Dear PoPville: AstroTurf Lawns – Awesome or Awful?

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“Dear PoPville,

Check out this beautifully restored home in Logan Circle. it was under renovation for well over a year. Finally, they started landscaping…only to cover their huge yard in AstroTurf.”

91 Comment

  • AWESOME!!!

    • Wow, this looks horrible. If this is the true cost of freedom, I am not sure it is worth it. You can already see the poo!

  • It’s very Vegas and trashy. I like it, but that’s cause I’m middle class.

    • There is not a middle class in DC.

      • thats not remotely true.

        • Yeah you’re right, they just have to live in hostels with 8 roommates. Middle class thrives in DC!

          • How do you define middle class?

          • The problem with talking about “middle class” is that people have a prejudice of what that should look like and what lifestyle that should be. And more times than not, that’s based on a suburban model of home and land ownership and not an urban model.
            I think pegging the differences in economic classes at 33% for lower 33% for middle and 33% for upper is a fair metric.

      • 33% of households in dc make between 35,000, and 99,000.
        That’s the range of middle class in dc.

        • My numbers came from the 2010 census, btw. Poverty in dc has increased since then, but I’m not certain if means have been counteract by gentrification. The middle earners might have remained the same, but I don’t have those numbers.

  • I like it. I think they have a Dog so that is good too

  • I guess if its done really really well and doesn’t look like plastic it might be a good idea. Maintaing grass/sod is very hard to do and my grass dies every couple off years and I have to spend about $600 on new sod. Plus with a femal dog, her pee pools up and eats my grass away, but not sure how astro turf is a good idea for a dog seems like the pee would settle and start smell?

  • This is incredibly lame.

  • They could open up a putt putt course.

  • very very sad.

  • saf

    When we bought our house, easily half of our neighbors had astroturf covered porches. While I miss many of the older folks, I do not miss the astroturf.

    • I like the astroturf stairs (and the fake flowers “planted” as if they were real), maybe because I associate them with sweet older people. I wouldn’t want to see it on every house, but I like to have some mixed in with the more tasteful decor.

      A whole yard of astroturf, on the other hand…

  • Maybe it’s temporary.

  • Looks more like Field Turf than AstroTurf to me. Both are fake but there is a huge difference in how they look and how the handle the weather. If it is field turf than any rain, dog pee, would filter through the plastic “grass” and rubber”soil” into the actual soil below instead of puddling on top.

  • I say you buy property do what makes you happy. If someone wants to donate time and money toward professional landscaping then go for it. Otherwise, you stay on your lawn and let them stay on their astroturf.

  • I feel like the first time the dog poop gets rained/melted into that turf because it was left out for a couple days this spring, the whole idea will have literally gone to $h!t. Not a fan of plasticizing a huge potential green space like that.

  • At least from a distance this looks like it could be rolled-out sod that already had grass.

    A house across the street from me has Astroturf on the front porch and the steps leading up to the front porch. Ver-r-r-y tacky.

  • I strongly considered installing artificial turf since I have dogs and they destroy any grass I attempt to grow (NOT astroturf- they have pretty realistic looking alternatives these days). However, I just couldn’t do it. No matter how realistic it looks, it’s still plastic grass and thus will always be somewhat tacky.

    • I guess I’ll have to stop being so lazy and actually take the dog for a walk every time, vs just opening back door and let her handle her biz…But then it kills the grass on the sidewalks or neighbors front yards…Lose-Lose I guess.

      • Yeah, kill your own grass, not my shrubs, please.

      • Pretty much! I’m going to try planting some lawn alternatives this year and see if it holds up any better than grass (like blue star creeper or something of the like). Right now my back yard is just a giant mud hole.

  • “Trailer park chic” has arrived in DC.

  • That’s field turf, which is at least significantly more realistic looking that “AstroTurf” which looks like carpet.

    The field across from Wonderland is fake grass and it doesn’t look terrible. Not sure how I feel about it for a residence, though.

