The History of Artificial Grass for Landscaping

December 02, 2021

The history and evolution of artificial grass for landscaping are owed to sports turf – its predecessor. Synthetic turf has come a long way since the 1960s introduced the first artificial fields.

Now, a technically advanced surface for each sport is designed in order to give uniformity in performance for that particular sport. Artificial grass has also made its way into the landscaping industry for residential and commercial projects.


The History of Artificial Grass for Sports

The entire industry dedicated to synthetic grass production started in the 1950s as a solution to help improve inner-city youth’s physical fitness.

Artificial turf was installed in 1964 on a recreation area at the Moses Brown School in Providence, Rhode Island. That said, the first large artificial grass project became known to the public just a few years later, in 1966, when artificial grass was installed in the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. Following Astrodome’s runaway success, synthetic grass was showing up in other stadiums and schools becoming a staple of their athletics programs all across the United States and Canada.

During the 1970s, the synthetic grass industry followed the shag carpet trend and introduced “shag turf.” Offering longer grass blades created from a more supple polypropylene material makes them comfortable and attractive looking.

By its third generation in the 1990s, grass fibers featured a much more supple polyethylene blade—which is the turf you’ll find on any commercial, residential, or sports landscape today.


The History of Artificial Grass for Landscaping

Synthetic grass was primarily focused on the sports industry for over 20 years. But then, in the early 1990s, installation of synthetic turf in the dry, drought-prone Western United States gained more and more popularity.

The trend has been driven by the vast improvement of the variety and quality of synthetic turfs available, along with the reduced cost to maintain compared to organic grass. Because synthetic lawns can be a major water conservation measure in locations where water usage is of concern, more and more commercial building managers see the advantages of artificial turf.


Where to Use Artificial Grass

Though short, the history of synthetic lawns certainly isn’t lacking in creativity. Since you won’t have to be concerned with sunlight, watering, or fertilizing artificial grass, turf is tailor-made for areas where traditional grass will not grow well.

Popular places for synthetic grass are:

  • Difficult slopes
  • Patio areas
  • High foot traffic areas
  • Hotels
  • Office buildings
  • Airports
  • Pool areas
  • Rooftops
  • Backyards

The great thing about artificial grass is how creative you can get with it. Options in colors, pile heights, and shapes let you have a fresh look. Incorporating steppingstones, concrete slabs, and other designs within the turf are possible, too. The sky’s the limit!


Natural Lawn Costs vs. Synthetic Lawn Costs

The history of artificial lawns might be short but it is absolutely more cost-effective than traditional lawns. Making the change from traditional grass to artificial turf will give you the chance to control your landscaping budget.

Conventional lawn maintenance needs frequent mowing, watering, fertilizing, seeding, pest control… the list goes on. If you have pets accessing the grass on your property, you are probably very familiar with the dead spots where Fido relieves himself, too.

Even if you do the maintenance work yourself, you’re going to spend precious minutes away from the other things you could be doing instead—like spending more time with friends and family or enjoying your hobbies more.

Look at the chart below to figure out just how fast you’ll experience a return on your investment by installing synthetic landscaping.

Shawgrass Lifecycle Cost Analysis

The Shawgrass Advantage

Shawgrass products are designed and developed by the same research and development team that make the industry leading athletic fields created by Shaw Sports Turf. Shawgrass products are made to provide the look of natural grass with the performance characteristics that deliver ,maximum durability.

If you want to see and feel this grass for yourself, you can call us at 303-921-6659 or contact Go Turf today.