AstroTurf was patented by the Monsanto Company in 1965---though it was invented much earlier---and was originally sold under the name ChemGrass. It was called AstroTurf after its first major use at the Houston Astrodome (which is how it got its name). Today AstroTurf is still producing a variety of artificial grasses, with varying types of bases and drainage systems, depending on the lawns purpose. FieldTurf and Water Wise are two other synthetic grass brands that regularly compete with AstroTurf for business from sports teams, golf courses and private residences.
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While Water Wise and FieldTurf grasses consist of polythene, which is a tough, environmentally friendly, non-toxic, non-flammable plastic, AstroTurf's grasses are mostly nylon-based. The fill for all artificial grasses consists of either silica sand or recycled rubber. However, Water Wise features a unique drainage system built into the fill.
AstroTurf has a life expectancy of 10 years, while other synthetic grasses will last 12 to 25 years. This longevity is important when you consider that the initial investment into synthetic lawns is much more financially straining than natural grass lawns.
Because AstroTurf has been around since the 1960s, the company has had time to experiment with a variety of artificial-grass types and currently offers the biggest selection of faux grasses on the market. From GameDay Grass, PureGrass and AstroTurf 12, to the residential SynLawn grasses (featuring a soy backing), AstroTurf strives to invent new grasses that cater to specific needs. Water Wise features three varieties: NextGeneration Short, Perennial Rye and California Hybrid, while FieldTurf sells only one type of grass, with the same name.
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