Landscaping With Astro Turf
A lot of people are choosing to do their landscaping with Astro turf instead of natural grass. This is an excellent option if you have a lot of kids, pets, or are simply tired of lugging around a lawnmower and watering your garden. It can also save a lot of money as the maintenance costs of natural grass are pretty high.
What do you put under Astro turf?
In general, Astroturf is made from a polyethylene and/or polypropylene material that’s woven into a pattern to mimic blades of grass and held upright with a layer of infill – typically crumb rubber, recycled from old tires or other industrial waste, which can be mixed with silica sand. Astro turf landscaping gained significant fame in 1966, when it was installed in the Astrodome (the year-old state-of-the-art indoor stadium of the Houston Astros baseball team). Initially, it was known as ChemGrass, but later Monsanto consolidated its marketing and technical activities and renamed the product after the Astros. Today, the word “AstroTurf” has become a generic trademark, used to refer to any type of artificial turf.
However, the use of synthetic grass may have negative impacts on our local environment. Celia Connor, a lecturer in Environment and Agriculture at Charles Sturt University, says that turf is likely to disrupt the complex ecosystem of soil, which is full of microorganisms. She warns that if the soil beneath turf becomes degraded, it could export microplastics into our waterways. For this reason, she suggests replacing turf areas with native ground covers and garden beds to improve biodiversity. This can also help with addressing water drainage issues, as a lot of water runoff from these areas could flood storm drains and overwhelm local waterways.