Archive for October, 2013

One Man’s Journey: from anti-astro to turf traitor

Monday, October 28th, 2013

This month, Daily Mail columnist Robert Hardman wrote a piece about his new artificial lawn, giving an entertaining account of his journey from anti-astro, to turf traitor.

When the idea was suggested by his wife, Hardman was sceptical to say the least.  He describes artificial grass installation as pure vandalism – “like hammering a satellite dish to an oak tree, putting ketchup on a scone…”  His views are later transformed.  Now a complete convert, he’s “insufferably smug and proud” of his new lawn.

The article is a must-read for anyone considering faking it…especially if you’re trying to persuade your better-half.  Complete with pictures of Richard hoovering the garden – “But if I thought my mowing days were over, I was mistaken. This weekend, my wife handed me the vacuum cleaner, pointed to the garden and said: ‘Leaves…”

Chuck out the Flymo! I’ve got a lawn you can vacuum: Turf traitor Robert Hardman thinks his new plastic garden will leave you green with envy

The moral of the story is…don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Last year, we reported on the chaos that ensued when a quaint Cotswolds village decided to install fake turf on muddy verges by the river.  Reporters from all over the World ridiculed the tourist hot-spot.  This is despite the fact officials took the decision to save thousands in maintenance costs.  When will this snobbery end?

The time and money-saving benefits of artificial grass are undeniable.  Contrary to popular belief modern fake grass does not resemble green grocer matting (assuming you’re not looking at something for 99p on eBay).  They’re both green, yes.  But look closely and you’ll see that quality products are multi-tonal – with green, yellow, and brown fibres that look just like the real thing.

Evidence also shows that despite being made of plastic, artificial lawns are less detrimental to the environment than natural grass maintenance.  The latter involving power hungry mowers, chemical pesticides, fertilisers, and water waste.

Speaking of water…we Brit’s experience regular shortages, despite the rain.  Don’t turn your nose up…give fake grass a chance.  Come the next hose-pipe ban, when your neighbours all have yellow lawns, you’ll be the one laughing.  As I’m sure Richard Hardman would agree…it’s much more fun being a traitor.

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New Study Shows Artificial Grass Pitches Result in Fewer Injuries

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Synthetic football pitchNew research, published recently in the American Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that artificial sports surfaces result in less injuries than natural grass, supporting previous studies.

The report titled ‘Incidence, Mechanisms, and Severity of Match-Related Collegiate Women’s Soccer Injuries on FieldTurf and Natural Grass Surfaces: A 5-Year Prospective Study,’ documented injury data from over 800 matches.  There were a total of 693 minor and serious injuries, over 5 years.  Of these, 272 (39%) occurred during play on an artificial pitch, and 421 (61%) on occurred on natural grass.

So, for every 10 matches played, 7.7 injuries happened on synthetic turf pitches, and 9.5 injuries were recorded on real grass.

The data also suggests that injuries on natural grass are more severe than those on artificial surfaces.  There were 130 substantial injuries (that required players to take 1-3 weeks off).  These were twice as common on natural grass.

The research was extremely comprehensive.  Many variables were taken into account to reach the conclusion including player position, injury grade field conditions and temperatures, cleat design and turf age.  Despite this, experts believe it’s only one part of the puzzle.  In women’s college soccer, on this particular surface, the evidence is irrefutable, but this doesn’t mean we should make general assumptions.

A similar study in 2006, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, analysed data from 10 men’s football clubs.  ‘The risk for injury when playing elite football on artificial turf versus natural grass,’ presented training and match injury data over a 2.5 year period.  They concluded that there was no significant difference, although incidents were slightly less for play on artificial turf.  The training average (per 100 hours) was 2.42 vs 2.94 injuries for turf and natural grass.  Match averages were 19.60 vs 21.48.

 

 

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Can a fake grass garden help hay fever symptoms?

Monday, October 14th, 2013

fake grass lawnHay fever is a pollen allergy.  The reaction irritates the nose, eyes, throat and sinuses.  Symptoms vary in severity, from sneezing and itchy eyes to facial pain and shortness of breath.   As many as 1 in 5 people will suffer from it at some point in their lives.

There are around 30 different types of pollen you can be allergic to.  The most common varieties are grass, weed, and tree pollen.  In the UK, 90% of hay fever sufferers are allergic to pollen from grass.  This is released into the air between the months of May and August, turning summer into a long, miserable season of cold-flu type discomfort.

Can a fake grass garden can reduce hay fever?  Well…first, it’s important to note there are no empirical studies to suggest those with an artificial garden are less afflicted.  However, it stands to reason that if there’s less pollen surrounding your home, and less getting into the house, you should feel a little better.

Firstly, cutting the grass is the worst thing you can do to stir up pollen.  When it’s released into the air, it sticks to people and clothing, which then ends up coming into the house.  With an artificial lawn, this won’t happen as you’ll never need to mow.

If you have children with hay fever, you may have a strict ban on outdoor play in the summer, as it exasperates their symptoms.  With fake grass, you might find they’re OK to play without feeling the effects.

The NHS advises you to keep pets outside to stop them bringing pollen into the house, and not to dry washing outside as it gets on your clothes.  While you can never prevent pollen 100%, at least if your dog has been rolling round on the grass, he won’t be covered in the stuff.

 

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Rabbit problems and artificial lawns

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

artificial lawns rabbitsLast week we wrote about artificial lawns as a solution to fox problems.  We had a question from a reader who wondered whether it would deter rabbits too.  The answer is yes, artificial grass will certainly stop rabbits from digging up your garden.

In Britain, wild rabbits cause an estimated £100 million pounds worth of crop damage every year.  And it’s not just farmers that suffer, they to love to dig, especially in the short grass found in gardens.  They can’t help it, it’s a natural instinct.  Contrary to popular belief, rabbits are not necessarily trying to burrow, sometimes they’re in search of tasty young shoots.

What can you do about it?  Well, you could try an animal repellent (pellets or spray).  Another option is a motion-activated sprinkler device.  Many people choose to install an artificial lawn to solve the problem for good.  Of course, it won’t stop them eating from your vegetable patch, but they’ll not be able to dig any more holes.  Artificial grass has lots of other benefits, giving you an immaculate, lush green lawn all year round.

If you keep pet rabbits, you’ll have the same problem, digging is one of their favourite pastimes.  A great way to prevent pet rabbits from digging your lawn is to give them a substitute, a sand pit or large plant pot filled with soil should do the trick.  Or, you could  install an artificial lawn – it’s safe for all types of pets.  The best thing is, the mess is easy to clean up, without any stains to your grass.  The picture is an artificial grass lawn we installed for a bunny owner in Essex.

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