Natural vs Artificial Grass?
Okay, so at Online Turf we admit we might be a bit biased when it comes to choosing natural grass over artificial grass, but we do have our reasons!
A common reason why people decide to change to artificial grass is to cut down the work in the garden. This is fair enough, not everyone is a keen gardener and wants to spend their free time pushing a lawn mower up and down the garden! But we aren’t convinced that this outweighs the benefits of natural grass.
Despite the easier maintenance of artificial turf, turning your lawn artificial would have a significantly higher start-up cost. Fake turf itself is much more expensive than real turf. As with all things artificial, you will need to fork out more money if you want it to look somewhat convincing, so why not just sport the natural look?
Contrary to belief laying an artificial lawn is not just a case of rolling it out on top of your ground, an expensive overhaul will be required. Your old ground will need to dug up, and a layer of membrane added, with sand (which is typically more expensive than soil) and often rubber pellets are added for drainage. This work will all be needed before you can think about laying out the synthetic lawn. In contrast the majority of materials used in a natural lawn may already be available in your existing ground, or if not they tend to be more obtainable. Often it may just require a layer of top soil and to be flattened and raked. And then of course, the real turf itself will be much cheaper itself. The cost per square metre is hugely different, going from a couple of pounds to £25 plus and there are also significant costs involved when installing artificial lawns.
Admittedly real turf will no doubt require more maintenance with mowing, weed removal etc. and this is often a key reason why people decide to change. At a minimum it may require a mowing and a watering, particularly in the summer months. However you can chose to have a higher maintenance lawn as a hobby, turning a chore into something more fun and recreational. A healthy cared for lawn can also help you and your family both mentally and physically, creating a more relaxing environment and offering a place for physical activities for your family, or enticing your children outside to play in this ever increasing digital age. Also, artificial lawns are not completely maintenance free, so don’t be fooled! They will need brushing to keep leaves and debris off, and power-washing to prevent the build-up of finer sands and silts that sit on the surface and get trapped.
Environmentally, we think natural grass wins every time. It absorbs carbon from the atmosphere, it takes in water reducing run off and it provides a natural habitat for wildlife. Natural grass will decompose if it is no longer wanted or needed but when artificial turf comes to the end of its life it will end up in a landfill.
The contents of artificial turf are petroleum based, which actually created pollution and waste in the creation process. Where as in contrast real seeded turf will make your area greener in more than just appearance. Real turf will act as a natural air filter, eliminating nasty pollutants such as carbon dioxide. So just having a natural lawn can be your small part in helping a global concern.
Good quality artificial lawns can take a lot of wear and tear, more so than real grass. The downside here is that if it does get damaged it would need replacing whereas a natural lawn will repair and recover itself given time.
Often people believe the main advantage of artificial turf is that it will last a longer time, when in fact this is not entirely true. Although artificial turf is partially made from recycled materials, it is not completely biodegradable and is expected to last 15 - 25 years. Potentially leaving behind a mess. In contrast to this real seeded turf will admittedly require more maintenance, however even with minimal care a real lawn has the potential to last beyond a lifetime.
Artificial grass comes in all sorts of varieties and to be fair some are very good quality, but can it ever really compete with the look and feel of real grass? We’re not convinced, but maybe that’s just us!