I’ve always enjoyed a lush green lawn, and when it came time to look for a house to buy with young children, a grassy space for them to play was foremost on my list of homeownership wants. I found the lawn of my dreams surprisingly easy, and whenever describing the house- always ended with, “and you should see how nice the back lawn is!”
And so I was welcomed to the world of lawn maintenance; something I hadn’t put much thought into past having to mow it every so often. But lawn care IS so much more than cutting and fertilizing- it also entails weed control, watering, trimming, seeding, pest management…and the list goes on.
The good news is that once you get it all figured out, everything comes together to keep a lush, green lawn healthy and thriving, but it can take up a good chunk of your weekends off depending on lawn size – which is why many people have thought over the cost of installing artificial turf. Read on to compare the differences between artificial grass vs real grass.
- Low maintenance
- Looks exactly like real grass
- Great for rooftop gardens
- Lasts for a decade or more
- Takes professional installation
- Cheap versions don’t look real
- Can get hot quickly
- It is real, and has an attached emotional value
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Planting seed, or rolling sod does not require special installation costs
- Maintenance tools can get costly over time
- Maintenance contributes to both noise and air pollution
- Lawn watering can take up to a third of your water bill
- Non-organic fertilizers can be toxic
ARTIFICIAL LAWNS: WHY CONSIDER THEM?
Artificial grass has been gaining ground in the lawn and garden industries over the last few years due to their material and aesthetic improvements. In fact, many artificial lawns look EXACTLY like the real thing, even down to the bent and browned grass blades added in to provide realistic detail!
A perk to artificial lawns that many don’t think about are the lack of allergens present if you have grass allergies present in your household. Depending on the type of allergy (such as a contact allergy vs airborne), this could be a good choice for you.
Although it isn’t 100% maintenance free, Artificial grasses have an average life of 15 years, requires no mowing, trimming, fertilizing, or watering – and really only needs to be raked (or blown), sprayed for weeds, and repaired in case of damage. Furthermore, it’s a perfect choice for areas that are hard to water, cannot hold the weight of live grass, and provides an easily cleanable area for pets. Having seen them used locally at a nearby college, and on displays in home shows, I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised at how real to life they both look and feel if you are willing to spend the money. In fact, it is something I personally would most definitely consider for small landscaping spaces.
You also will have to set-up a weed control schedule as weeds and grasses can take seed on artificial turf. This doesn’t take much effort, but if neglected can begin to compromise the life of your product.
NATURAL LAWNS: ELEGANT CHOICE?
There is something comforting about a living lawn, and my favorite thing to do after cutting mine is sit on the patio swing and just enjoy the fresh cut grass smell and how pretty it looks. To me a well kept lawn is part of a family property. It’s how I grew up, and I definitely have an emotional attachment to the good times had by all playing in the yard when we were younger. Now with a family of my own, the lawn truly is an extension to the playroom depending on seasonal weather- and not many days go by where you cannot find my boys running circles, jumping through sprinklers, kicking balls, or wrestling with the dogs in the grass.
As mentioned, usable lawns need care. And used lawns need upkeep. Grass requires regular watering to grow, and growing grass needs to be cut. It also needs to be fertilized, treated for weeds, trimmed up next to buildings, posts, and other obstacles where a lawn mower won’t reach, and reseeded or patched where it’s been accidentally dug up or worn out to the roots.
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