It is the playing surface of choice for high school and youth sports. No more rained out games, field maintenance, bad bumps on the field….apart from some nasty scrapes when you fall on it, what’s not to love?
That’s why we put sprint turf in our backyard, Brady Bunch style. You read that right, we have sprint turf in our backyard.
Here’s the back story.
We live in an area known as the livable forest. In keeping with the name our yard has huge trees which means our backyard is shaded pretty much everywhere, all the time.
I’m not real good with horticulture but this provides a difficult scenario to grow grass in. This shade problem also makes it difficult to read and lay out during naptime in the summer.
Grass in Texas isn’t safe anyways. There are fire ants….everywhere. There’s no freedom to roll around and frolic in a grassy field because you have to be on your guard ALL the time.
So my husband starting talking about putting turf down. At first it was a joke. Then we became Costco members and I’m pretty sure their marketing scheme is to change your life in some way every time you enter the store. Sometimes these are small changes like you get new tupperware but sometimes these are huge changes like you buy a new couch or turf for your lawn. They sell turf at Costco. This further solidified this turf lawn possibility in my husband’s mind.
But he didn’t buy that turf, because that turf costs money. You see, my husband doesn’t like to spend money. I’d say it’s possibly his least favorite thing to do.
Let’s fast forward to the week before winter break. My husband was picking up a student from a local high school and right before his eyes he saw rolls of old sprint turf piled up next to a dumpster. This was it. He had access to free turf. Mind you, if our local school district was willing to throw away this turf it had to be in really poor condition.
My husband has Fridays off so he informed me he was going to pick up the turf on that Friday. He has a habit of not realizing that school is in session or that people have work on these days. Thankfully I convinced him to get the turf on Saturday instead since the headline “Local Youth Pastor Arrested While Trespassing School Grounds and Dumpster Diving for Turf” probably wasn’t going to be the best career move.
The next dilemma was transporting the turf. We have a Minivan and a Prius. His attempts at procuring a pick-up truck were unsuccessful so he chose to use the Prius. After 8 or so trips he had attained enough turf for our yard and enough small pieces of tire to make his car impossible to resell.
Installing the turf went through the following steps:
1.He watched YouTube videos on how to lay down sprint turf.
2. He killed all of the grass that wasn’t living in our backyard.
3.He played a huge game of Tetris in our yard trying to get all of the turf pieces to fit together.
4.He waited a few weeks and talked about properly installing the turf.
5. He reminded me multiple times that he saved us $12,000 by attaining this turf. (Since there is no chance he would have ever spent that money I’m not sure this argument is valid.)
6. He recruited some friends to assist in laying down this turf.
7. We went on a date one night that consisted of a Middle school basketball game, dinner, and a trip to Lowe’s to get materials to lay down the turf.
8. He and his buddies installed most sections of the turf.
As ridiculous as the turf seemed it is kind of the best. We play outside all the time now. The kids don’t just play in dirt/mud anymore. Better yet, we don’t have to water our backyard if there is yet another drought this summer. It also NEVER has to get mowed.
However, if we ever try to sell our house there are going to be a lot of confused prospective buyers. At least our home would forever be etched in their minds “Oh yeah, that house with the turf?”
So if you find yourself in a grassless backyard my advice to you is to dumpster dive for turf, watch some youtube videos, and make your backyard a sports playing paradise.
**We do have dogs. The turf drains so pee doesn’t puddle and you pick up the poop then hose it down, you’re welcome.