You may have dreamt of owning a picture-postcard property with a beautiful garden. That pretty garden of your dreams probably boasts a perfectly manicured, vibrantly green lawn.
Whether you are lucky enough to find your dream property or not, you will quickly discover that lawns require intensive maintenance that you might be too busy to tackle. Grass doesn’t grow well in some soils and both children and pets can ruin a good lawn in minutes.
It can be terribly deflating to find that your lawn is less than green, that it is infested with weeds or that it has become nothing more than a muddy quagmire.
An artificial grass installer could be the perfect solution.
There’s no doubt that the popularity of artificial grass has risen dramatically in recent years. It’s a trend that looks set to continue thanks to the many benefits of artificial lawns.
But artificial grass isn’t the right choice for everyone or every property.
If you are thinking about replacing your lawn or creating a new one, here are the pros and cons of artificial grass:
Pros of artificial grass
Let’s look at the many benefits of artificial grass first!
You’ll never need to mow artificial grass or to deal with weeds. There will be no bald patches or thirsty, yellowing grass during sustained periods of hot weather. Artificial grass isn’t entirely maintenance-fee as it will require sweeping and the occasional wash. But it is certainly a major boon if you are busy and challenged for time or you just don’t enjoy gardening.
Your reduced workload will mean that you will spend less time mowing and more time relaxing in your outside space. In addition, lawnmowers are powered by petrol or electricity and so are less than environmentally friendly.
Perfect for older or disabled gardeners
If you find it difficult to look after your garden or struggle to use a lawnmower, you can make life easy by choosing artificial grass. Lawnmowers can be consigned to the shed for good.
Artificial grass will remain largely unaffected by the weather conditions. It will retain its aesthetically pleasing look throughout the year, come rain or shine. The beauty of your garden will not be diminished by faded, dying grass during the summer or muddy patches in the winter.
Ideal for second homes
Second homes are wonderful assets but if they are left unoccupied for lengthy periods of time, their gardens can be hard to manage. You will be faced with choosing between paying for a gardener or spending time mowing and weeding when you have better things to be doing. Artificial grass will significantly reduce the demands that the garden of your second home places on your time or your finances.
A great option for rental properties
If you own a holiday let, an unkempt garden will do nothing to boost your business and your guests are unlikely to be concerned about damaging your lawn. The garden could swallow up a great deal of your time or force you to engage the services of a gardener. If you don’t live close-by, garden maintenance becomes an even bigger issue. Artificial grass is much harder to damage than natural turf and will minimise both the cost and the burden of maintenance.
The practical choice for rental properties
Buy-to-lets can be excellent investments and your tenants will be responsible for maintaining their gardens. But that doesn’t mean they will bother or that they won’t prevent their children and pets from ruining the lawn. Artificial grass is the durable choice, and your tenants will be thrilled that they don’t need to mow it.
Minimises water usage and associated charges
Water is a precious resource and worth conserving. Artificial lawns don’t require watering and so will reduce your usage. Reducing water usage will help the environment and you will save money if your water supply is metered.
Perfect for pets
Dogs just love to dig and to charge around the garden, but their activities will ruin your lawn. Artificial grass will prevent your pooch from trying to dig to Australia and will ensure that poo is easy to deal with. If your artificial grass has been installed correctly, pet urine will drain away, and their will be no unpleasant odours.
While installing artificial grass is more expensive than laying turf, it can be less costly in the long run. That’s because turf requires an investment in a lawnmower an in its maintenance. You will also require a strimmer or a pair of shears, not to mention a rake. Over the years, you will work your way through a considerable amount of feed and fertiliser to keep your lawn in prime condition. The costs of maintaining a living lawn quickly add up.
Useable throughout the year
With natural grass, there will be times when you can’t use it to play games. Running around on your lawn after heavy rain will ruin your footwear and will churn up the grass. But an artificial lawn will be good to go whenever you fancy a kick about.
Artificial grass is highly versatile. It will give you a gorgeous lawn but could also be a great choice for a variety of settings such as balconies, roof terraces, pool sides, play areas and gyms.
Gives you choices
There are many artificial grasses to choose from, each boasting a different combination of colour, pile density, pile length and texture. You can choose an artificial grass that suits your needs and complements your outside space.
Properly installed artificial grass drains quickly and easily. Better still, it can dry more quickly than natural grass. Your entire garden will cope well with sustained periods of rain if your grass is artificial.
Safer for kids
Soft and cushioned, artificial grass is ideal for kids to play on and does not require the use of chemicals or pesticides. It gives you a safe surface for youngsters that is difficult for them to damage.
Ideal for smaller spaces
It isn’t practical to turf smaller outside spaces as there won’t be room to operate a mower or to store the necessary equipment. But artificial grass can be installed anywhere and does not require mowing.
Artificial turf is UV-stabilised to provide effective protection against the impact of the sun. This means that the grass won’t fade or discolour in sunlight.
Allergies, including hey fever, can be irksome and even debilitating. For this reason, artificial grass is an outstanding choice for allergy sufferers.
Great for Shade and other awkward areas
Most gardens feature shaded, poorly drained or other awkward areas where grass all but refuses to grow. Artificial grass will eliminate this problem and give you a uniform, beautiful and pristine lawn.
Many artificial grass products are recyclable and so can be repurposed into a variety of products at the end of their useful lives. Your artificial turf does not need to end up in landfill.
It looks fabulous
Artificial grass has come a long way since it was first produced. High-quality products certainly look amazing and are incredibly realistic. That’s not to say that artificial grass is indistinguishable from real grass, but it can be very convincing.
Cons of Artificial Grass
Well, there had to be a few downsides and here they are!
Poor production methods
The production methods used to produce artificial grass vary and some can cause pollution or waste. It is important to choose grass that has been manufactured in the most environmentally friendly way using contemporary, energy efficient machinery.
Costly and lengthy installation
Artificial grass can be expensive to install, and this could be a major downside if you are on a tight budget. Always remember that properly installed artificial grass will save you money over the years. Artificial grass can also take longer to install than laying turf which may be a consideration. Artificial grass must be laid on a level surface and so there could be additional costs involved if your ground requires levelling before installation can begin.
No gorgeous grass aroma
If you love the unique smell of freshly cut grass then artificial grass could be disappointing.
OK, so you thought that minimal maintenance was an advantage of artificial grass and now we are telling you that it isn’t! Well, it isn’t if you are a keen gardener, and you really enjoy tending to your lawn.
Natural grass is longer-lasting
Turf can last for ever if well cared for while artificial grass boasts a lifespan of 7-20 years, depending on your choice of grass and how it is used.
Artificial grass can get very hot in extreme heat, making it less pleasant to sit on and less than ideal for pets. However, it won’t be damaged by the heat, and you can cool it down by spraying it with cold water.
Artificial turf could reduce the biodiversity of your garden as it is made from plastic and so does not provide a suitable habitat for wildlife. You could compensate for your lawn with carefully conceived planting and the inclusion of a pond.
Slippery when wet
You will find that artificial grass can be very slippery when wet. This is clearly less than ideal for playing sports and could be a serious issue for the elderly.
Artificial grass boasts many benefits and a few downsides. An artificial lawn could be a fabulous choice for your property but only you can decide what’s best for you and your home. Everyone’s priorities are a little different and no two gardens deliver identical challenges.
At Kennedy Landscapes, we would be happy to survey your garden, discuss your options and help you to reach the right decision.