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livelifelovehappy

Replacing grass with astro turf?

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livelifelovehappy

We have a little courtyard with tall trees for privacy. The trees mean the back half of our lawn doesn't grow and is always either dirt or mud. Our landscaper/man who mows it for us has suggested we replace the lawn with astro turf. I was initially very hesitant but he said he uses it, it's great quality and looks so much better than years gone by, which is true! We have 3 small kids and a dog, he said it would be good for this... but I just have this sort of revulsion just at the idea? But it looks so crap right now. It just feels sad to have no grass. It's such a tiny yard. Has anyone done this and what do you think?

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Ozquoll

I tend to think it looks better in small doses, like the strip at the edge of a driveway, rather than large expanses, but there are always exceptions! Would you replace the whole lawn or just the bit that's not growing well? Would nice pavers be an option instead?

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GingerbreadWoman

There are people in my street who have a strip of artificial lawn along the verge and it wasn’t until I walked on it (got mail for them one day and went to put in their mail box) that I realised it wasn’t real grass. I think in their case it looks a lot better because it is surrounded by a garden with real plants. A lot of the time when you see artificial turf it is really obviously artificial because it is surrounded by concrete in a commercial or industrial setting. 

It does seem like quite a practical solution for a place where real lawn just won’t grow.  Another option would be to edge the real lawn where it looks okay, and then put thick mulch around under the trees. Then you have some real grass, but hopefully less mud and mess. 

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Oriental lily

Not with a dog .it will smell and you will never get the smell out. ESPECIALLY if it's in shade .

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22Fruitmincepies

Decking around the trees? How do you use the space? 

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lazycritter

Not good with pets from what I've heard.  

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literally nobody

I have it in my small front yard and I tell you what- in summer time it is HOT! VERY HOT to walk on. You actually run to get off it. 

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CallMeFeral

I have a revulsion towards it. 

Would it be possible to speak to someone knowledgeable about whethere there is a different grass or (living) grass alternative that would be better suited to that area? I've heard of people having moss lawns instead, as apparently they love shade. I'm guessing there may be forms of ground cover that are still alive and breathable but will grow in shade. 

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Nickers numbat

We live in a very shady area and have artificial turf. We love it. We have a great backyard with grass, that otherwise wouldn’t grow. However, as per the comment from a PP, we have lots of natural plants around it.  Ours doesn’t get hot underfoot, but o suspect that is due to the trees which make it very shady. 
 

There are lots of different grasses out there now. I would have a look at a few. I believe there are some that are dog friendly too. 

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Romeo Void

Hot if is direct sun.  My son's soccer team played on AstroTurf and they hated it, it was literally radiating heat back at them.  If it's in the shade it would be fine.

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MsLaurie

How big a space is it? The “fakeness” definitely becomes more obvious the larger the area. One thing i’ve noticed around my area where they have artificial grass is that fallen leaves sort of sit on top rather than sinking in and decomposing. So it needs lots of sweeping or it looks very odd- something to consider depending on what trees you have.

Would a soft low growing ground cover work instead? Like baby’s breath or even something like native violets?

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TND

We fake turfed down the side of our house.   It is an area about 10 x 4 metres. Nothing could grow there due to the house shade and a massive gum.   Best thing we ever did.   

Kids use it to play basketball and can play there all year round.   At present in Melbourne our backyard grass is really wet but the fake turf you can still play on. 

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Silverstreak

I would have thought you'd have to pick up all the dog poo, rather than let it decompose? At least, that's what people with astroturf in their backyards tell me. 

I wouldn't do it myself, I'd rather put down decking, paving stones or some nice reddish bricks in a pretty pattern, rather than astroturf.

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WaitForMe

I can't stand it.

Its hot and gets rock hard underneath without any roots and aeration to give that soft feel that I love about grass. I also don't like the idea of covering the ground with plastic when the intent is for nature.

 

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Green Sage
Posted (edited)

I think it’s ok for a very small space. But there are other options too. It depends on how you use the area?

you could mulch the whole area. Or put stones down. 
you could deck it all. We had a 4m deck from our house to the back fence at our last house, made the space so much more usable
pave it
or you could try a different ground cover that’s ok with shade. There are lots of options these days. Look up “plant tiles”

easiest and cheapest is probably some big gravel. Don’t go to small or it will get trod through the house. And big stones means you can easily blow the leaf litter off. 
most practical option would be to deck it all. A deck is a much better play area for kids. So easy to hose off. My kids love our deck and so do I. 

 

Edited by ~LemonMyrtle~

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Winter frost

I had a natural aversion to it, it doesn’t have that same feel of grass when you walk on it. It is plastic.  But it is becoming very common, particukarky in the courtyards of townhouses where there is only a small space, some of which is shaded.  There are lots of different qualities. A few friends have it and I don’t mind it.

we have some under our trampoline and the kids love playing under there.

It is not grass, but it doesn’t sound like you have grass now, definitely much better than gravel. My only hesitation for you is as pp mentioned you have a dog. I’m not sure how that works with toileting etc.

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kimasa

We had it in our last rental and I hated it. It gets a weird smell from possum/roaming cat pee and it's not nice to walk on. Given that the rest of the courtyard was paved I don't get why they didn't just pave the whole lot.

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Acidulous Osprey

Do a quick google on the ecological issues with astroturf.  It's a far from green option.

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RichardParker

We had it in a small courtyard, but pulled it up when we paved it - there was lots of mouse poo under there🤮. If it's a small area and laid properly it's probably a good option. 

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PrincessPeach

I’d look into a shade loving grass before laying Astro-turf.
 

we have a buffalo & it grows nicely down the southern side of our house which gets very limited sun in summer only.

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rosie28

Boiling hot if in the sun and you get burns sort of like a carpet burn from falling on it. Horrible with pets. I do agree some of the newer stuff looks better than it used to but it all looks fake to me. I’d be inclined to turn that part of the yard into a shade friendly garden and keep the green space. 

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22Fruitmincepies

Is the problem the that things don’t grow under the trees, or that it is shady? And do you want to use the area or just make it look nicer? If you want to use the area, the AstroTurf could work. If you just want to make it look nicer, shade loving plants, either in the ground or in pots. 

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~Jolly_F~
Posted (edited)

So your dog will pee and poo on it? 

How do you plan to clean it?

It’s not the same as hosing dog business into lawn in anyway! 

Edited by ~Jolly_F~
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Hands Up

We have some. Previous owners laid it. Probably 2m by 3m. It’s ok in winter but boiling hot in summer. I have to make sure the kids wear shoes in summer in our own courtyard so their feet don’t get burnt. If we stay here longer term I’ll pull it up.

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Lou-bags

Personally I dislike the stuff. For environmental and aesthetic reasons.

I’d replace with a garden bed or one of the other good suggestions up thread.

We used to live on a street that had fake lawn at every second or third house. The smell of hot plastic fumes when I walked up the street in the hot summer was unpleasant to say the least, and has put me off for life. 

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