May 27, 2024
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May 27, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

In general, most people don’t see the draw of artificial grass, other than the obvious appeal of outdoor carpeting. If you’re living somewhere where you can swing a lawn, why wouldn’t you want real plants?

Though maybe it would be good for inside your home. Particularly if you’re looking for a carpet that you can rub your feet on and it won’t shock you. And that you don’t have to vacuum very often.

(“What?! It’s supposed to have dirt in it!”)

It would also make a decent carpet for your sukkah.

Yet a lot of people get fake grass, because there are numerous benefits, according to fake grass salesmen. For example, you don’t have to keep mowing it and dealing with weeds. There are no fake weeds.

Also, fake grass is green!

No kidding.

Very funny. Proponents of fake grass say that because it doesn’t need water, fertilizer or mowing, it’s good for the environment, such as the grass and trees and such.

Wait. So not having grass is good for the grass? Also, doesn’t real grass produce oxygen?

There are definitely situations where it makes sense to get fake grass. For example, it’s great if you have a rooftop garden and don’t want to keep schlepping the hose up there.

It also might make sense to get fake grass if you have a skinny strip of land that you can’t mow.

That was our reason. My wife and I recently built a retaining wall between our property and the neighbor’s, because his property is two feet higher and we didn’t want it to fall into ours—particularly the new fence he’d decided to build right before that, between nine and 20 inches from the property line. (This isn’t an estimate; his fence is crooked. Part of it’s nine and part of it’s 20.)

So now we have a thin patch of land between the bottom of our neighbor’s fence and the top of our wall that is technically his property, but that there’s no way he’s going to take care of until whatever grows there comes above his seven-foot fence. So it’s really our problem. It’s too narrow to get a mower up there and too wide to bother with a weed whacker, which we don’t want to buy just to cut what is technically not our grass.

So we’re giving him fake grass. We’re not fake grass people, but it’s not our property, so…

It’s not even for aesthetic purposes. We’re just trying to put down something to keep grass from growing there. So the logical thing to do is put down something that looks like grass. That way, the grass will say, “Never mind. There already is grass.”

We’re fooling the grass.

The other reason we went with fake grass is that they say that it comes out cheaper than real grass, unless you hire people to install it for you. So you might want to install it yourself. What’s the worst that’ll happen if you mess up? Real grass will grow underneath it?

In fact, you can even buy fake grass second hand, which isn’t really something you can do with traditional grass. Plus you can take it with you when you move.

“What’s in the suitcase?”

“Grass.”

“You’re under arrest.”

But if you go with fake grass, you have to know what you’re doing. According to experts, you can’t just slap a patch of fake grass onto your property like we did. For example, one thing you’re supposed to do is compact the dirt underneath and put down a layer of crushed rocks to make it more stable. We’d already blown our budget on this guy’s lawn with the fake grass alone, plus the cloth my wife bought to put underneath it to prevent weed growth, plus the staples we had to buy because you don’t want your lawn to catch a moderate wind and blow around the neighborhood. You want there to be staples sticking out when it does that.

We are weighing it down a little. We’re getting some potted plants, and we have an animal trap, because we occasionally have groundhogs coming up through our lawn, trying to eat our garden. So what happens if the groundhogs try to pop out of the ground where there’s fake grass? Will they come up straight through the carpet, or will the grass suddenly pop up one day and we’ll have a lump moving around until we whap it with a mallet?

Also, from what I hear, “If you have fake grass, you occasionally have to clean off spills such as coffee, ink, wine, lipstick and blood.”

Um, if you have blood on your lawn, you might have bigger problems than cleaning your grass. You might want to call Hatzalah first.

That said, most people advise that you rinse your grass once a week. Which means you’re not saving a ton of water, plus you’re probably using dish soap. You’re also supposed to rake the carpet periodically, or use some kind of carpet sweeper. So you no longer have to be one of those people who are crazy for watering their lawn after storms, but you do occasionally have to go out and vacuum the lawn.

There were two reels of grass available, so we picked the cheaper one. The more expensive one had taller grass, which I guess is supposed to hide the staples better so no one asks you why your lawn is stapled in.

“What? I didn’t hear you. I had the vacuum running.”

Maybe you’re supposed to put in the shorter lawn, and then once in a while, you sneak out in middle of the night and put in the taller one, and everyone’s like, “It must be real! Look how much it grew overnight!” And then you get a ticket.


Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia and other magazines. He has also published seven books and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected].

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