It would appear at a cursory glance that synthetic grass is a very expensive replacement for natural grass, but the high cost is only up front. When measured over the life of the grass you will find that synthetic grass is actually a cheaper alternative to the real stuff and the savings may not simply be the cost of maintaining the grass.
So, that higher upfront cost of a synthetic grass surface is pretty quickly recouped by the lower maintenance requirements. Time, energy and the possibility of greater usage gives you a surface that will pay for itself over its lifetime.
The History of Commercial Artificial Grass
As pleasant-looking and –feeling as natural grass is, it nevertheless possesses a series of characteristics which make it less than ideal in certain situations. Not only does it require considerable maintenance in order to maintain its vivid look, but it may also not be suited to certain climates or soils.
These particularities are a major factor behind the rise in popularity of artificial grass. Much more durable than natural grass, not to mention weather-proof and requiring a minimum of upkeep, this material has slowly but surely been catching up to, and oftentimes replacing, its natural partner. There are certain circumstances where turf, as it is also called, can definitely constitute the better option, and even in situations where either choice would work, synthetic turf can still hold a number of advantages over natural grass. The lines below provide a few examples to illustrate this point.
Advantages of Artificial Grass
As noted above, artificial grass is significantly more weather-resistant than natural grass. Rolls of turf also tend to be durable, enduring a fair amount of wear and tear, and require very little by way of trimming or tending once they have been laid down. The majority of artificial turf options are also excellent for homes with pets and children, as, unlike real grass, they cannot be dug up or through and do not generate mud – a parent’s dream!
When To Go With Artificial Grass
The characteristics outlined above make artificial turf suitable for a variety of situations. Elderly people, who are no longer able to tend after a real lawn, will find turf carpets to be an excellent, alternative for their back garden, which requires no upkeep and will stay permanently verdant, smooth and even. Holiday home-owners may also find it an excellent option for their summer or winter homes, as unlike real grass it does not require them to be physically present to tend after it regularly. Finally, as noted above, homes with children and pets may also benefit from this type of lawn, as opposed to a natural and easily damageable one.
Despite its growing popularity among private home-owners, however, it is for its role in public spaces that artificial grass continues to be best known. While parks continue to go with natural grass as a general rule, almost every other public space has opted for artificial turf, or astro-turf, as the perfect lining for their floors. Swimming pools, for example, often employ it, as it allows for safe barefoot padding without creating muddy footprints as a result.
Similarly, roof gardens where the covering is too light to support natural grass often go with substitute, as do dog runs and kennels, to prevent the pooches from digging holes or otherwise damaging the ground beneath them. Finally, areas of heavy public use, such as playgrounds or event grounds, also often resort to artificial grass to cover their floors. This is due to the fact that, as noted above, this material is capable of withstanding significant wear and tear, which makes it the perfect surface for children to play on or partygoers to tramp over. Perhaps if they forwent the usual meadows for astro-turf expanses, festival organisers would not have such woes once the event is over and they are forced to repair damages to the grass!
It is clear, then, that there are a number of situations in which artificial grass is more suitable than its natural counterpart. While many continue to dismiss this material as looking phony or tacky, or to regard it as a poor man’s substitute for a real lawn, the truth is, using it instead of natural grass can often make a home or land owner’s life much simpler and more hassle-free. Fortunately, more and more people have been catching on to that fact, and artificial lawns are enjoying a resurgence the world over!
The Evolution Of Artificial Turf
With an increasing awareness of the importance of water conservation, many people are looking for alternatives to natural grass. Water restrictions, upkeep, and difficulties in growing natural lawn are just some of the reasons why there is a growing demand for a synthetic surface that can replace natural grass. Synthetic has most of the benefits of natural grass, yet without any of the mowing, watering, or maintenance is proving to be the perfect answer to difficult areas in a garden or sports area.
Synthetic grass, also called astroturf, artificial grass, or fake grass, or soft fall has come a long way from the plastic looking grass seen on 1970s TV shows. Nowadays synthetic grass is serious business and the new synthetic grasses really do look and feel like real. Sure it does not look exactly the same, but it looks real enough to make it very difficult to tell the difference without closer examination.
Good quality synthetic grass is expensive and that remains a hindrance to its growth. Yet in many instances the expense is outweighed by the advantages. There is no doubt that the demand for synthetic grass will continue to grow.
Next time you walk past a lush green lawn that appears to be too good to be real, take a second look. It may well be that its not.
Pictures of the new long pile synthetic grasses may be found at
softfall playgrounds & soft fall synthetic grass sports surfaces