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This question was just asked on the main site: Minimal install of artificial grass for small enclosed pet area

As the title says, they're asking about installing a small area (from the photo, it looks like about 50 sq.ft.) of artificial grass as an enclosed outdoor area for their pets. They do not plan (or mention at any rate) any real plants.

Should questions about installing areas of artificial grass be on-topic? What about other artificial plants? What should the limits be for what is on-topic and what is off-topic?

  • @pnuts True, but in the context of this site, should it be for creating an environment for living plants? – Niall C. May 27 '17 at 20:29
  • I gotta side with pnuts...our site is also called landscaping which is far far more important than just plants. Landscaping considers the 'function' of rooms in the landscape for humans and pets...and drainage and neighbors as well as all the transitions between properties and how they affect users of our artificially made gardens. This site considers humans and their use and stewardship of their outdoor and indoor environments. All artificial. No home and landscape is au natural. It is a huge responsibility for design and consideration. – stormy May 27 '17 at 21:34
  • The limits will be tough to delineate. Landscaping entails just about everything to include soils, hydrology, drainage, how structures are built and how to fix, how to create patios, fences not to mention site and make vegetable gardens. Heck, siting a hot tub is completely within this site' realm. The limitations will be the toughest thing this site will be doing...where landscaping ends and begins I have not found in all my years. We are more important with structure and function than Architects and Engineers! Huge responsibility. – stormy May 27 '17 at 21:39
  • @stormy I'm not taking sides; I opened a discussion about whether or not artificial plants should be on-topic. The scope of this question is limited to artificial plants, not landscaping as a whole. – Niall C. May 27 '17 at 21:41
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    Oh heavens, Niall. That is very very clear. We've been needing this discussion ever since I've been here. Your questions/comments are completely wonderful to engage discussion. No worry at all! Love your guidance! This question about artificial plants does not apply to 'gardening' but it most certainly applies to 'landscaping'... – stormy May 27 '17 at 21:59
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    @stormy and pnuts Why are you posting comments instead of answers? Are you afraid that the answers won't be complete or top notch? If that's it, worry no more. A few imperfections now and then make this site friendly. Perfection is scary for beginners. – Alina Jun 2 '17 at 8:44
  • @Alina You are sweet. Hey, if anything this is something I am not guilty of just pnuts!! And I am no beginner...I think am too much 'out there'. Now pnuts on the other hand is who I am trying to embolden. I hate answering a question already answered in comments. heh heh heh, I need to learn more restraint, which I think I have on this site! Perfection is completely impossible! – stormy Jun 2 '17 at 19:02
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    @stormy I know you are a veteran around here. I'm thinking about new users coming on this site to see mainly perfect answers. It took me time to realize it's not a shame to have an incomplete answer, because knowledge and experience are achieved gradually. Ok, imperfect answers don't get much upvoting, but it's the only way of growing up. It would be a pity for beginners to come here and feel out of place because everything is shiny except for them, and then to never return. – Alina Jun 2 '17 at 19:53
  • Maybe I didn't make myself more clear; I said there is no such thing as perfect...and shiny answers. What everyone should exercise including OP's is questioning everything. Botanical science has many cool facts but not everything has been set in concrete. Probably will never be that way. If anyone is looking for perfection they should probably steer away from botany, biological...heck all sciences. Nothing is perfect especially humans! Grins! Beginners don't even know what they need to ask it is that simple. Why do you think I give such extensive answers? – stormy Jun 2 '17 at 20:22
  • And since I am finding what is said isn't quite read or understood fully; Landscaping is so huge! Plants are but a miniscule part of landscaping. I'd hate to see gardening and landscaping separated as most have zip idea about the design and function of their outdoor property. I think that would eliminate half of our OP's. I seriously would like to consider options to help OP's learn while they ask a question and help them to formulate what it is they truly need to know. The end result will always be a new paradigm about the world outside their home and that which is brought into it. – stormy Jun 2 '17 at 21:41
  • But...@shule had a super suggestion for this particular question. This is definitely more applicable to the "Pets" site. – stormy Jun 2 '17 at 21:57
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    @stormy I really understand your point. However, I don't understand why you don't post these comments as an answer. They are useful and they deserve to stand out to be read. pnuts as well. – Alina Jun 4 '17 at 11:03
  • I thought I have...many times. On Meta, comments are just as powerful as answers. This is no one person answer! This will take a meeting of the minds to make changes, if necessary at all, together. I do not have the wherewithal to make an answer at all on this subject. Period. – stormy Jun 4 '17 at 21:00
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I see no reason why artificial turf questions should not be allowed. Its use is increasing in the UK, particularly since the advent of really good look alike artificial grass, and even the RHS allowed a show garden which used it at the Chelsea Flower Show two or three years ago. It's just another landscape surfacing which happens also to be permeable; this is a good thing, given increased risk of flooding from climate change. I've seen gardens with it in, and with a good one, it's hard to tell it's artificial just from looking at it.

In regard to the purpose the question was posted about, I don't think artificial turf is a particularly good choice, but for replacement lawns, especially in shady areas, it's a great innovation.

Not sure fake plants are ever going to be a big thing though - they're often not good to look at, and they fade terribly in sunlight over time.

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Artificial turf sounds like it's about landscaping to me (for aesthetics and ground cover/protection); it doesn't seem like as much of a gardening thing to me, though, although gardeners use it (maybe gardeners might use it in place of black plastic mulch). I think artificial turf is about as on-topic as inorganic mulch is.

The only thing that makes me think it might possibly be off-topic is the purpose of the turf (for dogs), which may make it a better fit for pets.stackexchange.com. So, it seems more about caring for pets than landscaping. However, it is still landscaping (even if it's not for a human).

  • Now that @Shule is an excellent point! For Pets!! Not landscaping per se. It most certainly is in the realm of landscape design but pet needs would be the top of labels for this question! Good frickin' job, Shule. Sorry can't believe you are the first to recognize this... – stormy Jun 2 '17 at 19:05

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