The Grass is Always Greener …..

6a01156fa075f4970c0133f3c53e2a970bWelshman Dylan Griffiths is the marketing manager of Tiger Turf, one of the largest manufacturers of synthetic turf.  He has seen a huge growth in popularity of ‘artificial grass’ over the last five years and explains, “People still refer to artificial grass as Astro-turf but that’s just the brand name for the original product which is now known in the trade as synthetic turf.  Astro-turf was  made from nylon which gave it its abrasive reputation but today synthetic turf is made from plastic and it’s the special polymers that make it so much softer and user-friendly.”

“Tiger Turf has also just produced the World’s first synthetic turf made from recycled bottles.  It takes about 20 bottles to make a square metre and as the bottles are mainly clear plastic, appropriate dyes are added.  It’s a huge step forward in this particular field and we are excited to be launching it at the Grand Design Show.”

With a sports science degree from Glamorgan University, it was his sports background, rather than an interest in gardening that led Dylan to Tiger Turf.  “Until recently we were mainly focussed on the sports market where we have a 50% share but as this has stabilised we are now going forward into private gardens.  In fact we have just installed synthetic turf in my sister’s garden in North Wales,” he adds.  “She has three children under the age of 6 and a heavy clay soil means the garden gets water-logged easily; it was a nightmare, either the garden couldn’t be used at all or the kids just brought all the mud into the house.”

6a01156fa075f4970c0133f3c545e1970bLoyal to his Welsh roots he continues, “We use a Welsh company Hi-Tech Turf, to do our installations (nationwide) and they simply lay the synthetic turf over a sand base, adding a sand dressing to the surface to weigh it down though you don’t notice that at all.  The synthetic turf is free draining which means the area is useable for 12 months of the year and there’s far less mud in the house.”

“Our European market is also increasing rapidly. Spain loves the product and it’s very popular in private gardens, (it’s great around pools, non-slip and no messy mowing).  It’s also used a lot on roundabouts throughout Europe as it doesn’t require maintenance and looks good no matter what the weather.”

And it seems the company have the weather to thank for their incredible success as Dylan explains,  “We saw 40% growth last year.  That’s partly due to the product evolving and performing better  but climate extremes are the main reason people are turning to synthetic turf.  During the really hot June, sales in the UK rocketed and prolonged snowfall in Scandinavia, also resulted in an increase of sales.”

“Europe has a very different perception of synthetic turf, there’s far less stigma than here in the UK.  A nice lawn is everyone’s preference but not everyone has the time, money or conditions to achieve it.  I have used synthetic turf for the front garden of my terrace house as it means I don’t have to drag the mower through the house and it’s looked fabulous through all the extreme weather we’ve had.”

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