Many people replacing their grass with artificial turf

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The hot and dry weather around BC has many people in the Lower Mainland considering grass alternatives.

Current restrictions limit people to watering their lawns once a week; everywhere you look, grass is turning brown.

“In the last month, the inflow of requests and the phone ringing due to the lack of rainfall have increased quite a bit. We get two to three calls into the office on a daily basis. It’s quite significant, the amount of people that are trying to educate themselves on the product,” says Scott McCartney, who owns Precision Greens in Langley.

The company sells artificial turf for between $8 and $12 per square foot. The average yard is around 1,000 square feet.

Interest started to grow a few years ago with the development of the invasive Chafer Beetle. The hot weather last summer really jump-started sales.

And while McCartney says they’re doing more residential yards, home owners aren’t the only people calling.

“We’re doing a lot of condos,” he tells us. “We’ve been doing lots of boulevards in Downtown Vancouver in front of a lot the buildings down there. [With the] lack of water, [artificial turf is] definitely a good application down there. And we’re doing a lot of common areas in condominiums and big strata complexes and that sort of thing.”

Once it’s installed, there’s not much else that needs to be done.

“It’s virtually maintenance-free. If you have a rake or push broom or a leaf blower, just keep the tree debris off, especially heading into the winter months,” says McCartney.

He notes artificial turf is completely pet-safe, as it does not absorb moisture.

Landon Voth is among the converts, installing recycled sports turf in his North Vancouver backyard as a DIY project last year.

“There are number of reasons why I did it,” he tells NEWS 1130. “One of the big benefits is I don’t have to cut the lawn; it’s perfect every day.”

There is also no need for fertilizing or treating for weeds or moss.

“It was always a question… Do I kill the moss and keep the grass or kill the grass and keep the moss? In the end, my dog had dug up the grass and it had turned into a mud pit,” Voth chuckles. “I was looking at alternatives and artificial turf was very attractive for me.”

As the dry spell drags on for the South Coast, Voth also appreciates the fact he doesn’t have to turn on a sprinkler to maintain some of the greenest grass in the neighbourhood.

“Absolutely! My front lawn is still grass but I’m not watering it so it’s brown at the moment,” he laughs, while enjoying his much lusher-looking back yard.

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