Photos: Courtesy of Harold Leidner Landscape Architects

We’re big fans of artificial turf here at CandysDirt.com, as it’s a water-wise way to have a lawn without all of the seasonal maintenance of turfgrass. However, some homeowners associations have outlawed artificial turf despite its many benefits. One reader writes:

I am an interior designer who worked on a residential project for about three years, and was involved in every aspect of the the design of the home. The home is in a gated community called [redacted]. We submitted the plans to the architectural committee through the builder when we began the project and they were approved. Nowhere in the CCRs did it say that we had to submit further landscape plans for approval. When we got to the landscape design, we wanted a minimal look to coordinate with the home. We are empty nesters and wanted as little maintenance as possible. As a result, we decided to go with a combination of artificial grass, charcoal gravel, and minimal natural plants in both the front and back landscaping. The artificial grass is of a high-end quality that makes it very hard to tell if it is natural or artificial. 

Needless to say, our HOA sent us a denial notification giving us no reason. There is nothing in the CCRs that says you cannot have artificial grass. We’ve hired a lawyer to handle this and have had no success. We even offered to remove the artificial grass on  just the narrow crescent that aligns the sidewalk and they would not accept that. 

We would greatly appreciate any advice you have on this subject. With the new technology in artificial grass, there is no question that it is the way to go! With Texas heat and watering restrictions, this is a wonderful option. I really want to be the person that gets the board members, who are not keeping up with the times, to make a change! 

We asked our most-trusted landscaping expert, Harold Leidner of Harold Leidner Landscape Architects, to weigh in on this obviously contentious issue:
 

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pet grass

Pet grass is an often-overlooked option for homeowners with four-legged friends, but it offers low maintenance, lower lifetime cost, a lush look year-round, and low water requirements, which is environmentally friendly. Photo: Synthetic Grass Pros

My eleven-pound Maltipoo has a knack for being naughty in the backyard the moment I’m not looking. Last year, she managed to dig a hole almost a foot deep in 20 minutes and was sitting in it, covered in dirt and ecstatic, when I went to check on her.

This story probably sounds familiar to dog owners everywhere, who regularly deal with muddy paws and destructive digging in their backyards. Add this to the ever-present North Texas issues of water restrictions, high maintenance in warm months, ugly brown grass in cold months, and grass allergies, and the yard becomes a pain-in-the-rear.

Enter pet grass, a synthetic alternative that eliminates all of those issues, and you have a beautiful solution.

“Conservation Grass is a terrific solution for pets in that it solves the problems of wear and muddy paws,” said Bryce Bartlett, Director of Sales for of Dallas-based Conservation Grass. “Our business has been growing consistently over the past couple of years as more and more homeowners are realizing the benefits that synthetic grass can provide.”

Pet grass used to have a host of problems, like poor drainage, rubber ingredients that absorbed odor, unrealistic all-green color, and too-short lifespan. But many modern applications have addressed those concerns.

“As with all synthetic grass applications, the base preparation is critical to ensure proper drainage and performance, but when selecting a synthetic pet grass, it is absolutely essential to be sure that the backing us permeable and that the blades are polypropylene,” Bartlett said. “This will ensure that there is no absorption in the grass that would cause odors from pet use. The permeability of our patented backing material allows water and urine to pass through, unlike other brands on the market, which use a black plastic or perforated backing that may trap and create odors.”

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