If you have decided to give your yard some attention and want to make the space look greener, fresher and more vibrant – a manicured lawn is the best way to do it. Not everyone has soil rich enough to grow thick and healthy grass, and even fewer people have the time it takes to maintain every centimetre of their lawn throughout the year. It is for these reasons that homeowners tired of the never-ending struggle of upkeep opt for artificial turf. You may be considering this popular solution too, but before you go out and make any purchases, it helps to understand five key differences between the two options, and where to buy high-quality synthetic turf.
The Similarities that Both Options Share
It can be tough choosing between a well-kept, natural lawn and artificial grass. Both look fantastic and add to an inviting, beautiful outdoor atmosphere. When cared for, both give off the appearance of high-style luxury and add to the curb appeal of a home. Both options are also comfortable underfoot and enjoyed by families and pets alike, making them perfect for get-togethers and special occasions. This is where their likeness ends, however, as artificial grass and natural lawns have more differences than shared attributes.
1. Maintenance is the Most Important Difference
Plants are living organisms that require certain things to grow and thrive, like sunshine, water, weed control and the right kind of climate. A natural lawn will always require more effort to keep in good condition, including watering the lawn deeply, fertilising it often, mowing it regularly, and aerating the soil beneath the grass during peak growing seasons. Some people enjoy this level of maintenance and the dedication required by their lawns as it forms part of their gardening hobby. Others simply do not have the time to do it. Maintaining synthetic turf is significantly less effort, and only requires removing leaves and debris or picking up after one’s pet. For any odours from pets and other messes, artificial lawns can be hosed down as they drain easily.
2. Drought Tolerance Should Be a Consideration
In South Africa, the conservation of water is essential, especially during drier seasons. A lawn is often a large expanse that needs daily watering because not all grass species can survive arid conditions. Some species are drought-tolerant but still need watering from time to time, and even then, the lawn may become patchy, dry and die in places. Artificial turf is a far better option as not only will it never require any watering, but it will also remain consistent in colour all year round. It is, therefore, an ideal product for suburbs and regions with lots of water restrictions.
3. The Amount of Foot Traffic Within Your Yard
Natural lawns are easier to keep looking beautiful when they are left alone to grow. High foot traffic will wear down certain areas, ultimately causing bare patches, discolouration and death to the grass. Households with children that often spend time outdoors or those with pets that enjoy running, digging, and playing will need to take extra steps to protect their yard, such as planting more hardy and durable types of grass. Fortunately, higher foot traffic is no issue for artificial turf of superior quality. Some turf products are even used in sporting fields and arenas, such as cricket, hockey, golf, and tennis. If you often host outdoor parties, braais, or even indoor gatherings and are in need of some fresh greenery, synthetic is the way to go.
4. Consider the Environmental Impact of Both
Having the right plants within your garden is a great addition to the environment. It contributes to a flourishing local ecosystem and increases the value of one’s home and the area as a whole. Unfortunately, some plants do more harm than good. Invasive species and plants that require a lot of watering, such as real grass, are not considered environmentally sustainable. A lawn also needs regular mowing from lawn mowers that are either electrically powered or require fuel to operate, with both options increasing one’s carbon footprint. Lawns that are sprayed with pesticides can pollute any water runoff that makes its way into the rest of the local neighbourhood too. While artificial turf is manufactured, and some products are not biodegradable, many are made from recycled products, and because it demands no maintenance, it is the better environmentally friendly solution.
5. The Installation Time You Can Expect
Artificial grass will always be easier to install. The process uses fewer people, and it can be handled as a do-it-yourself project, though professionals will provide a better final result. Natural lawns take far more time and tending to the newly planted lawn will be required. Sodding can be done, in which pre-grown rolls of grass are laid out and take root, but they take a while to settle. Seeding is another option, which means that homeowners plant grass seeds, and regular tending and watering are needed to ensure successful germination.
When it comes to pricing, the initial cost of synthetic turf is often higher, but the lack of maintenance down the road makes it an affordable investment. Sodding and seeding a natural lawn may be slightly cheaper, but you will still pay in time spent on upkeep in the long run.
If you are seeking beautiful artificial turf that is durable and available in various shades, we at Top Carpets and Floors can help you with your selection.