 floors up in a city. Takes care of the problem.

  9. Suzette »

    5 November 2009 · 8:07 am

    Good points, all. I’m not enamored of the gravel-as-lawn look so popular in the dessert suburbs, but paving I could go for.

RSS feed for comments on this post