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Disclaimer: Trulawn are NOT associated with the AstroTurf™ brand. Whilst people use the term as a generic description to describe artificial grass, it is a registered trademark and this is the story about how AstroTurf™ was invented.
Fans of fake grass will know how nice and warm it is to the touch in the summer, like having a lovely warm carpet outside that never gets dirty. Even in winter the artificial lawn mantra of ‘no more mud’ rings true.
What you may not know is how it originated… The first artificial grass was a million miles away from the realistic grass substitute we have in our back gardens today and was called ‘AstroTurf’. Along with many other inventions we couldn’t live without today like toasters and tea bags, AstroTurf comes from the United States.
AstroTurf was invented in 1965 by employees of the American company Monsanto and patented in 1967 under the name “Chemgrass.” It first came to prominence when it was installed in 1965 in the Houston Astrodome. As a result of this debut it was renamed AstroTurf after the ‘Astrodome’. The original advantages of AstroTurf over natural grass was that it required little maintenance, was ideal for indoor stadiums and did not require sunlight. For those reasons AstroTurf was used in both indoor and outdoor stadiums across America.
Since then fake grass has evolved from being a rather stiff, unconvincing substitute into a high quality and realistic alternative to a grass lawn. The enormous improvement in quality, especially over the last ten years, has led to its growing popularity as people weigh up the benefits of no mowing, no watering and no mud with its high maintenance counterpart, grass.
When ChemGrass was first installed in the Astrodome, the groundsmen would dress up as astronauts between innings and use vacuum cleaners to keep the turf clean during the game.
The Monsanto Company is also the inventor of the well known weed killer “Roundup”. They are also one of the world’s largest producers of genetically modified grass seed and the first company to mass produce LEDs in 1968. At around about the same time Monsanto were one of the largest producers of Agent Orange, controversially used by the U.S. military during Vietnam.