We sometimes have customers ask why they can’t buy multiple remnants and seam them together. Or confused by the fact that when they order 100,000 square feet of turf for a job and we have that much in stock, why we need to make all 100,000 square feet fresh instead of using what we have in stock.
The answer is pretty simple: Dye lots.
When anyone makes turf, they need to choose a blend of colors to create that perfect green grass color. However, despite their best efforts, small differences in the mixtures of dye are inevitable between production runs.
While your turf will look like your sample, the tiny differences in color are apparent if turf from two different dye lots are used in the same job, creating one or more really ugly seams that can ruin the whole appearance of the project.
So, in order to avoid that issue we need to track which dye lot each roll of turf belongs to, and make sure all the rolls you receive are from the same dye lot.
It also means that while a turf remnant might be useful for a small space, combining remnants is usually not a good idea. Remnants are by definition odds and ends leftover from projects, which leads to a high likelihood that we will have none with matching dye lots.
Finally, we come to the issue of repairs. Let’s say that someone runs over part of your lawn with a mower, how can you be sure the new turf will match the dye lot?
You can’t, but it doesn’t matter. Even if you could perfectly replicate the dye lot of the original (or had extra turf on hand.) the normal wear-and-tear lifecycle of turf would assure that the colors wouldn’t match perfectly.
However, if you have a matching piece over time with use it will begin to match the existing turf.
However, turf is fairly resilient and very rarely gets damaged. Even when it does the nature of the damage often mitigates the issues of repairs. This is because the damage is near the edge and color differences are less noticeable or because the damage is so large that it requires replacing all of the turf, like from a wildfire or tornado.
Hopefully this article has helped you understand the good, the bad and the ugly of dye lots. We know this subject isn’t likely to help sell turf, but we’re also dedicated to being honest and helping educate the consumer base on turf as a whole.