As people find themselves with fewer and fewer spare hours in the day, installing artificial grass in place of the time consuming real stuff has become more and more socially acceptable.
Artificial grass is like adding an exterior carpet to your outdoor living space. Where once the typical suburban home in Australia was a large expanse of grass in the backyard, blocks have become smaller, and life has become busier, making artificial grass a practical solution to the modern Australian yard.
Instead of drawing a line in the sand between the clean indoor living space and the dirt, leaves and clippings of the backyard, Australians are embracing the more modern idea of the backyard being an extension of the living area. This has seen the modern garden include cleaner hardscaping elements such as paved areas, patios, defined garden beds, and undercover outdoor areas. Artificial grass completes the prevention of dirt and garden debris from being brought inside by shoes or fur. Modern landscapes aren’t void of natural elements such as plants, mulch and loose rocks. They are simply contained into tidy, defined areas.
Still, many people scoff at artificial grass. It has it’s down sides, but as well as that it will take some time for society to fully and readily accept it as an alternative to the real stuff because it’s a mind set thing. It’s something that stems back to our childhood. Artificial grass hasn’t been around in abundance long enough to be in our childhood memories. We would all love to have immaculate grass in our landscape, if only it didn’t require countless hours of maintenance. But it does, and so welcome to our newest member of modern landscapes; artificial grass.
Artificial Grass- The Cons
What of the down sides, though? While it is low maintenance, it’s suggested you brush it from time to time to keep the blades standing upright. You might still need to rake it, or use a blower to remove fallen leaves. But certainly, this is still less maintenance than the real stuff.
The cost of installation can be high. This is partly due to the site preparation work being labour intensive, and partly due to the actual cost of the product. Even still, you won’t have the ongoing costs involved in maintaining the real stuff such as watering, mowing and fertilising.
Then there’s the heat. When the temperature soars, artificial grass can become hot when it’s in direct sun. Real grass doesn’t. So if you’re planning on spending time outside bare foot on the lawn when its very hot outside, and you don’t want to have to wet it to cool it down, perhaps reconsider.
And what if you have a dog? He is going to have to use your artificial grass as a substitute toilet. It will smell like wee on plastic in the sun. You will have to wash it.
The biggest issue is that your artificial grass won’t last forever. While it is made with UV stabilisers to slow down the rate at which it breaks down sitting outside in full sun as a synthetic product, it will, eventually, break down. Just like one day you will have to replace your carpets. Artificial grass is not a natural product re-made, such as reconstituted limestone or bricks. The silica sand added after installation of your artificial grass will also slow down the rate at which the backing of the artificial grass breaks down, as there is less sun exposure.
Artificial Grass- The Pros
You could equally consider the down sides of installing real grass, but since everybody’s doing it, there is a good chance you won’t. The up sides of artificial grass are obvious. Aside from saving time maintaining it by mowing, watering and fertilising it, and money from mowing, watering and fertilising it, you can plant it in the shade. Or inside. Or on a roof top. Wherever you like really, because it doesn’t favour sunshine, and won’t brown with too much sunshine. It looks green, and perfect, all the time, everywhere, all year round. Your dog shouldn’t be able to dig it up. It’s cleaner, as there is no dirt, or lawn clippings. No one is going to miss the lawn clippings. It doesn’t make you itchy, or sneezy.
Artificial grass isn’t the solution, it’s an option. It’s a landscaping product that has its place. In some circumstances it means you can add a soft, green area in the shade where grass wouldn’t have grown, instead of having to put in more pavers. It’s not a tacky fad that we will see the end of. Artificial grass will only grow in popularity. It will be used in hot regions such as Perth where we have to reticulate our lawns to keep them green. It will be used in cities where space is limited but we still value a green area outside, even if it’s only on a small terrace. Artificial lawn is an innovative product option, and it will always have its place.