I just went to a conference for contractors and one of the speakers was Mr. Rick Villucci, who is the senior investigator for the state of California.  He works on cracking down on illegal contractors throughout the state.

The title of his speech was, “who are we letting in our homes“?

I have included a few videos for people to see, but it was a little scary to see who is out their posing as legitimate contractors but are far from legitimate.  During the stings many of the people who were caught were “wanted” for other crimes.

Part of Mr. Villucci’s speech was about the abuse of the elderly.  Taking advantage of our elderly while they are still living in their homes.  Some contractors even coerced elderly homeowners to give them money apart from the work they agreed to do.  Having a mother who still lives in her home and needs to have repairs done to her home form time to time this story really hit home.

If you have a chance, check out the videos and just be careful, Who you let in your home! VIEW VIDEOS

I have included an analyst sheet so people can review the actual cost comparison between real lawn and synthetic grass.  It seems like a 36 month time frame is needed to recoup one’s investment.  I believe that it is even shorter.

In last week’s blog, I stated the largest amount of water wasted is in the residential landscape. The average person and the majority of gardeners have little to no idea how much water to apply to their gardens.  It is obvious to all that the lawns are the highest consumer of water.  The landscape plants are minimal.  Some of our larger trees need deep watering (depending on the variety of tree, of course) but even in the middle of our hot summers the average planter does not need watering more than twice a week.  I cannot count how many times I have gone to a person’s home and look at how they have the irrigation controller set-up.  They have their plants being watered every day or every other day for 15 minutes.  This is on established plants!  In our clay soils this is way too much water.  Please note: I am generalizing to a degree but for the average established garden this is too much water.

If synthetic grass is installed and proper water is applied to the landscape plantings one can only imagine how much water is being saved and in turn how much money can be saved.

Download PDF – Typical Payback Analysis Natural vs. Synthetic Turf

Although it’s only the beginning of February, it already feels like March or April – what mild spring weather!  Hard to tell if we’ll get the rain required to keep us out of “the drought”, but if it does come this year it will be late.  The price of water in the Bay Area has steadily increased over the last few years with or without the required amount of rain. On the Peninsula we do not seem to have the same levels or “tiers” that the other counties have on the East Bay and South Bay.  But in San Mateo county the price of water has increased.

One thing is for certain – the biggest user of water in the Bay area is the residential garden. Sure, water can be conserved, but it will take a lot of education before that will happen.  The average person and even the average gardener does not test the soil to see how much water the landscape requires. More water is wasted keeping our grass green than any other use of water in the average SF Bay Area home.

Synthetic turf has become a huge market throughout the USA. The rise of synthetic turf has grown exponentially in CA. IT is said to grow in leaps and bounds over the next 10 years.  We just do not have the water to sustain the consumption required to keep lawns green. It is funny how we plant low water requiring plants, such as the natural grasses, California native plants and a variety of Australian plants but we still install thousands of square feet of sod each year.

In recent years we have installed more synthetic turf than natural grass. I used to be against the synthetic market for years but as the development of synthetic grass continues to improve I am becoming quite the advocate.  The synthetic turf is much easier to maintain and cuts down on water, chemicals and fertilizers.

Feel free to contact us via phone (650) 361-1414 to discuss any landscape projects we might be able to assist you with.