A Fantastic Pro's and Con's Comparison of Real Grass V's Artificial Grass in Barnsley.
Since the introduction of artificial grass gardens, England’s green and pleasant land has become greener and more pleasant than ever before, but is synthetic grass better than the natural alternative? In this Complete Guide to Artificial Grass vs Real Grass, we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages of both to help you make a more informed decision when considering Artificial Grass in Barnsley for your outdoor spaces.
The History of Artificial Grass
We were first introduced to artificial grass (also known as fake grass, synthetic grass, imitation grass, and plastic turf) in the 1960s, when it was used to landscape the Houston Astrodome, a sports stadium in Texas, to create a functional and durable playing field.
Such was the success of this lush green carpeting that it was named AstroTurf after the stadium, and the rest, as they say, is history. But apart from being green, this fake grass did not resemble real grass at all. It was rough, coarse, and caused friction burns when athletes fell onto it, and so it was never considered for home installations.
Over the years, the quality of synthetic grass improved dramatically, and while the second generation artificial grass of the 1980s remained a landscaping solution for sports fields, the third generation artificial grass of the 1990s made its way into our residential and commercial gardens, and it has remained there ever since.
Today, artificial grass is one of the UK’s biggest gardening trends, with fake lawn installations growing by as much as 20 per cent each year as homeowners turf out time-consuming lawns in favour of the low-maintenance alternatives. The reason, it seems, is that we have developed a taste for the Mediterranean lifestyle and alfresco living, and in a bid to transform our gardens into luxurious entertaining spaces, we’re turning to imitation grass. And we are not the only ones…
Former England Captain John Terry and American superstars Matt Damon, Jessica Alba, and Kristen Bell are all believed to be fans of artificial lawns, and so if you are considering installing one in your home, you’re in good company.
Pros and Cons of Natural Lawns
There is nothing quite like a perfectly trimmed manicured lawn to raise your curbside appeal, and if you are green-fingered, you probably love the challenge of keeping up with the Joneses and ensuring that your garden remains lush and green year-round, but if you are technically-challenged in the gardening department and have neither the time nor money to invest in your garden, your lawn could end up looking less lush and more mush.
Here we look at the advantages and disadvantages of a real, natural grass lawn, to help you decide if it is the right choice for your outdoor areas:
Advantages of Real Grass Lawns
The advantages of natural grass are well-documented. It looks great, it feels wonderful to sink your feet into on a warm summers day, and it can help improve air quality. Natural grass also:
- Reduces noise pollution
- Filters rainwater before it enters the groundwater system
- Generates oxygen while absorbing carbon dioxide
- Prevents soil erosion
- Regulates ground temperature during heatwaves
- Repairs and regenerates itself with the right care
- Provides a natural habitat for wildlife
Disadvantages of Real Grass Lawns
With so many positives, you may think that natural lawns are the perfect choice for all outdoor applications, but they do come with a list of cons:
- Time-consuming – with watering, weeding, feeding, and mowing
- Water consumption – an average size garden needs 20l per week in summer
- Causes pollution with herbicides and pesticides
- Messy on rainy days, particularly if you have pets
- Expensive to maintain with sprinkler costs, lawn feed etc.
- Loses its colour quickly during droughts and hosepipe bans
- May attract bugs and insects
Pros and Cons of Artificial Grass
Artificial grass and synthetic landscaping solutions have come a long way in recent years, and they are now more realistic than ever before. When professionally installed, an imitation lawn can last for up to 15-years and more, and as you can install them on virtually any flush surface such as balconies and terraces, they are perfect for those with little or no outdoor space.
While artificial lawns are not 100% maintenance-free, they are much easier to care for than the natural alternatives, but like most things in life, they do come with a list of advantages and disadvantages, as we’ll outline below.
Advantages of Artificial Grass Lawns
The main pro of artificial lawns is level of care, once installed they require very little maintenance, and so they are ideal for those short on time and those who prefer to relax in their gardens, rather than work on it. Other advantages of fake grass include:
- Versatility – You can install it on rooftops, balconies, indoors, and out
- Superior artificial grass looks just like real grass
- Low maintenance – no watering, feeding, mowing required
- Easy to clean – making it ideal for pets and kids
- Looks perfect all year round
- Eco-friendly - saves precious resources such as water and electricity
- Lasts for years when professionally installed
Disadvantages of Artificial Grass
When it comes to stress-free gardening, synthetic lawns are hard to beat, but they do come with a list of disadvantages, which you should consider before installing
- Cost of installation
- Most synthetic turf is non-biodegradable
- Not wildlife-friendly
- Doesn’t moderate ground temperature like real grass
- Can become waterlogged if not pre-punched for drainage and installed correctly
Initial Costs Vs. Ongoing Costs
Artificial lawns, especially those made from superior quality materials, can be expensive to install, but once you have them fitted, they are very cheap to maintain. Real grass, on the other hand, is relatively inexpensive to install, but there are ongoing costs to maintain it, and so what you save on the initial installation, you will soon splurge on items such as fertiliser, water, electricity (mowers etc.), and man hours.
So How Much Does Imitation Grass Cost?
Well, it depends on the size of your garden, but for an average 50m2 lawn, you can expect to pay anywhere between £550 and £650 when you buy superior artificial grass from Artificial Super Grass. Installation fees are extra.
How Much Does Fake Grass Cost To Maintain?
If you have pets, you’ll need to hose your lawn down frequently with synthetic grass cleaning detergents to keep it looking and smelling its best. You'll have to brush it every now and again to remove leaves, dust, and debris, but apart from that, you’ll have nothing else to do for 5-15 years depending on the quality of turf you choose. So essentially, the costs to maintain your artificial lawn are negligible.
How Much Does Real Turf Cost?
The average price for fresh garden turf in the UK today is £3 - £5 per m2, although this depends on the quality and quantity of turf you buy. Based on the above, it would cost £150 - £250 to landscape a 50m2 garden, excluding topsoil and fertiliser.
How Much Does It Cost to Maintain Natural Grass?
When you tally the costs for weekly watering, mowing, fertiliser, pesticides, and the electricity used for gardening tools, you could easily spend £25 - £50 per month on your garden, totalling in £300 - £600 per year.
So Should You Fake It With Artificial Grass in Barnsley?
Synthetic grass is no longer something reserved for greengrocers and football fields, it is the ultimate landscaping material for family gardens, chic entertainment areas, shop displays, children’s playground, pet parks, business premises and much more.
It is now available in an array of colours, blade lengths, textures, and designs to suit both domestic and commercial installations, with the new-generation fake grass of today is more realistic than we ever thought possible.
If you are tired of the never-ending cycle of feeding, weeding, and mowing your garden, an artificial lawn could be the perfect solution for you. Initial installation costs may cut into your annual gardening budget, but once fitted, your new fake lawn won’t cost you a penny for years, and it’s a small price to pay for convenience and the luxury of a beautiful garden year-round.
The imitation lawns of today are pet-safe, child-friendly, and suitable for both residential gardens and busy commercial areas. They provide the ideal backdrop for family picnics, alfresco dining, and summer entertainment areas, and when winter finally arrives, you’ll still have a lush green lawn to look forward to, even if you only get to enjoy it from your window.
Discover the benefits of Artificial Grass in Barnsley by contacting your local artificial landscaping company.