What is Artificial Turf?

When we think of artificial grass, we might imagine a soccer field or a football field.  Those are the usual places we see it, after all.  Playgrounds might have it as well.  However, it can also be used for our own homes and lawns.

If you’re not sure about this, that’s understandable.  We don’t hear about it often, but it is a safe and easy option for anyone who has difficulty maintaining real grass.  This is especially true in dry climates.

Given some of the water shortages around the world, it’s not a bad idea.  It can also save you some money on a water bill for sprinklers, for example.  If your interest is piqued, keep reading!

What is it?

It is pretty much what it sounds like on the tin – synthetic fibers made to imitate the feeling of real grass.  It has improved a lot in recent years, which you can read about here: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/lawn-care/lgen/artificial-lawn-grass.htm.  While a lot of it used to feel very fake, now there are options that do not.

As far as what it is made from, usually the materials include either polypropylene or polyethylene. Typically, it should have a few layers.  This is to support drainage and to ensure that it is not uncomfortable to walk on.

For the layers, they include at least one drainage, but usually two to three in the higher quality options.  Then, there is an infill.  That is often made up of recycled materials like cork

The Positives

So, now you know what it is.  However, why should you try it?  What are the benefits?  Well – let me explain!

So, first of all, it is a lot easier to maintain than a real lawn.  A lot of us hate having to mow the grass.  I know that it’s one of my least favorite chores around the house.  That’s especially true when it’s hot outside.  Baking in the sun while pushing a mower is not my definition of fun.

Maybe that doesn’t matter to you.  There are other reasons you might consider synthetic grass, one of those being the lack of watering required.  I mentioned it already above but saving on that bill will certainly make you a happy camper this summer.  Particularly if you live in an arid climate.

Finally, it’s a good thing to keep in mind as you explore this topic that there are several different styles that you can select.  You don’t need to worry that it will stick out like a sore thumb, because you can just pick some that mimics the natural growth patterns of your area.

Are there Drawbacks?

As with anything in this world, there are a few negatives to going with an artificial lawn.  That being said, they are few and far between.  I’ll give you some of the details.

One of the things that makes people hesitant to make the leap and get one is the initial cost.  It is an investment to go with this option for your yard.  It might feel expensive in the short term, but comparing it with natural lawn care, it will eventually equal out.  Just know that the first purchase might hit your wallet.

Next, some people have concerns about the safety of them.  You can read more about that in this article, https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/artificial-turf-debate/how-safe-artificial-turf-your-child-plays-n220166, but it should be noted that there is no evidence that turf can cause health problems.

There have not been studies regarding how they impact the environment either, but because they don’t entirely remove dirt, it probably should not have significant adverse effects on the microbiome of a yard.  At the least, the worms will probably survive.  They are surprisingly important for our ecosystems!

Finally, you might find that on very hot days, artificial turf can smell a bit like rubber.  Additionally, while you don’t have to mow it or water it, debris may pile up.  Just be ready to remove any leaves that might fall.

Should You Give it a Try?

If you’ve been considering it as an option for your yard, I would say give it a go.  You can always change your mind later and plant real grass if you don’t like it.  However, you probably won’t regret the change once you switch over.

A summer of more free time and less work in the yard is certainly appealing, after all.  With a professional installation service, you don’t even have to worry about placing it.  They can handle the work for you.

Even maintenance can be done by them.  You can still keep the natural appearance of your lawn while enjoying the benefits of synthetic grasses.  Because the negatives are so minor, I don’t think they’re anything serious to worry about.  

So – if you live somewhere hot and dry and don’t want to water all the time, consider this option!  

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