If you’ve decided to make your drab lawn into a lush green dream to make it pop out or if you just want to have the best lawn in the neighborhood; you can either maintain and fix your real lawn or install artificial grass.
The question you might be asking yourself is, which is better? Spending time and effort into fixing your current real lawn or investing in artificial grass?
It’s undoubtedly true that grass plays a big part in landscaping; the first thing someone sees when they see your house is the lawn. A beautiful lush green lawn can enhance the appeal of the house and make it stand out more.
Let dive right and get to the point – what’s better, artificial or real grass?
Difference #1. Maintenance of Artificial Grass Vs Real Grass
Maintaining your lawn can be a hassle; if you’re someone who is working long hours at the office, or running a business…or both, you might not have time to look after your lawn.
Both artificial and real grass will take some sort of maintenance; if you have pets, children or a lot of foot traffic on your lawn, making a decision can be a bit more difficult.
However, installing an artificial lawn can be a big investment, depending the size of your lawn and the type of material you choose. Ultimately, it all boils down to what you feel is the best decision for your lawn.
Caring for Artificial Grass
Artificial grass doesn’t need much maintenance; you might need to hose it down once in a while to clear debris or dirt off it, or to deodorize it when your dog takes a poop, but the maintenance is not much.
If you choose a higher-quality, nylon-backed artificial grass for your lawn, you don’t have to worry about the durability either; since nylon and polypropylene artificial grass are durable and weather resistant, you don’t have to worry about it getting patchy or breaking off.
Also, artificial lawn does not wither or die, need fertilizer or be a natural home for insects or weeds. Hence, you can save a lot of money on herbicides and insecticides.
In case you have a pet that has excreted on the artificial lawn, you can easily and permanently deodorize it naturally with a vinegar and soapy water solution
If you have long office hours and can’t find time to maintain your lawn, getting artificial grass is the way to go.
Caring for Real Grass
Caring for real grass can be a bit of a challenge; it requires regular watering and depending on the location you’re in, you might want to water it in the morning and the evening.
It is also a magnet for bugs, critters, insects and weeds. You will have to use insecticide and herbicide once in a while if you want to have a healthy lush lawn.
Hiring a gardener is an expensive decision as well when you don’t have the time to maintain the lawn yourself and fertilizer may also be required.
Plus, mowing and edging is also a big issue. If you have a sizable lawn, it takes time, energy and effort to get it mowed properly. Plus, you will have to invest in a lawn mower or at the very least pay someone to do it for you.
Caring for real grass is an everyday job and only keen gardeners have the experience to maintain their lawns in the on-season.
Difference #2. Installation Cost of Artificial Grass vs Real Grass
Artificial grass will always be pricier than getting your yard sodded. You can expect to pay almost twice to five times as much with artificial grass as compared to real grass, this is due to the various costs associated with installing the grass and more.
Here is some of the expected pricing of artificial grass and real grass.
Artificial Grass Cost Calculator
The cost of placing artificial turf is 4-20 US dollars per square foot. This reflects the total cost of installation and related materials (such as gravel or sand for the bed).
Therefore, to convert an average of approximately 0.14 acres (approximately 6,100 square feet) of American residential lawns into artificial turf, you may need to spend $24,000 to $122,000 for professional installation.
Of course, many homeowners are looking for ways to install artificial turf in a smaller area of their property (for example, a few hundred square feet), and there are factors that can reduce the installation cost of artificial turf, such as putting a small amount of sweat and installing the artificial grass yourself.
Also, you need to understand that artificial grass will last up to 10 to 15 years, depending on your location and weather factors. So, you can have a lush green lawn for a decade or more with a one time investment.
Real Grass Cost Calculator
The cost of installing turf ranges from $450 to $4,520, or an average of $1,850. The installer’s labor and material charges per square foot are between $1-2. It is expected to pay between US$2,000 and US$4,000 to cover 185 square meter of lawn. Removing the old sod and replacing it with new one and installing an automatic watering system will increase its price.
You can buy Sod in bulk and in rolls. and they look like pre-planted straw mats. If you buy it yourself, the cost of turf is 100 to 500 US dollars per pallet or 1 to 2 US dollars per meter, depending on which type of grass you use, which supplier you choose and your location.
Even though you can put in the sweat and place the sod yourself and save money; however, it’s beneficial to hire professionals to do it for you. Not only will you get the sod installed more leveled, it will also look the way you want it to.
Difference #3. Water Usage and Bill for Synthetic Vs Real Grass
Artificial grass does not require watering whereas real grass does; the only time you will need to water your synthetic grass lawn is to clean it. Real grass can require water up to 2 or more times a day, depending on the location you are in.
