Lawns are one of the places on your property that see the most usage, whether they are commercial or residential. Residential property lawns are where kids and pets play, families have friends over to grill out, and parents go to relax on a nice spring morning. Commercial properties like golf courses and tennis courts provide places for recreation.
Since lawns have so much usage and foot traffic, property owners may want to consider the pros and cons of using artificial turf and real grass.
What is Artificial Turf
Artificial turf was invented in the mid-1960s for domed athletic fields, as they didn’t receive enough sunlight to keep real grass growing. Since then, artificial turf has evolved and presents many different options for both residential and commercial use. The material is made from plastics and some is also made from recycled materials.
It’s installed with a few steps, which include:
- Prepping land and putting down a weed barrier
- Laying down a base of crushed rock that is approximately 2-4” deep
- Rolling out the turf and seaming it together
- Adding infill material and brooming it into the turf
The Pros of Using Artificial Turf
One of the biggest pros of artificial turf is its eco-friendliness. It doesn’t need to be watered, thus saving hundreds of gallons of water a year. It also doesn’t require mowing, which means less usage of gasoline.
According to the Synthetic Turf Council, artificial turf can reduce emissions because a push mower can put out as much pollution in one hour as 11 cars!
Installing synthetic turf can be costly upfront, but it has a life expectancy of 25 years and will actually end up costing you less over its lifespan. Another plus? Those with seasonal allergies will see less suffering, as there won’t be any grass pollen hovering in the air. You also won’t have to worry about insect control or weeding.
In places like Palmetto, Parrish, and Bradenton, FL, the heat can be wearing on real grass. With artificial turf, that isn’t a big issue. NexGen synthetic turf comes with cool fiber technology and is UV protected.
Many assume that it’s easy to tell that synthetic turf is being used, but the new turf of today is actually pretty realistic-looking. It comes in different blade lengths, colors, and feel. It also gives businesses a new way to create green spaces, like installing a rooftop garden for a hotel.
For sports fields, it seems that synthetic turf can reduce injuries. A 2004 NCAA study revealed that practice injury rate on artificial turf dropped to 3.5 percent, whereas real turf saw an injury rate of 4.4 percent.
Are There Drawbacks to Artificial Turf Installation
Critics of artificial turf say it can retain more heat than a real lawn can, so there may be other things to consider when installing it, such as hidden water systems or an assessment of the materials underneath the turf.
It also doesn’t retain moisture, which helps eliminate stagnant water, but that also means there will be more runoff into sewer systems. Artificial turf is also not biodegradable, meaning it will end up in a landfill when it’s time to replace it.
Artificial turf does require some upkeep. It will need to be periodically sprayed or swept to remove debris like leaves and will also require some sanitizing, especially if you have pets.
Using Real Grass Instead of Artificial Turf
There are also advantages to using real grass instead of synthetic turf. Real grass emits oxygen to improve overall air quality, as well as helping to control water runoff and reduce erosion. It’s also generally cooler than artificial turf, allowing for more usage during the warmest hours of the day. Grass clippings help to fertilize the soil.
Well-maintained lawns can also work to serve as fire retardants, as low-growing natural grass doesn’t fuel fire as much as other materials.
Call for a consultation on artificial turf for your residential or commercial property.
Both types of turf present pros and cons, but you don’t have to make this decision alone. Call us at (941) 748-4613 to discuss your lawn needs for your Palmetto, Parrish, and Bradenton, FL property. During our consultation, we can help you assess which type of turf is best for your residential or commercial property!