Why Artificial Turf is NOT the answer

Far from being no maintenance, artificial turf grass needs maintenance on a regular basisSynthetic turf, or artificial grass, is what used to be called AstroTurf. Many ask us if this is a viable option for saving water in the landscape, and our answer is a resounding ‘NO’.

We do not recommended artificial turf as a water conservation tool for several reasons:

  • Artificial turf is installed over a highly compacted base of gravel and/or decomposed granite or concrete, so it’s permeability is at least as poor as regular compacted turf. We need our landscapes to hold on to water, so that our soil can filter and clean the pollutants, recharge our aquifers and lock up carbon from the atmosphere to help combat increasing levels of CO2.
  • The in-fill material of artificial turf is often rubber crumb made from recycled car tires. This off-gases and has been linked to increasing rates of cancer and other diseases for those who play on it regularly.
  • Artificial turf gets hot, contributing to the heat-island effect around the property. This could adversely affect surrounding plant material, increase the temperature and increase the amount of air conditioning used inside the building. Increased energy use is expensive to your wallet and the environment. In some cases, homeowners opt to hosing it down to get it to cool off enough for pets and children to play on it.
  • Often heralded as a no water, no maintenance solution for landscapes, artificial grass will happily support weeds if there is enough water in the surrounding area, and it does need to be regularly ‘washed’ since it gets dusty, and germs and bacteria make their home in it if its played on or animals use it as a bathroom.
  • Artificial Turf is a petroleum based plastic and we all understand that petroleum is a dwindling resource. Plants are not.
  • The life span of artificial turf is about 10-15 years, and may well be less in very sunny areas. What do we do with it then? We all know that plastic does not degrade so it will sit in a landfill for hundreds of years.

Our advice is that artificial turf grass has no place in the residential setting, and its place in the sports field and school settings should come under scrutiny in light of the increasing concerns. While looking at existing research please be aware of the considerable influence of large corporations with vested interests in selling their product.

G3 Professional Training Monterey Penninsula

AW-CALIFORNIA LOGOsmThanks to a grant from California American Water, G3 is able to offer this two day workshop to people living and working in Monterey, CA for a special all-in cost of $75.00. 

This is the first offering of the TWO DAY Core Concepts Workshop. All materials and food (organic breakfast, lunch and snacks) are included in registration fee.  This class is for YOU if you want to learn how to:

  • Remove grass without chemicals.
  • Reduce your landscape water use by 70% or more,
  • Build Living Soil that will hold water during the dry season,
  • Eliminate dry weather runoff,
  • Grade landscapes to capture stormwater,
  • Calculate and communicate the benefits of landscape renovations, and
  • Build your business with a group of like-minded professionals.

G3 WEPTCCW 081914smG3, Green Gardens Group, has trained more than 400 landscape professionals throughout California. We help you love the math and science behind conservation decisions so you can speak passionately to your clients and community about changing the way Monterey landscapes.

Our professional training boosts your Green Career and will get you up to speed on the “New Normal” in California Landscaping – The Watershed Wise Approach. Become part of this awesome two day workshop, sponsored by California American Water, and specially priced for people working and living in Monterey, CA.

MEarth LOGOsmOur venue is the beautiful and inspiring MEarth Green Building at the Hilton Bialek Habitat in Carmel, CA.  Come get motivated to change the Monterey Penninsula! Share this flyer: G3 Monterey Training Flyer with a friend, or get a group together to carpool.  REGISTER NOW

G3 Professional Training LA

Become a Qualified Trainer for G3. Last chance to register with a discount for the G3 Core Concepts and Communication Workshops June 14 & 25 in Los Angeles, CA. Los Angeles Community College District is hosting the workshops at their Van De Kamp Innovation Center in Silverlake, CA.  G3 CCW Flyer 062414  REGISTER NOW!

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G3 Trainer Imagines Beautiful San Diego Garden


Kudos to G3 Qualified Trainer, Kimberly Alexander, for her award-winning landscape display at the San Diego County Fair.  The garden was funded by San Diego Horticultural Society and the San Diego County Water Authority.  This garden shows people how they too can get a Watershed Wise landscape (known as a WaterSmart Garden in San Diego) by using permeable paving, capturing rainwater, directing downspouts into dry creek areas, planting with native and climate-appropriate plants, and building healthy Living Soil with mulch and worm castings.  The garden is functionally gorgeous, and that’s the future of California landscapes.  For more information about Kimberly, check out her biography on our WatershedWise Training website. 

Hawthorne Has A How Thanks To WBMWD

G3 leads another Hands on Workshop (HOW).  This time, it’s Hawthorne City Hall that gets the benefit of the expertise brought by G3 Qualified Trainers Marianne Simon and Tom Rau, assisted by G3 Certified Professional and activist for Surfrider Foundation, Steve Williams.  Community members, and staffers from the Los Angeles Conservation Corps pitch in and learn how to select, place and install CA native plants into the Ocean Friendly Garden.

For more information on Hands on Workshops, Click here to visit our website or email us at HOW@GreenGardensGroup.com.

Kids Learn HOW at Palos Verdes High School

Junior AP students from Palos Verdes High School learned HOW to select, place, and install CA native plants during a three-hour Hands on Workshop, led by G3 Qualified Trainers, Tom Rau and Marianne Simon.  The HOW was part of the experience of building an Ocean Friendly Demonstration Garden at PVHS.  The OFG was designed by G3 Certified Professional Tom Rau with irrigation design by Qualified Trainer John Tikotsky, and installed by Certified Professional, Tom Stout.  Funding for this one of a series of 10 demonstration projects was received from West Basin MWD, California Water Service, and Surfrider Foundation’s Ocean Friendly Gardens Program. Click here to learn more about HOWs or email us at HOW@GreenGardensGroup.com.