Hacienda Del Ray Landscaping, Prescott, AZ

Ray Hernandez, owner of Hacienda Del Ray, started the company in Glendale.

Ray worked for a large landscaping organization in Phoenix before forming his own company. There he gained knowledge and skills. He has continued building his expertise through University of Arizona Extension Services.

He moved his company to Prescott ten years ago and lives here with his family.
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Here is an article about Ray and artificial turf which appeared in the Prescott Daily Courier, September 20, 2012 by Sandy Griffis, Executive Director of Yavapai County Contractors Association:

Artificial grass is cropping up everywhere

What saves water, reduces contaminants and allergens, gives you additional time in your weekend and frees you of maintenance so you can relax and enjoy a great-looking yard all year? Fake grass. Artificial turf. Synthetic lawns. Make-believe blades.

Q: My wife and I just moved to Prescott from Florida where everything is green and lush. We wanted a yard of green grass for ourselves and our pets; however, we have discovered that it is hard to grow grass in Prescott. What are your thoughts on artificial grass? - Michael and Michelle, Williamson Valley

A: Artificial grass has come a long way since it was introduced in the '60s as a smelly, neon-green, hard plastic covering. We talked with Ray Hernandez of Hacienda Del Ray Landscaping, a "fake grass" installation expert, and he said the artificial grass of today has "a very natural look and feel. In fact, you can get right down and touch it, and you would not know that the lawn is synthetic."

In Yavapai County, real grass is being replaced by synthetic turf for a variety of reasons, number one being it does not require watering. Roughly 50 percent of a home's water is used for outside irrigation and landscape purposes, so therefore it is a great product for water conservation, and for saving time, because there is no weekly maintenance, no mowing, no application of chemicals and fertilizer. There is no overseeding, thatching or aeration.

If you reside within Prescott city limits, a turf removal credit of $0.25 per square foot with a 100-square-foot minimum is being offered to homeowners who take out real grass and install synthetic turf.

Artificial grass is easy to install, with the initial investment delivering significant savings over the long-term, achieving payback results in a relatively short period of time.

Synthetic grass has a porous backing that allows rainwater to drain into the ground at the rate of 40 gallons per hour per square foot. Faux lawns are relatively low-maintenance and are a plus for households with pets. Lawns have insects, bacteria, mold and mud, and can create a mess. These problems are eliminated with synthetic grass. Pet cleanup is easy. Solid pet material should be removed daily to avoid breakdown. Solids should not be washed away with a hose. Pet liquid soaks through just like rainwater and will absorb into the ground or evaporate and will not leave any yellow patches.

Other than the occasional fluffing-up of the fibers with a rake, there is no maintenance required. Even with the harsh Arizona sun, the synthetic lawns installed by Hacienda Del Ray Landscaping do not fade; they have a UV protective coating and UV stabilizers that prevent fading and ensure a lifespan of more than 15 years.

Fake grass cannot be installed over concrete, and any real grass areas must be removed prior to installation. A layer of crushed decomposed granite is poured, and then the synthetic turf is put in over the granite.

Reducing allergies can also be accomplished by installing synthetic grass. Although your grass may not be one of the allergens causing you to have itchy eyes and sneeze, lawns could still be triggering allergy symptoms because of the different weeds, dirt and mud compounds that are a part of grass. And with synthetic turf, there's no mowing, which releases more allergens into the air.

The other important item to consider when installing "make-believe grass" is the quality. "Poor quality is usually made from substandard (material) and will give the grass a shiny plastic look," noted Ray. "When you opt for quality artificial grass, it has a lovely matte, natural look. Most people will have a hard time determining if it is artificial or not. And a good-quality artificial grass will smell great."

It is critical to use a reputable company that understands synthetic turf, uses professional and trained installers, knows proper installation techniques, and knows the technology and products available to meet your needs.