I went to a neighbor's dinner party recently and was surprised to see that their backyard was lush with artificial grass. Maybe that shouldn't be such a surprise in Phoenix, Ariz, home of the $300 water bill for irrigating the lawn in summer.
I went to a neighbor's dinner party recently and was surprised to see that their backyard was lush with artificial grass. Maybe that shouldn't be such a surprise in Phoenix, Ariz, home of the $300 water bill for irrigating the lawn in summer. Artificial grass isn't only for sports complexes. More people are turning to turf as a way to cut costs without sacrificing the look of their landscape. Here's a look at the pros and cons:
- This one is so obvious, but it's a big deal. Artificial turf is maintenance-free---no mowing, no watering, no over-seeding, nothing. Just install and enjoy.
- Pesticide- and weed-free. Since it's not a plant, nothing organic will invade it or alter its appearance.
- Saves water. This piggybacks on the first point, but complete reduction of your lawn watering schedule will save water and money. That's good for the environment and your wallet.
- It's made from recycled materials. In many cases, the blades and the mat are made from recycled plastics and rubber.
- No allergies.
- You'll enjoy year-round greenery and be the envy of your brown-lawned neighbors.
- It heats up. Plastic grass absorbs sunlight and can be very warm for barefoot walking.
- It's not real. It sounds different when you walk on it; feels different when you touch it. Your pets and children may take a while to get used to it.
- If you don't hose it down and disinfect regularly, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria (just like any other surface in the home.)
- You get what you pay for. Quality and realistic look is going to cost you more.
- Once you go artificial, there's no easy way to switch back. The process of laying synthetic turf can suffocate microorganisms in the soil, leaving the soil infertile for years.
If you're looking for a way to reduce landscaping costs, synthetic turf may be right for you. Weigh all the benefits and concerns before making the switch.