Demand for artificial turf on the rise

Demand for artifical turf rises

CHICO, Calif. - A growing trend is emerging as homeowners are buying artificial turf to replace their lawns to save water.

Governor Jerry Brown has asked Californians to cut back on their water by 20 percent, but at the same time most want their yards to be healthy and vibrant.

Landscape companies in Chico said a square foot of fake grass will cost $10 and can save money in the long run.

"It stays looking good," said artificial turf user, John Mull

Mull opened up a barber shop when he first bought a place off Park Avenue in 1979

"I've been cutting hair for 47 years," he said.

Mull is very adamant about saving water while keeping the storefront appealing to his customers.

"I use a lot of rock off Kiefer Road," he added. "I really just landscape the front with a lot of rocks.

Once the drought hit a few years ago he saw his grass starting to fade away. He decided to put the fake stuff in two years ago.

"It's like putting carpet into your home," he explained.

Mull now stops by twice a week at the shop to water the other forty plants.

"This landscaping doesn't use that much water," he said. "That's a good thing."

Landscape experts said a gallon of water a week for a square foot of grass is needed to survive. Someone with artificial turf can save up to $1,500 a year in maintenance plus the fake grass stays green for 20 years according to landscape experts.

"Your fake grass or your turf is less expensive than having real grass," Billy Woodward, owner of Woodward Landscaping.

Woodward said he's received a 40 percent jump in calls at his company for artificial turf.

"You're cutting your water consumption down to almost nothing; maybe as much as a bathtub a week," he said.

"People don't want to have brown lawns," added Mull. "I mean, look at LA they spray paint their lawns. This is a little better than spray paint."

Woodward said it is expensive to buy artificial turf but with the money you'll be saving from maintenance and water it'll start paying off in a couple of years.

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