I spent the weekend laying down grass on a large portion of the layout. I wanted very nice looking grass and I knew that ground foam was not going to cut it, yet I did not want to spend a ton of money on an expensive static grass applicator. Luckily I discovered a product from Scenic Express called "TuftGRASS". It is essentially a sheet of larger clumps of static grass affixed to a thin layer of silicone which can be cut and arranged on the layout as desired. I purchased the savannah grass and when it arrived I was surprised to find that it was much greener than expected. Seeing as how I was wanted a look of early, early spring just after the snow had thawed, I really didn't plan on using something that was so predominately green, but I laid it out on the layout and darn it if I didn't like the look!
The secret to TuftGrass isn't actually the tufts themselves, but rather the short areas of lighter colored static grass that surround the tufts. This stuff does a good job of representing dead (or mostly dead) grass from the previous season.(see bottom photo for more accurate representation of color) I tore the short pieces off the sheet and glued them to the layout in large irregular patches and filled in with the greener tufts to achieve the desired effect. Once that was done, I added brown tufts of silflor to break up the color a bit and hide some of the more visible seams.
The only real downside I see to this product is that at 13 bucks a sheet, it is affordable for a small layout, but anything larger and it gets pricey quick. You'd probably be better off just bitting the bullet and picking up a static grass applicator at that point.
I'll be adding more variety of grasses in the coming days, but this is a pretty good start!