By Dr. Sophia Yin
As many of you know, I recently moved to a new house that is perfect for me and my pets. Actually, I mean almost perfect. There was one major change I had to make and that was to fix the grass. It turns out that dogs, plus grass, plus a year-round need to take photos and videos in the yard with the dogs and grass, equal a “not likely.” In the past, it seemed like every time we needed to take photos, the lawn was either a healthy green with brown polka dots, or it had big mud spots. Or worse, the dogs, and consequently the house, were muddy.
Luckily about 6 years ago, I solved the problem at my old house by putting in Fieldturf® by Heavenly Greens, the professional grade turf used by the NFL, Major League Baseball and NCAA colleges. In spite of the steep cost, the change was well worth it. No more watering, no more muddy paws, and a yard that was always photo and video-ready. As an added bonus, poop was easier to clean because it sat on the top of the grass, and if dogs had diarrhea, the grass could just be sprayed down. Water soaks right through just like it does with real grass.
Because of my great experience with my previous synthetic turf, one of my first moves in my new house was to get my new back and side yard lawn redone. At first I thought I’d wait a couple of months. But after just a week of having to pick up poop on the fast growing, but damp lawn, I decided to suck it up and get the yard done ASAP. Even though I had a gardener to mow the lawn on a weekly basis, it seemed like the grass was already wild after just a couple of days, making it a dangerous place to walk for those who loath stepping on dog doo.
For those of you who have never seen this type of turf, here’s a play by play look at the three day process.
First, a representative came out. I forgot to take photos of that. He took exact measurements of the yards and then gave me a choice of grasses. I chose the new two-tone model that has blades of varying shades of green so that it looks more realistic. Next he scheduled a date for the certified installers to come out.
|Step 1: Plow up the field. If I had done this it myself, I’m pretty sure it would have taken a week or two. The three Heavenly Greens installers took just a few hours to till this area, a smaller separate dog potty area, and the side yard. Jonesy is inspecting their job and giving a thumbs up.|
|Step 2: Next they cleared the grass and a layer of dirt out and level the area out.||Step 3: Then a layer of gravel is placed over the dirt.|
|Here’s the synthetic turf. It looks pretty boring like this.|
|And the other supplies.|
|Here it is once it’s rolled out. The bags of black stuff are the rubber infill that will make the grass stand. If you look closely you can see the installer tacking the grass down.||Here are the giant tacks he’s using. This grass is staying put! It will be stable enough to stay in place even with dogs of all sizes racing around the yard. It’s also works well for 200 pound men racing around in cleats—e.g. football.|
|Here’s the back yard—perfect for agility equipment. The equipment doesn’t need to be moved like it would if it were on regular grass. It can stay in place for weeks or months. When it’s moved, there will be a temporary depression in the synthetic grass but once the grass is walked on, it will pop back up. The grass also has a slight pitch such that the center is higher than the edge so that water drains.||Next about two inches of black rubber infill is added. It’s basically like synthetic dirt that allows the grass to stand up. It is first tossed on and then combed in. When I had the turf put in at my last place, the infill used was Nike Infill—used Nike shoes.|
|Yay! It’s easy to pick up poop again!||In the side yard I had extra padding placed under the grass.|
|This padding is used for playgrounds and is certified safe for falls from 8 feet. I’m guessing that means falling feet first!|
|Here’s the side yard. Jonesy’s poised to fetch a toy.|
Well, that’s it. Everyone in the household as well as my dogs, my friends, clients and other visitors love the synthetic turf. We still have regular grass in the front yard and will keep it that way unless there’s a drought and the grass all dies. Yes, it’s costly, but for us, the time it saves,the ease of cleaning, and the fact that it’s always photo and video-ready—need we say more?
Find more info at www.heavenlygreens.com.