Sorry to disappoint you, but this post really doesn’t have anything to do with surfing, seafood, or eating anything for that matter. It was simply just a way for me to make you think,”What does Gavin know about seafood, and why would he be posting about this on his website?”…”He’s into dirt! I wonder what this is all about…” Gotcha! This post is about a unique artificial turf project that we recently completed around an in-ground swimming pool in Elizabethtown, PA.We actually received this project from one of our Lawn Care clients who wanted to fix some problems around their pool and do something different!
Here is what we were working with:
- Our client had this pool built about 15 years ago and hasn’t changed the landscaping much since then.
- Decorative 3/4″ river gravel was applied around the pool and eventually caused problems such as; weed growth through the original weed barrier, and a hard surface for children to walk & play on.
- A large amount of fence posts to work around.
- Uneven existing pavers along the patio border.
So, as you can see, we started by removing the existing pavers which went around about 1/2 of the pool perimeter. Then, since the existing stone level was lower than our final surface, we needed to add more aggregate base.
We used 2A Modified limestone because:
- It is angular, unlike the round river gravel, which allows it to lock together and become compact.
- It will compact well, which will make a smooth surface and keep the aggregate base from shifting.
- 2A modified stone includes small “fines” and large aggregates, which creates better stabilization.
The top of our Aggregate Base should be level with our Final Grade (the top surface of our existing curb or edging). We do this because when you step off of the hard surface to the turf, the turf will temporarily flatten with your foot and you will be stepping on the top of your aggregate base level. If the top of the aggregate base was lower, or higher, you could roll your ankle.
Next, we graded the aggregate base stone and compacted it with a plate compact. Achieving a high Proctor Density is not as important with this project as it would be with a Patio, Walkway, or other hardscape installation, because it is not bearing a heavy load.
After our base installation was complete, it was time to bring in the TURF! Now, this was no simple task…
Coming all the way from Greensboro, North Carolina… This dense roll of turf measuring 15′ wide by 60′ long with a 1 3/4″ pile height, weighing in at 92 oz. per square yard…. For a total of 1,200+ pounds… *crowd cheers* ‘Taaacomaaaaa’!
That’s right. The variety of turf we selected was ‘Tacoma’. It was the most dense of the varieties form the Synthetic Grass Warehouse, where we ordered our materials from.
‘Tacoma’ contains olive green and dark forest green colored blades, giving it a very rich green look. Compared to the winter lawn this time of year, it is very green! These turf products even contain “thatch” material that is supposed to mimic the look of natural grass. Thatch is dead and decomposing grass blades that remain near the soil surface, within the turfgrass in a lawn.
Next, we measured an approximate space that needed covered, cut a section of the roll off and put it in place. From there, we had to shift it around, cut slits around the fence posts and move it in place.
All of the pieces needed to face the same way. Since the blades are smashed down and laying one direction from being in a heavy roll, it is like real grass and you can notice a color difference when sections would be facing a different way. This made it challenging for us when we needed to wrap the turf around the pool with all of the curves!
From there, we cut all of the edges, place 60d x 6″ long galvanized nails ever 8″ at the seams and 24″ apart in the center of the pieces.
To ‘fluff up’ the turf, we added a product called, Durafill. It is infill, tiny green beads which we spread evenly into the turf at 1.5 pounds of product/square foot. This product falls down into the bottom of the turf and causes it to stand more upright and remain rigid after being compressed.
You may think,”This grass stuff is so 80’s! That looks like something I’ve seen on my grandma’s porch!”
Well, this could be true. But, for this homeowner, they now have a more aesthetically pleasing pool area that is chemically and physically safe for children and pets to be around. They are also able to maximize more seating space with their lounge chairs.
I can see this becoming more useful and popular around pool areas like this, or for areas where a Golf Green is desired. You ask for it, we’ll bring it! For more information on these turf products, feel free to visit the Synthetic Grass Warehouse website.