  • as anyone who has walked by the house knows, they have an extremely badly behaved dog (their fault, not his) who runs back and forth barking constantly at anyone who walks by, so the astroturf will stand up better to his audible assault and back and forth barking runs. I actually don’t think you can tell the diff between high quality AT and grass

  • This is not astro turf. If every other lawn wasn’t brown right now, few would notice this was artificial lawn

  • I did see something kinda like this in a landscaping company brochure once – not saying this is the same stuff, but the stuff in the brochure was a green astroturf-like product that has grass seed embedded in the matting. Once it sprouted, you mowed it just like any other grass, and it mostly covered the astroturf-like stuff underneath, but it was supposed to keep your lawn looking green even in the wintertime when a lot of lawns get patchy brown spots (as, at least in theory, if your real grass died back, it would expose the green stuff underneath it).

    If that’s what this is, I’ll be keeping an eye on this corner to see how well it works. If it’s just real astroturf, I’d highly support a putt-putt themed flash mob on weekends at this spot and think it would be hilarious.

  • beautiful, fantastic renovation and addition !! who cares about the grass?

  • Figured I’d let you crucify me in (digital) person–I am the owner. To be honest, I don’t love the idea of fake grass either and this was a difficult decision. But the fact is, with the heavy tree cover over the front yard AND the dogs, it was impossible to grow decent grass. We forked over more than $8K for this SynLawn, which is top-of-the-line and specially made to look real(ish) and stand up to dogs. We will be doing some great landscaping in the planting beds all around the “turf” in the coming weeks, so there will be plenty of actual, living greenery soon. Trust me, I share many of the negative sentiments expressed here, but I am sick of muddy paw prints and human tracks on our hardwood floors and in the long run, I believe this will be a big, big improvement over the previous “lawn.” While I actually found most of the snarky comments here amusing, I would just request a little benefit of the doubt… We have devoted considerable expense and attention to detail on the renovation and would appreciate it if folks would give us a bit of a chance to complete the project. Then you can post all the snark you want… (Although nasty comments about Scout are NOT appreciated… and with three dogs, it’s hard to clean up after each time, although we are doing a pass or two a day… I know that some of you demand perfection, however, which I will never be able to fulfill.)

    • I’ve been following your reno and love the color choices for the paint. Would you be kind enough to share the brand and color names?

      • Thanks–glad you like the colors! Benjamin Moore Waynesboro Taupe, BM Navajo White and the red trim is a Fine Paints of Europe oil-based paint with a custom match of the red I wanted.

        • Thank you. I guess it would be wrong to have a twin paint job two blocks away so would you mind picking out colors for mine? Some of us are color challenged.

    • neighbor from the next block down here — also like what youve done with the house and love your dogs. keep it real!

      • Thanks–appreciate it. Stop by and say hello sometime when I’m out with my vicious, lunging dogs!

        • I run by this house at least twice a week, and have never, ever been lunged at by the dogs. Love the rennovation, and look forward to seeing the finished landscape. I’m sure whatever else you plant will make the “grass” look more normal. :)

    • I TOTALLY understand being sick of muddy paw prints. I know I sure am. I’ll be very interested to see the finished project and hear about how it ends up holding up to the dogs.

      Probably can’t justify this expense at my house since we have so many things we want to do with the interior, but if it works for you, then I’d tend to agree it’s vastly superior to a muddy sink hole!

    • You have done a gorgeous job on that renovation. My husband and I often walk by it and admire it. I haven’t noticed the grass yet, so either it’s very new or it’s really not that bad!

  • It’s actually called Synlawn and it’s super expensive $$$$. Obviously, they’re not done and you can see that there will be plantings along the perimeter as well as flower beds. I always find these sites so amusing. Pretty sure over 95% of you live in some mass American (Marshall’s anyone?) pit of shit that just oozes lack of creativity. I, for one, think this is brilliant and can’t wait to see how they finish it up.

