Turf Wars: What sets Artificial Grass apart from the Real Thing? A Guest Post from Easigrass
February 27, 2015
Turf Wars: What sets Artificial Grass apart from the Real Thing?
I commonly use real turf when transforming my customer’s gardens, as it is what most people ask for. Astroturf has long been seen as a poor substitute for grass… but that is changing thanks to significant improvements in the world of artificial grass. Depending on your circumstances and needs, artificial grass may actually be the better choice. The following guest post by Anthony Gallagher, the Managing Director of Easigrass, explains why…
There was a time when artificial grass’s similarity to the real thing was pretty much limited to them both being green. For decades, Astroturf was seen as nothing more than a playing surface for sports grounds and something your local greengrocer might put in his shop window.
A lot has changed since then. The manufacturing and technology behind the production of artificial grass has advanced so much as to create a product that is unrecognisable to its predecessors, in terms of realism. Now, as home-owners are beginning to catch onto the modern product’s incredible realism they are also learning about the other advantages to laying artificial grass in their gardens.
In this article, we’ll take a brief look at some of those advantages and the things to bear in mind when deciding whether to make the leap from real to artificial grass.
From regular mowing in the summer, to weeding and watering, real grass takes some looking after if you want it to maintain its look and feel all year round. It may also require feeding and patching up in places where wear and tear has ruined areas.
One of the big selling points of artificial grass is that the maintenance required is significantly less than that needed for the real thing. It doesn’t require watering, mowing or feeding and it will not harbour any unsightly weeds or dry out and go yellow in the sun. This has made it an ideal choice for those with busy lives, who want a great-looking lawn, without the effort involved in keeping it looking good all year round. Another key appeal is to the elderly or infirm who simply cannot tend to their lawns as they once did.
That is not to say, however, that artificial grass is totally maintenance-free. It will require occasional brushing and hosing down to remove any stubborn dirt or stains that are not washed away naturally by the rain but compared to the real thing the maintenance is comparatively low.
Whilst real grass will obviously last for many years it can become damaged and dry and occasionally you may need to replace worn patches with new turf or add some grass seeds to spruce up persistently bald areas.
Although artificial grass won’t last indefinitely like the real thing, it is surprisingly resilient. Most synthetic grass companies will guarantee their products for at least eight years but if looked after properly artificial grass can last anything up to twenty years before it begins to show signs of wear or lose its colour.
An important factor in many households decision to lay an artificial grass lawn is in how they are using their gardens, or intend to use it. Children and dogs love to run about and can easily churn up the soft grass of a real lawn meaning not only its appearance suffers but it can become a mud pit. Artificial grass is ideal for busy family gardens in that it can withstand this kind of use and will be mud free come rain or shine.
Synthetic grass can be extremely convenient in very small spaces where it might not be practical to use a lawnmower, creating that unmistakable green appeal of a real garden. It is extremely popular to those with roof or terrace gardens or large balconies, creating ‘mini garden’ areas without the complications and impracticalities of having to lay real turf. Artificial grass does not lend itself well to all situations however. It is not suitable for very sloped areas of a garden, for instance as it can slip off its base surface.
There’s no doubt that artificial grass is far more expensive than the real thing. You can expect to pay anywhere from £10 to £30 per square metre, depending on quality. Artificial grass lawns will also require fitting by professionals. You could save money by doing it yourself, but for a professional result it is always worth paying to get a garden landscaper to do it for you.
Unlike artificial grass, natural grass encourages biodiversity, allowing worms to thrive underground and insects to feed from plants growing in the grass. This is one of the main criticisms levelled against artificial grass but the reality is more complicated than that. Products used to maintain real grass aren’t particularly good for the environment if they end up draining into the water table and mowing uses energy in the form of electricity or petrol.
Artificial grass of course is reliant on natural resources such as plastics and oil for its production, which has a negative environmental impact, although, some manufacturers have started using recycled bottles as the product’s core material, creating an altogether more environmentally friendly type of artificial grass.
Ultimately, whether you choose keep it real or opt for artificial grass, the decision will depend on your individual circumstances, lifestyle and ultimately tastes but it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons before making a final decision.
Author Bio: Anthony Gallagher is the Managing Director of Easigrass, a nation-wide network of award winning artificial grass franchisees with international licensed partners. Under his brinkmanship, the company became the first to exhibit a show garden at the world renowned Chelsea Flower Show in 2010. You can connect with Anthony on Twitter, Facebook or find out more about artificial grass by visiting Easigrass’ YouTube channel.