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Is Fake Grass Ever a Good Idea?

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

When I was a kid, there was a house in my neighborhood with a nice big front yard and the greenest lawn you'd ever seen. So green, in fact, it seemed fake. So green, in fact, it was fake. The house belonged to an older couple, and apparently they'd gotten tired of taking care of a lawn and settled on an artificial grass solution. At the time I thought it was tacky, but at least it was good for a joke. Now, I think I might be coming around.

Is it possible to put in fake grass without winning the ribbon for tackiest house in town? Probably not. Is it still worth it sometimes? Definitely. Here are a few tips for mitigating the offense.
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  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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Limit Visibility

The smaller the area you fill in with artificial grass, the less tacky it'll be. If you have an area near your patio, near your garden, near your garage, etc. where you struggle to keep real grass but where you're not eager to see mud and weeds day in and day out, consider a patch of artificial grass. Don't count on it blending in, but consider it as the better of two evils. Furthermore, backyard fake grass will get you fewer snide comments than front yard fake grass.

Hold Your Head High

If you're going to put in artificial grass on the same scale as my childhood neighbors, do it proudly. It's your yard, and if you like it, that's enough. My neighbor put a golf hole in his fake lawn, complete with a yellow flag. He could be seen happily putting on a regular basis. That's the spirit! Lawn maintenance isn't for everyone, but neither are other lawn alternatives like rock gardens, wild flowers, or ground covers. If you want fake grass, roll it out and smile. And just think, none of your neighbors will ever be able to complain about weeds from your lawn spreading into theirs!

Artificial grass takes a rare breed to truly appreciate, but if you're the type, be bold and enjoy.

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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