The benefits of artificial grass go beyond water conservation and low maintenance. You may be considering replacing your existing natural lawn because you're fed up with the endless battle to keep it looking great for the sole purpose of well, keeping it looking great. You might want a lawn purely for aesthetic purposes or maybe you want a soft, clean and safe place for your children to play outside on. Whatever the reason, it's getting harder and more expensive to have a great looking natural lawn every year not to mention hurting the environment.
The days of large ornamental lawns are numbered and in some places they are even banned. The alternatives to natural grass have one thing in common, they require little or no water and that is where artificial grass come in. It requires very little water yet still provides colour, a natural look feels soft on your feet and children and dogs love it. We've put together a list of 15 benefits of artificial grass that might surprise you including the downsides of owning a natural grass lawn in Canada.
Let's get into our list of the 15 benefits of artificial grass that are worth serious consideration if you are concerned about water conservation, the environment and pollution in our soil and water systems. The benefits range from eliminating grass stains on children's clothing to reducing water consumption. With temperatures that exceed 40℃ during the hot summer months in Kelowna and other areas of Canada combined with little or no rain, it's very hard to keep natural lawns alive without taxing our water reservoirs.
The average lawn requires over 200 litres of water per square foot annually to stay alive. It's a resource that many take for granted in Canada although that is starting to change, thankfully. In recent years we've seen water restrictions put into place that require home and business owners to water lawns only on specific days of the week. The water shed and reservoir levels have gotten so low in some jurisdictions that watering bans have been implemented for several days because they reached emergency levels.
A natural grass lawn consumes a lot of water. In an attempt to keep lawns green, healthy and looking good throughout the summer we tap our water systems dry, literally. In 2006 Statistics Canada reported that 75% of Canadian households had a lawn or garden with Newfoundland having the highest rate at 90%. All of these lawns need water and contribute to an enormous increase in water usage especially during the summer months when the temperature increases and rainfall decreases.
It's only a matter of time before natural lawn size restrictions are introduced in Canada. Lawn size restrictions are already being implemented with success in some areas of the United States. Natural grass lawns are restricted to a percentage of total land area and rebates are even being offered to homeowners that remove existing natural lawns. The Cash for Grass rebate program is a pioneering effort endorsed by the California Department of Water Resources.
In Canada we are seeing rates increase for water usage every year in an attempt to both generate revenue for municipalities to be put toward water treatment and thwart careless usage. Water meters are being installed as a step towards better monitoring of water usage that includes identifying areas of high consumption, wastage and even areas where water is being lost.
Natural grass needs a lot of care, attention and even toxic chemicals to keep it looking lush and green all year long. One of the benefits of artificial grass is that it doesn't require any chemicals used to ward off potentially harmful insects or fungus that can grow in natural grass. In addition to providing a healthier environment for yourself, family, pets and everyone else you'll be saving money along the way. Toxic chemicals added to real grass can have disastrous effects on fragile ecosystems when they leech through topsoil, drain into creeks and ultimately end up in our valuable water sources.
The allure of using chemicals by home owners and lawn maintenance companies is real. It's a cheap and easy way to turn a lawn green and kill invasive weeds and destructive insects. The downside is how it negatively effects the local ecosystem including contaminating insects that are a food source for local birds. An alarming 29% of Canadian households used pesticides in 2005 and unfortunately there are no recent studies provided by Statistics Canada at the time this article was written.
If you dread mowing your lawn every week or the neighbours kid has raised his rates again because not even he wants to push a hot lawnmower through stinky grass in the baking summer sun, artificial grass might be the solution. As an artificial grass owner one of the first things you will appreciate is getting your weekend back and actually being able to enjoy time to relax and enjoy your yard with family and friends.
You'll be able to sell your lawnmower and trimmer and free up some space in your garage or storage shed. The gasoline and oil used to maintain your lawn equipment can be donated to your neighbour. An artificial grass lawn does require minimal maintenance every year that involves using a blower to quickly blow off debris and a broom to prevent flattening of the grass fibres. You can do these simple tasks yourself or you can hire a professional artificial grass maintenance service in your area.
After the initial investment required to install artificial grass you will start saving money every year. In addition to increasing the value of your home or business you won't need a lawnmower, trimmer, fertilizer or weed killer. The gas and oil needed to operate equipment won't be needed and the trips to the local gas station to fill the gas can up won't be necessary. With water rates rising every year you can count on huge savings of up to 75% on your water bill while helping the environment. If you hired a professional landscaping service to maintain your lawn the savings will be even greater.
Natural lawns look great but it takes a lot of work to keep it looking that way especially with the countless weeds that can crop up almost overnight. In addition to tarnishing how your lawn looks, many weeds carry with them the potential to be toxic if ingested by pets and can even trigger allergies in children and dogs. A dog grass allergy is more common with natural lawns and can be completely avoided with artificial grass making this one of the biggest benefits of artificial grass for dog owners.
The sub layer beneath artificial grass is designed to be weed resistant and a bonus is that burrowing pests like groundhogs and gophers can't get through it either. With the elimination of insects and bugs that live in natural grass the likelihood of ever seeing a snake or racoon that feed on the insects are very low. You can count on your grass looking great all year long and keeping it weed and pest free with no extra work required.
