The market for artificial grass is growing quickly. Driven by a combination of better manufacturing techniques combined with an increasing awareness of the long term environmental and economic benefits. Originally it was limited to large sports clubs but now you are just as likely to see it in your neighbor’s garden.
The benefits of artificial grass really fall into 3 distinct groups:
1. Lifestyle and ease of use. There is no doubt at all that in our busy lives time becomes more precious as we seek to juggle all our responsibilities. Mowing the lawn can take 2 to 3 hours out of your week and that is a normal size garden. Artificial grass needs very little maintenance and can free up a lot of time. It is worth mentioning two distinct types of users who also find it very valuable:
- Older people who cannot physically mow their lawns.
- Holiday home owners who are not always “on site” to look after their lawns.
2. Environmental issues. As our weather grows warmer there will be more pressure on restricting water usage. Hose pipe restrictions can really destroy a natural lawn, but artificial grass will not be affected. Another benefit from artificial grass is that it actively helps the environment. As well as substantially reducing water usage we also get –
- No carbon emissions from petrol driven lawn mowers.
- No fertilizers needed.
- Pollution from water run off carrying chemicals into the drains is minimised.
3. Special circumstances. It always surprises people to know the varied circumstances when artificial grass can be beneficial. Here is a brief list:
- Dog runs. It can’t be dug up, it’s easy to clean and keep sterile and there will be no muddy paws. This makes it a favorite at dog kennels.
- Swimming pools. Very useful as ground cover beyond the “splash back” area. No muddy areas to carry dust and dirt into the pool, no ruts from the sun loungers and stays green whatever the weather.
- Roof gardens. If your roof is not strong enough to support a natural turf cover then artificial grass will fill in very nicely. It also means that you don’t need to worry about the grass clippings.
- High wear and tear areas. Very often, especially with children, you can end up with parts of the garden where constant usage will not allow grass to grow properly and bald patches which can turn to mud cause real problems. Carefully laid artificial grass can blend in with surrounding features and help overcome this.
- Event management. We have often seen artificial grass used when there are a going to be a lot of people in the garden. A good example would be if a marquee was planned.
Things you might not know about artificial grass
Some artificial grass needs an infill, this is usually sand or rubber crumb. If rubber is used then it has probably come from shredded car tires! You can also buy artificial grass which doesn’t need an infill.
Artificial grass was originally designed for sports pitches and sold under the name of Astro turf in the USA. The early versions were not very successful but more recent changes have resulted in artificial grass being adopted by very large sports clubs. In particular, for their training pitches as the annual hours of pitch usage can be increased substantially.
You can now buy artificial grass cut like carpet tiles. This is often seen with colored grass, for instance, terra cotta tiles. This allows you to have designer colored pathways and surrounds.