Last Updated Dec 3, 2010 · Written by Craig Gibson
Grass is a huge element in many gardens and you have the choice between the real thing and the new brands of artificial grass that have come out on the market. But how do you decide which is best for you? Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of grass.
When it comes to grass, nothing can beat the look and feel of real grass. Real grass has the advantage of acting as a kind of carbon offset. That is, it is capable of absorbing a large amount of carbon dioxide per year. Of course, the larger the lawn, the more carbon dioxide can be absorbed. Real grass is ideal for children and pets, as it provides a soft and cool surface for them to run around on. It is able to act as a kind of sound insulator, reducing noise levels. When properly cared for, real grass can last for a very long time, and it is cheaper to install than synthetic grass.
Real lawns need water to stay green and look their best. They also need regular maintenance, which can consist of mowing, fertilising, weeding, and so forth. This maintenance can be time consuming and expensive, once you take into account all of the different products that have to be bought – fertilisers, chemicals, petrol for the lawn mower, and so on. Many of these products can be harmful for the environment, unless you make the effort to source and use organic alternatives.
Synthetic grass is very low in maintenance after it has been installed as it does not need to be watered, fertilised or mown. This can make it cheaper than real grass after it has been installed. It also leaves you with more time to enjoy your outdoor areas. The only maintenance that synthetic grass needs is periodic raking, vacuuming, washing, and sanitisation. Synthetic lawns create less dust and they do not produce problems such as mud, rocks, and divots. They also do not wear out. Newer versions of synthetic grass are now able to simulate the natural resilience of real grass.
However, manufacturing the synthetic grass is uses a lot of energy and also produces carbon dioxide. Synthetic grass, while it can last for years, cannot last forever, and when it is replaced, it ends up in landfills. During its lifetime, it can end up with matting and gashes that affects the look of the grass. Synthetic grass can also heat up faster and retain more heat in the summer months, making it harder to use. The underlays used in synthetic grass may be hard to recycle. While it is less likely to occur with the new forms of synthetic grass, some fading may occur.