The perfect lawn: comparison between real and artificial grass
Artificial grass has been making big strides lately with the idea of being eco-friendly because it does not require irrigation, compost, or maintenance. In addition, the latest models of artificial grass look so genuine, that it is really hard to tell the difference!
On the other hand, natural grass benefits the environment because it is a living organism. We are all familiar that there’s nothing similar to the fresh smell of newly trimmed grass in the morning. That is just one of the benefits that natural grass has over artificial ones.
So how does one make the best decision on which one to go for? It is actually quite simple – it all comes down to educating yourself about the topic. The more you understand the specific pros and cons of your decisions, the easier it will be to make them.
If you are planning on freshening your lawn, most probably you wonder whether to install artificial grass or plant real yourself. To make the best choice, it is vital to understand the pros and cons of natural grass in comparison to artificial grass. Read more about it here!
Benefits of artificial grass
One of the best traits of artificial grass is the fact that there is close to no actual maintenance required for your potential grass space. Regardless of what you plan your lawn to potentially be used for, there is usually minimal wear with no additional upkeep costs.
If your general concern is how much time per week are you going to spend on the maintenance of the lawn, artificial grass may be the best way to go!
In addition, choosing artificial grass means that you will not have to worry about high levels of foot traffic, muddy or soaking wet grass – something we should definitely be concerned about here in Great Britain.
Last but not least, if you have a shady area on your lawn, again artificial grass could be the superior choice. Shaded areas have been found to not only have slower rates of growth for natural grass but even have prolonged ice patches during the colder weather.
Easy artificial grass installation
Ensuring everything goes smoothly when you’re installing your artificial grass is key. While artificial lawn can come with a more upfront cost to lay down, it is surprisingly easy to do!
You can opt to do the installment yourself by following one of the many available DIY tutorials or go for a professional installation. Have in mind that the price of a good installation can range from £15 to £40 per square meter, compared to £5-10 per square meter for real grass.
It is important to mention that a good installation requires that the surface is smooth and consistent. You may need to add a foundation or sand base beneath your lawn to level it off if your foundation is uneven.
Slopes are your enemy! Not only is artificial grass very tricky to attach when it comes to slopes, but to the foundation, the base will often shift to the lower part of the incline.
Low effort maintenance
Both natural and artificial lawn requires regular care. The natural ones require large amounts of water to dispose of degrees, dust, and mud. This is due to the organic nature of the leaves, to which materials tend to stick and hold.
On top of that natural grass requires you to regularly engage in a part-time job of weeding, mowing, and feeding. This is not the case with artificial lawn, where you will have the opportunity to spend this time doing something else.
You can maintain your perfect artificial lawn by simply brushing it on a regular basis (once a week or every other week) to clear any debris such as twigs and fallen leaves.
Although an artificial lawn may not be a permanent solution, as you will usually have to replace it with a new one in 8 to 10 years’ time, it is definitely the more cost-efficient and long-term option.
Yes, it comes with high installation costs, but it “pays for itself” by not piling up additional expenses for equipment, maintenance, materials, and water. Best of all, it looks good all of the time!
Artificial grass is also wonderful because of the amount of water it saves! Water is one of the basic essential resources we have on our planet. Preserving as much of it as possible is vital not only for our survival but for the natural diversity of plants and animals.
Since artificial lawns do not require regular watering, you get to save some money on your water bill and have more free time to spend with your family and friends.
Suitable for small gardens
If you have a small space, the artificial lawn can be an ideal solution for creating a nice, neat garden! You will avoid the unpleasant feeling of having to use and store mowers and maintenance materials.
When it comes to creating the perfect garden, size is not a priority. You should have in mind, though, that small gardens tend to require more planning in order to ensure the optimal use of space and avoid becoming packed.
Advantages of real grass
Artificial grass does come with some trade-offs. Not only is it affecting our wildlife and atmosphere, but it may cause problems for our ecosystem in general. By having a real lawn you will complement the plant and insect life in your area.
