Drought gives synthetic lawn company a boost

FRESNO, Calif (KFSN) -- Many homeowners wonder if their lawns will stay green with two days of watering a week. The drought has given a boost to synthetic lawn companies.

Artificial turf has come a long way from the old astro-turf. It looks much more realistic now. The fake grass is rapidly becoming a much bigger part of the Valley's drought resistant landscape.

Three pounds of sand per square foot helps keep the turf in place. Southwest Greens president Mike Zamarripa said demand for the lawns has become so high the company needs to hire more people.

Zamarripa said, "First quarter we pretty much doubled in size as far as amount of jobs. We're pretty booked out right now but that's why we're hiring. We're trying to get to get jobs in sooner and faster for customers that are already on the schedule."

The company looks to add four more people who are willing to learn. Synthetic lawn experience is helpful.

The company also runs a nursery and landscape maintenance company. Homeowners have been looking for more drought tolerant plants but some just wanted a lawn that will stay green without water. Back in 2006 Mike bought a company that specialized in backyard putting greens.

Zamarripa said, "We actually did 10-15 putting lawns for every one synthetic lawn we did. Now with turf the way it looks and everything we're probably doing 30-50 lawns for every putting green."

More and more homeowners are rolling out the carpet. This synthetic turf costs between $6 to $9 per square foot installed. The cost of ripping out your lawn would cost an additional $.50 per square foot.

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