Turf vs. Grass for Athletic Fields

Turf vs. Grass for Athletic Fields


Grass has too many disadvantages nowadays for it to be a better investment than synthetic turf. Especially for athletic fields, some of the disadvantages range from injuries to weather to maintenance. For example, if a heavy rainstorm occurred or a drought lasted longer than expected, replanting grass costs too much time and money. The field becomes muddy when it rains and dry and patchy when it doesn’t. Consequently, the upkeep is a full-time job between watering, mowing and edging. That’s why so many teams and schools have switched over to synthetic turf; the maintenance is obsolete compared to grass.


For synthetic turf, the minimal maintenance includes brushing the field every so often to keep the blades in an upright, neutral position and the infill leveled out; sweeping for larger debris like leaves; and aerating to ensure the infill is not compacted. FieldTurf has its own draining system for sweat, dirt, water, etc. and keeps away the growth of bacteria simultaneously. The most important factor is the water conservation as it’s redundant to water the field. It can also sustain throughout any type of weather conditions.


Moreover, synthetic turf is uniform without potholes and uneven surfaces that grass has. Some studies have found that synthetic turf lessens these injuries (Sources: Idaho Press Tribune, FieldTurf). If we wanted to dig even deeper into the advantages, artificial grass is more appealing aesthetically too. All in all, the investment pays for itself. We can’t reiterate enough about the decreased upkeep and maintenance. From water conservation to minimal upkeep and to the advantages players gain from the improved field, grass has officially bit the dust.

Premature Matting

What is Premature Matting?

Synthetic turf is known for its minimal maintenance and long-lasting look and feel. However, a pesky little thing called “premature matting” can require additional maintenance if you allow it to occur. Premature matting is just like it sounds – the turf fibers become all matted up and are no longer in an upright position. This is caused from excessive weight for a significant amount of time or heavy foot traffic. To prevent premature matting, the first step is to know your landscape and ask yourself a few questions to figure out the optimal turf product for your needs.

How Do I Prevent It?

One important question is: “Is the turf going to be exposed to heavy foot traffic?” Are your kids going to be playing all day on it? Do you have pets? Are you putting furniture or other heavy objects on top? Or is it simply there to give a nice appeal to your yard?

If the answer is yes to a lot of foot traffic, then you probably want a textured or grooved fiber. The infill should also be a factor for heavy foot traffic like taking a mixture of 70% crumb rubber and 30% Durafill. If the area requires a lot of entering and exiting, then a hardscape installation may be a better way to go as well. This can be a series of stepping stones or pavers to create as much internal movement as possible.

What Else?

Another factor to take into consideration is if your kids will be playing on it. If this is the case, then a softer fiber usually is a better choice. You still want a textured fiber as well, but you can still have it soft to the touch. Additionally, heavy objects on the synthetic turf can cause premature matting. Weight allows fibers to lose their memory faster, especially if weight is present for extended amounts of time. Infill should be placed to the top of the fibers where the furniture is to be placed.

Remember, the most important question to ask yourself is what the turf will be used for. This will help Texas Custom Turf tremendously as we’ll be able to better serve your needs and offer a turf product that requires minimal maintenance.

What Turf Maintenance Really Means

No Mowing. No Watering. No Fertilizing.

Yard work is a tiresome chore, because a lot of upkeep is required to keep the lawn well manicured. The idea behind turf is maintenance shouldn’t be a worry anymore. Synthetic grass is built with an internal draining system, so liquids are able to filter through the surface without any kind of buildup. However, there are still a few steps you should take and be aware of – don’t worry it doesn’t require anywhere near the exertion from maintaining a regular yard.


1. Wash away debris

Solid objects such as leaves and debris can get stuck in the blades – sorry to say the absorption isn’t that powerful. It’s so easy to clean though, because all you need is a water hose. And if you’re one of those lucky guys that receives a bountiful of rainfall annually, that becomes turf’s (and your) best friend. If not, just hose down or use a leaf blower to rid of the solid objects.

Additionally, if you have pets, you want to pick up the solid waste and rinse the blades with water afterwards. Some people even resort to using a mild household detergent mixed with warm water to do the trick as well.


2. Brush it off

It’s also recommended to use a hard bristled brush to keep the turf blades in an upright position. Brushing turf helps keep any matting away and obtains the natural turf look and feel. Brushing is usually related to the amount of foot traffic the area receives – so more foot traffic means more brushing.  If you need to brush, make sure to use one with synthetic bristles – never use one with metal or wire.


3. Keep damaging liquids away

Liquids such as oil, grease and acidic solutions are damaging to synthetic turf. Turf can become discolored if the chemicals are exposed to it. However, synthetic grass contains a stain resistant surface, which nothing a little water and soap can’t fix.


4. No vehicles allowed

Try and refrain from parking your vehicles on the turf. Hot exhaust or anything that gives off a lot of heat should be kept away from the synthetic turf so it can maintain it’s look and feel.


Investing in turf is such a worthwhile decision, because it saves so much time, money and energy. If you’d like to know more reasons why, be sure to read our other blog “Why Is Artificial Turf a Good Investment?”.


Have any questions? Reach out to us!