However, it’s not just about watering your lawn when you have real grass. Lawns have a very terrible ecological impact; it introduces toxic chemicals into the water supply, greenhouse gases are released when you’re mowing it and the chemicals released when grass is cut contributes to worsen air pollution in the surrounding area.
Synthetic Grass Water Usage
Synthetic turf saves about 40 gallons of water per square foot per year by eliminating water used in home irrigation systems. Even in smaller towns, this can save millions of gallons of water!
Water conservation is the most important, but protecting our groundwater is also the most important. Groundwater pollution is directly caused by irrigation, which is another problem that Artificial grass can help solve.
Artificial grass eliminates the need for gasoline-powered lawn mowers, trimmers and aerators, which means that our overall dependence on oil has been reduced, and natural gas and oil spills have also been reduced.
In addition, Synthetic grass does not require fertilizers or toxic herbicides because runoff from the irrigation system often seeps into the water supply.
Water is our most precious natural resource and the most wasted resource. As a result, many local governments have begun to restrict water use and encourage residents to do everything possible to reduce spending, including providing rebates. Well, the most effective way to reduce water use is to eliminate water-thirsty natural lawns.
Real Grass Water Usage
Watering your lawn every day may cost you an average monthly bill of about $10 in some areas, and more in arid areas (if you are allowed to water the lawn first). Water for U.S. utilities is cheap.
It is ridiculously cheap that usually cost is not a factor (when you dive into the water bill, sewer and rainwater surcharges make up most of the total utility cost). Hot water is a whole other matter.
The environmental/ethical cost of watering the lawn? That might be more expensive. In order to maintain the beauty of the lawn, a lot of water and expensive fertilizers, which are usually bad for the environment, are needed, and then replanted.
It would be much better for the environment if you think twice before choosing grass. Instead, you should opt for a garden; plant flowers and vegetables instead. There are a lot of other factors that make real grass bad for the environment.
Difference #4. Pet friendliness of Artificial Lawn Vs Real Lawn
Undoubtedly, Artificial grass is absolutely safe and fun for dogs and other pets. We all love our dogs, but when it comes to our garden, it brings different challenges. From scraping, digging, dead or bald, to when wet, the mud will penetrate into the soles of your feet, and natural grass is difficult to grow, this is the dog’s favorite place on the lawn. Maintaining natural lawns can be very difficult.
Is Fake Grass Pet Friendly?
Many customers choose artificial grass because they have pets and find them more practical and easier to maintain.
Dogs can still run around and conduct business in the same way as natural lawns, but there is no chance to dig holes or cause muddy mess when it rains. As for the cat, its surface is warm and soft, which makes it a very attractive place to stretch and relax.
Pets like to play on artificial turf, and unlike natural turf, it will not only not dig holes, but the grass will not die, and form baldness where pets urinate.
There are only lush lawns all year round. Installing artificial turf can withstand the seriousness of dozens of dogs running and scratching, and minimize the smell, which brings many challenges, especially in the kennel.
After years of research and development, manufacturers and installers have designed perfect artificial grass systems for dogs.
In order to keep your dog’s and pet’s artificial turf clean and odorless, you should install a suitable drainage system that can be used in conjunction with the fast-flowing holes in the grass back.
It is also recommended that if you use fillers, you should use natural fillers that do not absorb odors. Synthetic grass will provide you and your pet with a neat and tidy area, so you don’t need to worry about muddy paws returning to your home for many years.
Is Real Grass Better for Pets?
Real Grass has been tried and tested for hundreds of years; dogs love them, cats sit on them to sun bathe; however, it really isn’t the best option available in the market right now.
Not only does real grass require pesticide, fertilizer and insecticide to maintain, which can be toxic for your dog and cause allergies, it also has dirt, debris and insects that can cause problems for your dog.
If you have a smaller dog, you have to maintain your lawn and keep the blades of grass short so your dog doesn’t have trouble running in it.
Tall grass can also be a host to many critters and animals that can harm your dog, especially snakes if you’re careless in maintaining your lawn.
Also, real grass is less durable than artificial grass; meaning, your grass will become patchy and bald, just a few days with your active dog.
Essentially, real grass is not only a lot more toxic for your dog, it can also look worse than artificial lawns.
Difference #5. Synthetic Turf is Better for You if
- You have pets
- You don’t have the time to maintain your lawn
- You don’t have an overly large lawn
- You are in an area with drought
- You want an evergreen lawn
Nothing is perfect, we all know. But, frankly speaking, talking about the “pros and cons” of artificial turf is much more difficult than in the past.
If you’re working long hours during the day and don’t have the time to water and maintain your lawn and getting a gardener is out of the budget, artificial lawn is a great alternative.
Artificial grass is getting cheaper and cheaper in the past years and the quality is getting better. If you have one or more dogs, artificial grass can be a better option since your dog won’t get muddy paws, the lawn won’t be bald and you will don’t have to worry about your becoming patchy either.