If you've ever suffered from seasonal allergic rhinitis or hay fever you will be happy to know that artificial grass may help relieve some of the symptoms. Natural grass and the weeds that grow in it like ragweed, pigweed and lamb's quarters commonly cause allergies triggered when they release pollen. Natural grass and weeds release pollen in the spring, summer and fall in the form of small, light grains that can be carried by the wind. Flowering trees commonly found in Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley like cherries, apples and peaches typically don't cause allergic rhinitis allergies.
If you're someone that likes things clean and orderly this might be one of the biggest benefits of artificial grass for you. It just doesn't get dirty like natural grass does even when it rains. If you have children or pets you will appreciate the fact that they both seem to find puddles or mud like it's their job. The incredible drainage of artificial grass prevents puddles and because you won't get dead spots or potholes you just won't get muddy or dirty patches. Dogs and children can play on the grass for hours and they won't track in mud, dirt, water or grass clippings no matter how long they stay outside.
Artificial grass is ideal if you live in an area that gets little or no rainfall like the desert climate of Kamloops or where temperatures soar in the summer like Osoyoos. If you live in these areas you probably have a very hard time keeping natural lawn green and flourishing in the summer. The future of landscaping in these dry climates includes xeriscaping which reduces or eliminates the supplemental consumption of water. A front yard that has a combination of drought resistant plants, ornamental rock and artificial grass is ideal for most areas in the interior of British Columbia. It's an environmentally responsible choice and you'll save money every year.
If you live in an area that has great weather and a hot summer you will also get a lot of rental or vacation properties because people want to visit those areas. One of the benefits of artificial grass is they are ideal for rental properties for a few reasons. Tenants don't want to look after the lawn because it's not fun in the first place and they don't have the same vested interest as a home owner. With the rising prices of water they aren't going to want to pay to keep a lawn alive that isn't theirs unless they have to. You often will end up with an unsightly lawn or expensive lawn maintenance bills for the landlord.
A yard that has artificial grass installed will be an attractive addition because they know they can enjoy their great looking lawn anytime with all the extra benefits. It won't cost them anything and they won't have to deal with a lawn maintenance company showing up when they are trying to enjoy the yard. It's simply ideal for any yard where you aren't there for extended periods of time because it only needs maintenance once or twice a year.
If you have children or pets this is one of the benefits of artificial grass that will be high on your list. Natural grass can harbour a lot of nasty things that are potentially harmful to children and pets. This can range from biting insects, fungus and of course pesticides that are linked to all sorts of health problems. Artificial grass that has an anti-microbial infill will constantly fight germs and bacteria which makes it great for keeping pet grass sanitary. Enzyme cleaners are also available that will ensure your lawn is free of all those nasty things that can grow in natural grass.
Dogs love artificial grass and you're going to love having artificial grass if you have dogs. Dog lovers place this high on the benefits of artificial grass because it really is so much better than natural grass. It's soft on dogs paws and because it's always clean they can play on it, lay down on it and they won't track any grass clippings, dirt, mud or anything else into the house. Urine filters right through the grass and gets washed away when it rains or when you give it quick hose off. Solid waste is a lot easier to pick up and if your family pet has a dog grass allergy or sensitivity to pollen they will thank you for it.
Artificial grass doesn't need sunlight or water to look green, luscious and inviting all year long. This makes it ideal for areas that don't get enough sunlight or maybe the soil has become too acidic or the ground too rocky. This can be due to a large tree or maybe next to your house in an area that gets very little sun. These areas can be a big headache and often end up with either moss from being overwatered or dead because it just doesn't get enough energy from the sun.
One of the hidden benefits of artificial grass is that is way less likely to contain germs, bacteria and diseases. The diseases that end up causing dead spots in your climate will be a non issue with artificial grass. If you own pets your natural grass become a haven for germs and bacteria especially if drainage is an issue. Anti-microbial infill and enzyme cleaners are commonly used by artificial grass owners that have pets that will keep your artificial lawn clean and free of germs and bacteria.
Second last on our benefits to artificial grass list is no dead spots. It's a tragedy and extremely frustrating to get your lawn looking lush and green only to end up with dead spots caused by a grass disease, dog urine or high foot traffic volume. Artificial turf is incredibly resilient and built to withstand foot traffic, the sun and even dog urine. It won't fade from the sun and dog urine won't affect it even in the slightest. Never worry about dead spots or the never ending battle of keeping your lawn looking great by upgrading to artificial grass.
If the environment is important to you than this could be number one on your list of benefits of artificial grass. The added benefits of artificial grass are you no longer need a gas powered lawn mower or trimmer and you'll will be doing your part to lower emissions in your city. The average lawn mower emits more air pollution per hour than 10 automobiles. Science Daily published a story sourced from the American Chemical Society with findings that one hour of cutting grass with a lawn mower equals 100 miles worth of auto pollution.
This list of the benefits of artificial grass is designed to educate home and business owners of the potential benefits. We also put together a list of the disadvantages of artificial grass to ensure that you know absolutely everything about the pros and cons before making an investment in your residential or business landscaping.