When it comes to landscaping, we’re often more concerned with the end result than we are the process of creating the final product. Part of that is because landscaping is something we’re meant to enjoy in the present, and part of that is because many of us aren’t terribly concerned with how our landscaping products made it to our yard.

That said, the history of these products is often a fascinating one. For instance, artificial turf might seem rather mundane, but if you take a good look at it, you’ll see it’s far more complex than you first realized. The same can be said of its history. The development of this evergreen product was a response to shifting cultural needs, advances in science and technology, and ushered in changes in how we recreate and relax outdoors. Join Kern Turf Supply as we explore the history and development of artificial turf and how it impacts our Bakersfield community even today.

The Beginnings of Synthetic Turf

The immediate post-WWII period in America was one of science, development, and luxury. Having decisively become a global superpower, the United States suddenly had the time, energy, and resources it needed to explore nearly every facet of everyday life. In addition to an endless number of government-funded research projects, privately funded projects also proliferated.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the Ford Foundation explored ways in which the physical fitness of young people could be improved. Their Education Facilities Laboratory partnered with Monsanto Industries and Chemstrand to work on developing a viable synthetic carpeting for the use in schools. 

The teams worked together to craft the new playing surface. They looked at metrics like foot traction, water drainage, and water and fire resistance. The result was the first generation of synthetic turf, which was a nylon fiber that was curled around a foam backing. In 1964, the turf, known as “Chemgrass” was installed at the Moses Brown School in Providence, RI. This was the first installation of a synthetic turf but was not the first notable example.

The Synthetic Turf-Sports Connection and the Origin of Astroturf

Synthetic turf first made waves in the landscaping world in 1966 when the MLB team, the Houston Astros, played their first season at the brand-new Houston Astrodome. The construction of the dome itself made it nearly impossible to grow natural grass. Prior to the 1966 season, the team would play on a field of patchy green and brown grass. Field managers would often paint the brown spots green to cover up the unsightly turf. The synthetic turf then was a great way to ensure that the team always had a beautiful field to play on. To support the team, Chemgrass was re-named “Astroturf.”

Your Source For Artificial Turf in Bakersfield

Kern Turf Supply is proud to offer Easy Turf and Smart Turf products. Leaders in the synthetic turf industry, these products look great for both commercial and residential applications. You can save time, money, and energy on your landscaping when you use a premium-grade turf like this. Ready to add synthetic turf to your landscaping? Give our Bakersfield landscapers a call today to find out more!