    • This line of thinking reminds me of people who object to “no jeans” dress codes at clubs on the grounds of “But they’re EXPENSIVE DESIGNER jeans!”

    • The house itself looks beautiful w/ the windows, exterior color and luv the wrought iron fencing. It looks like a work in progress-bet the end result once the shrubbery overlaps the edges of the lawn will look amazing and all the haters will be regretting their comments.

    • What’s the matter with Marshall’s? Is there something wrong with Marshall’s now? I mean, every time I make it to the Columbia Heights Marshall’s, I really appreciate the improved selection over the humble Hechinger Mall Ross, especially in the bath mat department.

      What store can I shop at to prove my creativity while still getting the best bang for my Marshall’s-level-budget buck? Is Ikea okay?

  • There’s really no reason for astroturf to be green. I was thinking about having my lawn done in red astroturf. It would look nice with a white picket fence, I think.

  • They spent a ton of money remodeling that home and the lawn looks like something from a trailer park. All it needs are the old car tires for flower pots.

  • I walked by and immediately thought it looked like regular old astroturf. Perhaps it will look more natural with the surrounding landscape finished. I’m familiar with residential use of fake grass in Arizona and have seen some pleasing realistic kinds. This particular example doesn’t look real to me.

  • all of you complaining about this make me very very thankful that i live in DC and don’t have an HOA.

  • If it’s good enough for the Brady Bunch, it’s good enough for me.

    • Agree. Was going to say this is actually a very eco-friendly option.

      And of course it looks weird now since they haven’t finished the landscaping but I bet you won’t notice the difference, other than wondering how they keep their lawn so green, once they fill in the rest of the yard.

    • Plastic lawns are worse….they just shoot stormwater off into the streets and cause combined sewer overflows….more raw sewage in people’s basements and in rock creek. Just look at what Bloomingdale’s fecal flooding events…this is how individual impervious surfaces can impact their downstream neighbors. Plant some deep rooted native plants, keep the dogs fenced out for a while, then let em roam once the plants are established….they will be much more durable than grass and will keep raw sewage out of your neighbor’s basement…..

  • Good lord people. It’s clearly not finished! The same product is installed outside of the Dupont Circle hotel and no one even notices it’s fake. Once all of the landscaping is in I bet it will blend in and look natural. The Owner has clearly demonstrated that she has good taste so I’m sure it will all come together in the end.

  • If it looks good enough for the owner, great! If it doesn’t turn out, you could always consider landscaping without a lawn, i.e., putting in shade-tolerant shrubs and herbaceous plants. That’s what we have in our front yard.

  • Not really getting the outrage–I think it looks fine. It looks weird at the edges right now, but I’m assuming from the big dirt patches that they’re not finished with their yard yet.

  • Awful. It looks even worst in person.

  • Good Lord, people – it looks fine! and it will not even be noticed ’cause the renovated house looks so nice….get a grip

    besides, it’s a toilet area for dogs……

  • Love it. When all the planting is finished they will end up with a nicely trimmed green area surrounded with shrubs, flowers, etc. Dogs will go on it, Dogs will easily see their dos so they will avoid stepping on it, owners can easily see and clean, urine will pass through, it can also be hosed to make it clean again. Perfect given that they own three Dogs.

  • pablo .raw

    Grass is always greener on your neighbor’s Astro Turf lawn :D

  • I think the only thing that’s tacky is going online to anonymously trash your neighbor. If her dogs are really causing problems, why don’t you just speak to her about it? If you don’t like her astroturf, well that’s tough nuts isn’t it?

  • I wish even a small percentage of my neighbors in 20009 would take as much time and care in renovating their properties. Hell, I’d be happy if they’d just do some basic maintenance. I saw this property when it was on the market and it looks like the owners have invested a lot. I’m sure the finished product will look great.

  • I live across the street I love the house now. Much more practical than grass since the dogs killed it pretty quick. If they dont like it they can do something else. Haha yall sound jealous. They are big improvement over the roomers that call the police when they saw me standing in my yard.

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