Maintaining your lawn can be a big headache especially when you have a large property, less free time at your disposal, your pets tear up the grass regularly, and lawn care services aren’t available or not affordable. This is where artificial grass comes in. Is artificial grass really worth it?
Pros and Cons of Artificial Grass
Artificial grass is long-lasting since its average lifespan is 20 years. It stays soft and supple throughout its lifespan and doesn’t get parched or brittle during warmer seasons where there’s plenty of sunlight. It can be planted anywhere, even in areas where real grass cannot be grown. It doesn’t have to be maintained regularly which means that the upkeep costs along with the effort as well as time spent on its upkeep are minimal. Moreover, it is environmentally friendly. Neither does it need a substantial amount of water regularly nor does it require fertilizers that eventually degrade the environment.
On the other hand, artificial grass does have a high initial cost. It can cost anywhere from $5 per square foot to $20 per square foot depending on the supplier and the quality. For a 200 square foot yard, it can cost up to a hefty $1000. The installation process is intricate and takes a lot of time. Also, artificial grass absorbs relatively more heat than real grass does which makes it hot during warmer seasons, so much so that one cannot even walk on it. Artificial turfs are also not as effective as natural grass in allowing water to seep down into the soil. Given climatic conditions of high annual rainfall, the soil underneath artificial grass may become compact, carrying debris into the sewers and potentially polluting nearby water sources.
Pros and Cons of Organic Grass
Real grass is cheaper as well as easier to install. Natural grass costs 60 cents per square foot on average which means a 200 square foot yard will cost $120. It looks great when maintained properly. It is better for the environment since it improves the quality of the air by absorbing carbon dioxide, producing oxygen, and breaking down air pollutants. Natural grass also tends to absorb heat in warm weather and produce a cooling effect through transpiration which makes it perfectly usable even on a sunny day. It also prevents soil erosion due to wind or water because of its extensive root system.
On the other hand, natural grass requires more time as well as effort to be maintained and in turn, has high maintenance costs. Frequent fertilization, regular mowing, and a high water supply are needed to maintain natural grass. Moreover, real grass is susceptible to changes in weather. For instance, during summers there may be brown patches and the grass might become yellow as well as brittle. Also, real grass is adversely affected by fungal diseases as well as pests which together with seasonal changes might lead to it becoming dormant or dead altogether. In such cases, real grass has to be relayed.
Should you go for it?
As far as costs are concerned, Ontario Wealth Management reports that the high initial cost of artificial grass is recovered in an average of three to four years and it tends to be cheaper than real grass in the long run because of the minimal maintenance costs. That being said there are several other reasons that need to be taken into account before making the final decision.
The purpose for which the lawn space will be used, seasonal variations throughout the year, availability of water resources, the size of the lawn, amount of time at hand, the airflow and amount of sunlight available throughout the year are the main factors that need to be considered before opting for a particular type of grass.