What an awful end to summer here in Northern California! So many horrendous fires, and now so many people dealing with the aftermath, trying to rebuild homes, businesses, and lives.
These fires were exceptionally hot and swift, but they also left behind smoldering, lingering hot spots in places. Whether your property was wholly or partially destroyed, there will be a lot more destruction ahead, as debris is hauled away and preparations are made to rebuild, not to mention the process of new construction itself.
Any landscaping that managed to survive may still have to be removed anyway, so you’re essentially starting with a blank slate. Within all of this heartbreak, there is a new beginning emerging – an opportunity to design a new yard to fit your new home. Even if you rebuild to closely match your beloved original house or business, you can improve the yard.
The time is right for artificial turf
Artificial grass offers so many more choices than natural grass when it comes to location, size, and shape. Beyond its vast design versatility, however, is an even more pertinent benefit for fire victims. It “grows” anywhere, without regard to soil conditions.
Fire damages soil as well as plants and structures
Soil is complex, composed of many inorganic compounds and living organisms. Fire – especially when it produces intense heat – affects the soil’s chemistry and its ability to support life. It can reduce the range and volume of nutrients, which affects remaining plant roots. It can kill essential microbes, and it disrupts habitat and food availability for microinvertebrates such as mites and macroinvertebrates such as beetles and earthworms.
Fire can also alter the physical characteristics of the soil, leaving it more vulnerable to erosion from wind and water, especially when ground covering plants are burned off. Remaining soil is less able to filter or retain moisture, making it harder for the sub-surface ecosystem to recover quickly. Scientists say the best solution is to replace ground cover as soon as possible.
But growing a new lawn in compromised soil is an uphill battle, perhaps a hopeless one. And right now you have so many other things to worry about.
Go faux and get instant gratification
After all the discouraging negatives, excitement is now building as you watch your new home take shape. Unfortunately, you’ll still have to wait (perhaps years) for new trees and shrubs to fill in. But you can have stunning gorgeous grass that provides the look and feel of home again, immediately, if you install artificial turf instead of attempting a new natural lawn.
Artificial turf won’t care whether your soil was damaged or not. And once it’s in place, it will go to work protecting your land, thanks to reliably consistent, superior drainage that directs rainfall or other moisture down into the soil. No wasteful runoff, no harmful erosion.
You can start enjoying it to its fullest right away. It’s not only beautiful, it’s non-toxic and allergen-free, perfect for romping with the kids and dog. You’ll never have to replace your lawn mower or all those other lawn maintenance tools and supplies you lost in the fire. And you’ll never have to pay the high cost of watering your lawn again.
A while back we published a blog about the 10 best gardening books to read during the summer. Why wait? You can starting planning your new artificial turf lawn right now, and use the winter to plan the replacement plantings that will surround it later on. Beautiful new beginnings, in so many ways.