There are not many negative factors. Artificial grass has been used in sports fields for many years and has replaced natural grass lawns in residential and commercial settings.
Since no watering is required, fake grass is particularly suitable for areas suffering from drought. Anyone in drought-hit areas can get it installed as well.
Difference #6. Real Grass is Better for You if
- You have a very large lawn
- Don’t have the budget for a large artificial lawn
- Have time for maintenance
- In an area where water and utilities are inexpensive
- Don’t have pets
If you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on an artificial lawn and have the time and energy to either maintain the lawn yourself or hire a gardener, a real grass lawn is a great choice for you.
Not having pets can make it a lot easier to have a real grass lawn. Plus, if you’re in an area where water is abundant and the city council allows it.
Difference #7. Benefits of Artificial Grass
The state continues to tighten water restrictions. Artificial turf is easy to comply with and greatly reduces water consumption without sacrificing the aesthetic standards set by the homeowner’s association. Saving water is not only environmentally friendly, but also good for budgets.
No toxic substances are used in the production of artificial grass.
The fake grass does not grow. Goodbye, pollen. Hello, no matter the season, I like to play in the yard.
No harmful chemical residues
Artificial turf does not require herbicides, insecticides or fertilizers to keep it beautiful and insect-free. This is safer for your family and safer for the environment.
The materials used to make artificial turf are very durable and can withstand almost any type of torture. Anti-digging function against dogs and murine, especially stain-resistant, fade-resistant, and will not wear on the edges.
The surface is safer. When children (as well as adults and pets) stumble while running and playing, natural grass can form angles and bulges, causing injury. The surface of the fake grass is always even and smooth.
Return on investment
High-quality artificial grass can pay for itself in just a few years, thanks to the elimination of the cost of ongoing lawn care. After that, this is all the savings. In addition, beautiful fake turf can increase the resale value of a house.
Difference #8. Drawbacks of Artificial Grass
- Expensive initial investment
- Gets warmer than natural grass during summer
- Can wear out quickly if you choose the wrong materials
- Toxic run-off concerns
- Odor-build up
There aren’t a lot of drawbacks of Artificial grass; it’s a great solution to many issues homeowners have. It’s an investment that will give a great return when selling the house, so your initial investment won’t go to waste either.
Another drawback is that if you choose a polypropylene lawn, they are easy to damage and are not suitable for outdoor situations. However, they are the cheapest.
Difference #9. Benefits of Real Lawn
- Prevent erosion
- Improve flood protection
- Help break down organic chemicals
- Reduce noise
- Provide wildlife habitat
- Create a cool effect in warm weather
- Increase visual appeal
Lawns, trees and bushes provide shadow and evaporation through evapotranspiration, which plays an important role in reducing air temperature. Evapotranspiration is the process of water evaporation in plants.
The cooling range is from 7 to 14 degrees, which can reduce the cost of air conditioning in summer. One estimate suggests that growing lawns and other garden plants can reduce the total energy demand for air conditioning.
Healthy lawns and other garden plants can act as traps for dust and other suspended particles in the air, thereby helping to improve air quality.
Because the lawn completely covers the soil surface, it prevents soil particles from blowing around and being carried to another area.
Difference #10. Drawbacks of Real Grass
The grass needs to be trimmed regularly. A healthy lawn requires good root systems, which are formed by regular mowing at the appropriate height and frequency.
For the sake of beauty, you need to feed the grass regularly. Grass plants have a strong appetite and can maintain their best condition. If the proper balance of fertilizer including special micronutrients is fed irregularly and timely, the lawn will lose its vitality and reduce its ability to resist diseases and pests.
The lawn is notorious for polluting the water source. Although excessive nitrogen/phosphorus does cause waterway problems, the culprit is more likely to come from agricultural areas where a large amount of nitrogen/phosphorus is applied in spring, and heavy rain and drier vegetation may prevent water flow-off.
Owning a high-quality lawn may be the biggest disadvantage. Pesticides can be harmful to all relevant personnel, and extreme care must be taken. It is best to use pesticides in small doses only when needed. When only a few weeds live inland, it is not good to put herbicides on the entire lawn.
Insects are a key link in our ecosystem. Most insects do not pose a threat to our lawns, but some homeowners want to kill all objects in or out of sight to eliminate insects.
Simply put, real grass doesn’t go well with pets. Dogs tear up grass lawns like paper and make it look very unappealing, especially if you have an active dog. For smaller dogs, an unkempt lawn can be a scary world where they can trip and fall and hurt themselves.
There is nothing better in a home than a beautiful lush green lawn. High-quality artificial grass is not only an effective solution for people professionals, but it’s a great addition to your house as a future investment.
Great for children, pets and the weather, high-quality artificial grass will be loyal to you for years to come.