AstroTurf was the first brand to release artificial grass. This was in the year 1960; nearly 60 years ago! Regardless of what it was invented for, the discussion regarding the benefits of artificial grass vs real grass is still a discussion to this day.
Why is it still a thing? Why is it relevant? Why hasn’t there be a clear winner yet? Let’s get acquainted with the matter. Who knows, we might find out who the real king of the perfect lawn is!
Let’s first define the two, so we can accurately contrast later on.
A quick Wikipedia search says that: “Artificial grass is a surface of synthetic fibres made to look like natural grass. It is most often used in arenas for sports that were originally or are normally played on grass. However, it is now being used on residential lawns and commercial applications as well.”
From this detail, and to state the obvious, we can, therefore, conclude that artificial grass is synthetic. Made to imitate the original. Why? Mainly because it wasn’t always easy to maintain real grass. It took a lot of effort, expense, and time. Also, as stated above, synthetic grass was used for sports. Real grass would be very easy to damage; therefore inefficient in a rigorous game schedule and not suitable for indoor use for 5 a side game.
We can’t expect officials to replant grass in between every game, now can we? That wouldn’t be realistic, or at all possible! Also, we can’t expect a football game to be played on a rocky field. If that happens, what will become of those professional injury fak..err… I mean, professional football players? Hence, the inception of fake grass.
Should you ever want to install fake grass of your own, its best to be guided on the how-to’s and do’s and don’ts. That way, you will save yourself from a lot of potential mistakes, and you will be guided by the small idiosyncrasies that aren’t always the most obvious.
Now, you can probably imagine right away a few benefits to synthetic grass, but let’s list them anyway:
They look absolutely sleek. You never have to worry about them growing, so you never have to cut them. They will forever remain at the same height as when you ordered them. If you find that your synthetic grass grows, quickly figure out how. Because that would make for the greatest scientific discovery of the century!
The product is very low-maintenance. Since you won’t need to always maintain and feeding your lawn, you have much more time for yourself or other priorities. Some activities that are negated are as follows:
- Watering (although, not totally)
Fake grass, in a sense, pays for itself. You spend money to acquire the product and have it installed, but then you accrue a lot of savings over the years from negating the chores listed above. You save money and help the environment. That’s a double-whammy!
Artificial grass is said to last about 20-25 years, or even more if well taken care of and not damaged.
However, there will also be disadvantages to artificial grass.
This means that die-hard gardeners may not be able to get over this fact and will miss the real thing. Understandably so, especially if you’ve been gardening for some years now and have fallen in love with real grass and all that comes with it.
While yes, it does save litres of water each year, the drawback is that it is a petroleum-based product. Which means a lot of waste and/or pollution is created by the manufacturing of this product.
I’m willing to bet that this needs no introductions, so let’s skip right on to the benefits and reasons as to why you might consider the natural solution over the artificial!
The more we have natural grass, the more carbon dioxide is absorbed. If you’re concerned about global warming (and you should be!), this can be the one and only reason you need to consider natural over artificial.
Natural grass can be a sort of filtration system for the seasonal rainwater. It filters rainwater before arriving in the groundwater.
What is erosion? When Earth’s substances break down and are carried away by means of water or wind, that is erosion.
Grass helps prevent that by its fibrous roots. This is what holds the soil intact so that water and wind cannot easily erode the soil. This is especially true for step banks as it holds it all in place and stops it washing away.
While artificial grass needs costly repair by specialists if damaged, real grass can get by with a little bit of care on your part and reseeding small areas.
In most cases, professional athletes prefer to play on real grass rather than its counterpart. This is because they are less prone to injuries caused by lousy terrain.
As with most plants, grass has the ability to purify the air around it, thus improving air quality. Precipitation and dew help move impurities captured from the blades of the grass towards the roots. As the saying goes, “from dust to dust.”
And as for the disadvantages;
You need a lot of things. A lawn mower, constant fuel for your lawn mower whether it be petrol or electric, fertilizers which can be expensive, the necessary pesticides, maybe some insect repellents, time, and many more. If you have a petrol lawn mower you also have maintenance, oil changes, spark plugs etc.
From watering, planting, weeding, applying the necessary chemicals, and mowing; these activities all take time and some such as feeding should be done several times a year. And if you are someone with a bunch of other responsibilities, you might find yourself pressed for time!
When going on a long holiday to warmer parts of the world to get away from the UK rainy weather, it can be a stressful sight to see your lawn the moment you arrive home. And nobody wants to return to stress.
Needless to say, there are chances of attracting unwanted “guests.”
The facts have been laid out. So who is the real winner here? After hearing about the advantages and disadvantages of each, do you have a conclusion? Truth is, there are compelling arguments for both sides. But I asked you because the reality of it is; it actually depends on you.
There is no one answer that solves this question for each individual of the human race. This is because, one solution may be right for you, but not compelling enough for your neighbour. Whichever you choose, we recommend that you take care of it, real or fake, for it to serve you well.
One thing is for certain if you want a lawn you never need to touch, artificial is the only way to go. That being said, we think you can’t beat a well maintained real lawn.