Ok, so you’ve installed some synthetic grass in order to cut down on the mowing, watering, fertilising and general upkeep of the traditional lawn. Even the price difference (7 -10 times more than traditional turf) didn’t deter you, knowing full well that it only came with a 6 year guarantee. Yet, compared to paving or fighting your way around the garden through loose pebbles it seemed like the best option.
While I pride myself on my puritanical views of gardening, there is a lot to be said for synthetic grass. Sure, it will never compete with the natural version for softness, cooling effect or pollution control but once it’s been installed it really requires very little maintenance. And where it fails in transforming carbon emissions into oxygen it makes up for in reducing the heaviest carbon emitter – the lawn mower.
Synthetic grass competes against paving in that it’s equally as porous as traditional lawn. Therefore, you will never find water pooling on top of it – unless your water table is as high as ours – and it won’t cause runoff problems in torrential rains. Plus, as a surface synthetic grass is still soft enough for your toddlers to play on.
But, if you think that once it’s laid it’s the end of the story – think again. Synthetic grass may be less maintenance but it’s not maintenance-free. While the mower can safely be put away, the artificial turf is still a surface that needs to remain clean. So, the lawn blower is going to become your new best friend.
Keeping your synthetic grass cool in summer is going to become an issue for you as well as artificial lawn left in full-sun can get hotter than concrete by 2-5°C. Some fake lawns are even prone to fading under ultraviolet so the best way to protect them is to keep shade sails over them or covered awnings hiding it from the hottest part of the day, at least.
One of the hardest things to maintain with synthetic grass is spills and scrapes. Cordial, soft drinks, animal urine and even blood can easily be washed off but try removing chewing gum or melted lollies from your fake lawn and you could be in for quite a challenge. Plus, keeping Rover from performing No. 2′s on the artificial stuff is no small feat either.
The beauty of synthetic grass is that you can always rip it up and replace it if it gets beyond further cleaning. But at the price, it’s probably not an exercise that’s going to happen on a frequent basis.