Choosing the Right Lawn
With artificial grass getting more and more realistic every year it is becoming a viable option for nearly every household. I am going to look at the pros and cons of both fake grass and real grass to help you decide which is best for your circumstances.
Obviously I am going to be biased towards the fake grass; however please bear in mind I am a Royal Horticultural Society trained gardener so I do love the natural stuff too. I first saw artificial grass at a garden show back in 2003 . At the time I was working doing garden work for people and my main income was lawn cutting. I remember the summer being so hot that everybody’s’ lawn was brown and didn’t need cutting. It was then I decided to send £5,000 of my money off to a complete stranger on the other side of the world in return for a container of artificial grass. The original artificial grass looked awful compared with today’s products. It really was a specialist market back then with only a handful of companies doing it.
16 years down the line we are now spoilt for choice with some fantastic grasses on the market, none better than our latest products.
Nowadays we import from the EU as we wish to provide a high end product at a reasonable price. Dealing with someone closer to home is much easier if there are any issues with quality control!
REAL GRASS LAWN
PROS OF REAL GRASS
- Smells nice. There is nothing better than the smell of freshly cut grass.
- Looks good. If grass is well maintained and cut regularly with a good quality law mower if looks great.
- Soft. For most times of the year (with our wet weather) it is soft to fall on.
- Cheap to install. Most people have the ability to seed a new lawn. It is more tricky and expensive to lay a turf lawn though.
CONS OF REAL GRASS
- Muddy when wet. This mud is then brought into the house by kids and pets.
- Requires regular mowing. During the warmer months of the year when the ground temperature allows the grass to grow the grass needs regular mowing.
- Weeds and moss. Both will need to be eliminated to keep the lawn looking good.
- Brown patches. From your pets are likely.
- Feeding and watering. Regular feeding and watering will be required during the growing months.
- Not pet friendly. Pets find it easy to dig up a lawn.
- Sometimes dies. Real grass can die and will need relaying.
- Worm casts, moles, insects. Can all ruin the look of the lawn.
- Can be expensive to maintain. Lawnmower, petrol, trimmer, fertilizer, water etc all add up to the ongoing cost of keeping a healthy lawn.
- Not good for the environment. Maintaining a real grass lawn requires plenty of maintenance. A petrol or electric lawn mower is often needed. Lots of water is required to keep the grass green in the summer months. Fertlizers are required to keep the grass healthy. Pesticides are used to rid the lawn of insects. Fungicides are used to rid the lawn of disease.
ARTIFICIAL GRASS LAWN
PROS OF ARTIFICIAL GRASS
- Saves on water. The occasional hose down to remove any debris or pet waste is all that is needed.
- Looks good all year round. Summer, winter, spring or autumn the lawn will look great.
- No mud in the house. Less cleaning. Hurrah!
- Long lasting and durable. It will last up to 15 years if installed correctly.
- Toxin Free. No fertilizer needed to keep it looking great.
- 100% Recyclable. Although not easy to do all components of artificial grass can be recycled.
- Very low maintenance. Apart from the occasional hose down and brush little maintenance is required.
- Pet friendly. Because it contains no toxins it is safe for your pets.
- Child friendly. Kids can run on it, play football on it.
- No brown patches. Dog wee will not harm the grass.
- Wide variety to choose from. More and more different artificial grass products are available. Short pile, high pile, different shades of green and brown etc.
CONS OF ARTIFICIAL GRASS
- More expensive than the real stuff. It will cost approx £50 a square metre to buy and install.
- Holds the heat. In warm weather the grass will hold the heat.
- Needs to be well installed to look good. That is why you should choose a company like Perfect Grass to install your artificial lawn.
- Can be slightly less forgiving to fall on. Unless an underlay is used it can be firm to fall on.
- No freshly cut grass smell. Yes but plant the right flowers and herbs and you can still have a great smelling garden.
- Many people think it is is bad for nature. Yes worms will struggle getting through artificial grass but we have found that by having real plant borders and planters and even patches of real grass and artificial grass nature does not need to be compromised. Here I have have provided many ideas to create an eco-friendly garden that includes artificial grass in the design.
I hope this gives you a clearer idea and helps you decide whether you are ready to go artificial. I personally would never go back to real grass. I believe it cannot be beaten unless you are lucky enough to employ a full time gardener to maintain your lawn and can guarantee we will never get a hosepipe ban ever again! The dogs love it, the kids love and more importantly I love it!
What is your experience of artificial grass? Please let me know in the comments below.