Feeling stressed or depressed? Spend some time on your natural lawn! There are a number of scientific publications that prove the link between natural green spaces and improved mental health. People that are exposed to natural grasslands found on sports fields and lawns were less likely to suffer from stress.
The effect of well-maintained grass can help the overall look and feel of your garden. There is something about the real lawn that just clicks with us and feels way better than the plastic alternative.
Last but not least – you will find that laying, growing, and maintaining your natural grass garden will be easier on your wallet, as opposed to the artificial one that will hit you a little harder financially.
Improve wellness and reduce stress
Researchers have suggested that a certain array of chemicals that are released after mowing a lawn makes people feel positive and calm, and could prevent deterioration of their mental state in old age. They propose that it works directly on the brain, in particular the parts that control emotional and long-term memory.
We have all experienced the reeling feeling of walking on natural grass with our bare feet. This is referred to as earthing, or grounding and it has significant scientifically-backed health benefits. The negative ions in the grass are transferred to the body and act as antioxidants to neutralize oxidation and remove so-called “free radicals”. They allow the human body to achieve a balance or “homeostasis” at a cellular level. Negative ions are thought to reduce inflammation, which can lead to chronic disease, improve quality of sleep, reduced blood lipid and LDL cortisol levels, are associated with pain relief (especially in chronic pain cases), faster tissue healing, and calming effect on mental stress.
Looks and feels real – not plastic
Of course, there is a significant way that the look of real grass and the look of the artificial one differ greatly. Artificial grass consistently looks lush, green and too perfect, while natural grass often has bare spots, brown spots, or an appearance that varies depending on the time of year, the amount of irrigation, and the number of hours you’re willing to invest into fertilizing, seeding, pulling weeds and manicuring the edges.
The thing is all of those things just feel real and closer to nature.
How a grass looks is not everything – how it feels is also incredibly important. All in all, if your grass will be used for activities like playing, or walking on it, you will definitely prefer the feel natural lawn rather than walking on plastic.
Environmentally friendly alternative
When it comes to the environment we should really be considerate about the use of plastic in everything around us. There are constant facts about the decline in species and the threats to whole ecosystems linked with the effect of carbon composites.
There are vast landfills where artificial pitches have been disposed of and it is troublesome because the process of recycling is not that straight-forward.
With plastic being widely available on our planet and causing increasing trouble in all ecosystems, you must take into account that this convenience of artificial grass comes with a cost when it comes to our future and the future of our children.
Unfortunately currently only a couple of companies that produce artificial grass use recycled bottles as part of their production. Some proactive ecologists have actually started a petition to permanently ban artificial grass or suggest permits or taxes in order to promote a better alternative.
Real grass is relatively cheaper
When making the decision to whether to go for artificial grass or a natural grass lawn, one of the key factors when it comes to making that choice is the cost.
The upfront costs with real grass are considerably lower than an artificial lawn. You can have beautiful natural grass either through sodding or seeding. Sodding is a process of pre-growing the grass and installing it in special patches. This relates to a higher cost and convenience, compared to having to plant seeds and care for the growth of the grass garden yourself. Both of these options are better alternatives economically when compared to an artificial lawn.
It is important to know that despite the low initial cost of the lawn, there are some expenses with maintaining a natural lawn including products like fertilizer and pesticides. Water bills are also something that you cannot afford to ignore, as they can increase the costs year after year.
Do not forget o perform annual aeration and overseeding to keep a well healthy natural grass lawn. Aeration is the process that allows air, water, and nutrients to penetrate deep into the roots of the grass. The overseeding consists of filling in bare spots and improving the density of the lawn.
Final verdict: Artificial grass vs Natural grass
Both artificial and real grass have their advantages and disadvantages. At the end of the day, the important matter is which type would work better for you and your yard.
Ready to have the perfect lush lawn but still worried about the project execution? Our professional gardening team in London is ready to lend you a hand and consult you on all things grass and gardening-related.