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Old 02-22-2013, 10:27 AM   #1
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Synthetic grass, anyone have experience w/ it?


Just like the title says. Anyone have any opinions/experience w/ it? I'm going to be landscaping my rear backyard (half of which sits under a 2 story deck), and I wanted a small area with grass. It's a fenced backyard of a townhouse so it's a relatively small area, and for simplicity's sake I was thinking of using synthetic grass. The plan is to build a patio under the deck and use synthetic grass for the remaining ~7'x ~19' area.

The reason I'm considering synthetic grass is because there's no maintenance, and for such a small area I'm concerned grass might not do that well (plus it's shaded partially), and I don't have to worry about cutting such a small area. I'm getting a dog so having a small area for the dog to do its business is preferable vs. just gravel. I've read from reviews that dogs don't seem to mind the fake grass over real grass, and drainage seems to be good with the synthetic grass which is good. I'll post a picture up later today of the area. Thanks.

Edit: Finally posted pictures. If anyone has any advice in terms of how to lay things out I'm all ears. The plan I think is to do a patio upto the stairs, then maybe fake grass after that.
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Synthetic grass, anyone have experience w/ it?-backyard1.jpg   Synthetic grass, anyone have experience w/ it?-backyard2.jpg  


Last edited by NewHomeDIYGuy; 03-05-2013 at 03:34 PM.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:00 PM   #2
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Synthetic grass, anyone have experience w/ it?


The man across the street installed some synthetic grass along side the entry to his home. It looks awful.
The work to install it was a lot of leveling as well as removal of the old sod.
I know they sell used synthetic grass at my local salvage yard, but the weight and labor to replace the real grass seems excessive.
Since your dog will be using it for a toilet, I see other concerns.
I would suggest just using tree stump grindings that are free from the local tree cutters. Then all you need is a weed barrier beneath the wood chips. I did that for the pathways between my raised garden boxes. My dog seems satisfied, but we have not had a serious discussion about it.
Good luck.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:29 PM   #3
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Synthetic grass, anyone have experience w/ it?


Thanks for the other idea.. I haven't firsthand seen synthetic grass but based on reviews and some pictures it seems like the more expensive stuff looks pretty darn real. Some people swear it looks real even pretty close up..? Maybe your neighbor bought the cheap stuff? Just wondering..

Edit: To add, I know the fake grass will take some work (leveling/etc), but my entire backyard is currently pretty much all mud, so there's nothing to rip out, just grade or remove some dirt and lay down a base layer (gravel). The "advantage" to fake grass is that I'd imagine it would handle heavy rain and allow better drainage compared to grass. I'm worried real grass simply wouldn't survive where I'm looking to install the synthetic grass because I am going to be burying my gutter drains and having them expel the water at the rear of the yard, and the area doesn't have much direct sunlight, so it tends to stay soggy for a couple days after rain.

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Old 02-22-2013, 12:38 PM   #4
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Synthetic grass, anyone have experience w/ it?


My major concern would be grass absorbing the odors from the dog urine/poop. We have an area of pea gravel for our dog to pee with very good drainage and the urine smell can be quite noticeable at times.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:41 PM   #5
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Synthetic grass, anyone have experience w/ it?


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Originally Posted by drtbk4ever View Post
My major concern would be grass absorbing the odors from the dog urine/poop. We have an area of pea gravel for our dog to pee with very good drainage and the urine smell can be quite noticeable at times.
Ya, that's definitely a concern, but I would hope that the rain would wash away some of the smell, and picking up the poop regularly would help as well. The dog will only get to be ~15lbs, so its "business" isn't too large. If I had a larger/large dog like a lab, I'd definitely be a little more concerned about a smell.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:51 PM   #6
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Synthetic grass, anyone have experience w/ it?


Our guy is a sheltie, about 25 lbs so not large by any stretch. But he has been peeing in this area for 11 years which isn't helping with the odor.

I bought some stuff to spray the area with last summer and didn't get around to using it. I'm definitely going to have to try it this spring.

And yeah, picking up the poop is a good idea. I'm so tired of stepping in poop, I pick it up as he does his business, so the poop isn't laying around which equals no poop odor.
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:10 PM   #7
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Synthetic grass, anyone have experience w/ it?


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Originally Posted by drtbk4ever View Post
Our guy is a sheltie, about 25 lbs so not large by any stretch. But he has been peeing in this area for 11 years which isn't helping with the odor.

I bought some stuff to spray the area with last summer and didn't get around to using it. I'm definitely going to have to try it this spring.

And yeah, picking up the poop is a good idea. I'm so tired of stepping in poop, I pick it up as he does his business, so the poop isn't laying around which equals no poop odor.
Ah hmm that's definitely something I didn't really think about. I guess the advantage of dirt/ground is that it will absorb into the ground and be dispersed which is why the smell goes away immediately. Gravel or synthetic grass wouldn't absorb anything, so the smell might certainly linger, especially if they pee and it doesn't rain for a few days. Hmm. Guess we'll have to see. In my case though, real grass might not be a good option, so it's either fake grass or gravel..
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Old 02-22-2013, 01:31 PM   #8
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Synthetic grass, anyone have experience w/ it?


Actually, I don't think any surface would tolerate a whole lot of pee and poop without the odor issue. Not too mention the damage to the real grass from dog urine. It won't survive for long, especially in the less than adequate growing environment you are describing.

I'd be tempted to try a little patch of that synthetic grass for awhile just to see how it goes.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:35 PM   #9
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Synthetic grass, anyone have experience w/ it?


Finally updated w/ some pictures. If anyone has any thoughts on how to best landscape this area I'd love ideas. Thanks.

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