The Essence of Tacky

We have an issue in my neighborhood with locusts.

Not the bugs.

The people that come from other states, buy a property, demolish the old house, and put up a ridiculous McMansion. We also have a developer issue, where these guys buy a property, build a stupid house, and hope to sell it. One that went up down the street was listed for $1.4M. It finally sold after nearly a year. I can’t imagine that the buyer paid that. Mostly because the car in the garage has Texas tags.

One never knows. Do one?

One of the houses that the busiest developer here built sported an AstroTurf side yard. I marveled at that. I can see why to some extent. An 8′ strip next to the house is nearly useless. In the shade it’ll no doubt grow nothing. Only being I’ve ever seen on it was a Pitbull. Must be fun to scoop dogshit off that stuff, I thought.

One day, I walked the dogs up a street by the park. This house, near the corner, is used as an office by the developer, I’m guessing. There’s an old dude with a black Porsche 911, Another with a Chevy SS (Looks like the Holden version), and a punk with a silver 911. The punk used to have a Chevy. What he does is blast around the neighborhood revving his motor. Hell, I even had the guy at Firestone up the street notice and complain when we talked.

They replaced the front lawn with AstroTurf.

I’ve heard about this from people I know in Las Vegas. Apparently it’s a thing there.

It looks weird and stupid. I hoped like hell my dogs would shit on it.

Then, walking into Home Depot, I saw this:

They had a board in the lobby hocking this.

This is stupid.

In North Texas, turf is not natural. The predominant grasses are St. Augustine and Bermuda, neither being native. Lately, I’ve seen people putting in zoysia variants, which look super nice.

That said, I have issues with fake turf.

First and foremost – it’s unnatural. There’s an ecosystem here. There are rabbits, squirrels, Coyotes, Bobcats. All will be shitting on that turf. And under it, another world entirely. Fire ants are a thing here. I can’t see how this turf helps that. Maybe a mound pops up – how do you deal with that? A Shop-Vac? worse yet, they can’t build a mound and you are standing there on your fake turf on top of a huge ant colony you have no idea that exists. Welcome to the pain train.

How many years does this last before the turf is super nasty? I’m guessing not long.

Second is the cost. I did a back-of-the-napkin calculation on what it would cost for me to do my lawn in AstroTurf – about $18K. And I don’t have a large lawn by any means. As a comparison, My neighbor in Plano had his lawn graded, fixed, sprinklers installed, and re-sodded with heat resistant turf for around $6K. For a fraction of the dough, you can go to High Country Gardens and buy plants that require zero effort.

BTW, It’s not all that tough. I fertilize, water, and mow my grass. For a small fee, I could have someone else do it. Hell, most in my neighborhood do.

The other interaction here is how the soil is maintained in order to ensure your foundation doesn’t crumble.

AstroTurf or not, you need to keep the soil around your building moist. Otherwise, the clay soil pulls away and when it rains, water erodes your foundation. What happens to the water with this turf? Keep in mind that there’s a balance here with plants and shrubs absorbing excess water. I can see where we have a gullywasher and the water rockets down the AstroTurf to the street.

I’ve really had a gut-full of these types that want a house with none of the work. FFS, they are starting to build stupid high end townhouses here. Buy one of them. Get the same space with no yard to deal with, only common areas.

I happen to like the local flora and fauna here, as well as the wildlife. It makes my heart sing to hear the cry of the hawks that live in the trees near my house and feed on the rodents that are so prolific here. No turf, no rabbits, no squirrels, no hawks. No bobcats or coyotes, which I happen to like. They are harmless for the most part and the fact they are here shows that nature is taking care of business.

Why screw with that? It’s an endearing part of living in North Texas.

It’s all so tiresome.