Interesting times call for creative measures. Well, at least these interesting times do, especially when it comes to our homes. Florida residents are spending more time at home during this pandemic and looking at their living spaces with a much different perspective.
ForeverLawn synthetic grass dealers throughout the state, as well as our industry partners in home construction and remodeling, are seeing an uptick in fun and creative home projects, from play spaces for kids (Playground Grass) and dogs (K9Grass) to, well, play spaces for the adults, too (GolfGreens, BocceGrass, SportsGrass).
The hint of all this homeward facing activity hit our offices in March in the form of K9Grass inquiries. It was a practical solution to an unexpected problem. Fewer dogs were heading to day care, the dog parks were closed, and people were isolating in their homes, all of which meant the pets needed somewhere to relieve themselves and get energy out. Sodded yards were suffering and walks were getting tedious.
We fielded requests for residential dog runs, plays areas near the pool deck and potties for the balcony, among others.
“It is just fantastic, and it looks great,” said Sarasota resident Leslie Turner, who installed K9Grass Classic in her backyard for her dog, Lady. “She’s just loving it. She was out there and was just rolling around all over the grass. She’s just loving it.”
Turner said there were three reasons she decided on installing a synthetic grass dog area at her home.
“One was my dog very allergic to grass and other allergens outside, and with so many pesticides her paws were red. The second was aesthetics. The backyard area just doesn’t get much light and growing grass wasn’t feasible, even if we wanted it. And third was the uniqueness of the product design.”
At ForeverLawn, we designed our K9Grass specifically for dogs, because we wanted a product that put dogs’ needs first. It is knitted, which makes it stronger for those diggers and runners, and allows liquids (urine, cleaners, water) to flow through. It has a low dense pile, making it easier to clean up, and it has a built-in anti-microbial called Alpha-San. To be honest, all synthetic grasses are pet friendly. But there is a difference between pet-friendly products and products made for pets.
Pet-friendly means grasses will not fade, discolor, or retain odors. The odors in most synthetic pet turf products come from the accumulation of debris below the blades and on top of a solid polyurethane backing into which the blades are inserted (“tufted”). That is why having a knitted product give us an advantage over tufted pet-friendly products.
This flow-through backing also allows is to install K9Grass over sealed solid surfaces, like patios and balconies, utilizing a grid tile product or a drainage mat. My son lived with his dog, Emmitt, in an apartment for a while and we installed K9Grass over a grid.
Emmitt would spend every morning sunning himself laying on the grass and then use it as a relief area during the day while my son worked from home. They would just rinse the grass with a pitcher of water every now and then and didn’t have a problem with odor or dirt.
Once we were able to help the dogs, people started thinking about other to make life at home more enjoyable. That is when the families with children and sports fans without anything to watch on television or cheer for from the stands began exploring. Putting greens, bocce courts, playset areas, and areas around pools have been common requests.
Mike Campo and his family recently built a new house in Tampa and decided to add landscape turf around the pool and tuck a putting green into what would most likely have been an unused corner of the yard.
“We thought about adding a putting green at our previous house, so we decided the timing was right for this one,” said Campo. “That corner wasn’t going to get much traffic anyway. I’m just a novice golfer, so this would just be a fun thing for the family.”
In addition to the green, Campo and his wife opted for DuPont ForeverLawn Select EL landscape grass around the pool for cleanliness. With two kids, ages 7 and 9, who have spent the summer in and out of the pool, the Campo don’t need to worry about dirt tracking in the pool, around the pool or through the house. Backyards that may have been afterthoughts before the pandemic, are becoming necessary extensions of living spaces. The realistic, lush synthetic grass stays green all year and doesn’t require regular water or any chemicals. Everyone can play without worrying about maintenance or bare patches of sandy soil. And there might be room to snug a putting green up in that corner over there. Not a golfer, then how about bocce or a mini-field for soccer or kickball? A cornhole area with your college logo in the middle? The possibilities are endless.
Orginally appeared in The New Barker (Volume 14, Issue 44)