Something that many WA homeowners think about is whether real grass or artificial grass is the better option.

To help you get off the fence, the following article aims to settle the great turf debate and explain why real grass is the better option.

The Turf Installation Process

The turf installation process is pretty straightforward and begins with the formulation of a unique plan for your property which considers your environment, budget and needs.

The site is then professionally prepared by removing the old turf, old soil, then installing reticulation, adding new top soil and finally, levelling the area.

The new turf is then laid and within a month or so, you will have a lush, green lawn that will be good for years with a little care and maintenance.

The Case for Real Grass

Given the ease of turf installation, real grass is the preferred option of most people. In making the case for real grass, consider the following:

Natural Beauty and Environmental Benefits

Planting real grass in your garden has numerous environmental benefits. It creates a natural ecosystem for pollinators, small animals and insects to thrive. Your garden will also attract birds looking for worms and it will be teeming with life throughout the year.

Being a plant, grass takes in carbon dioxide and releases oxygen into the atmosphere. Globally, turfgrass also captures approximately 12 million tons of dust and dirt annually, further highlighting its importance.

Additionally, lush, verdant grass is aesthetically pleasing.  When you look at your freshly mowed lawn, you will appreciate the way it looks – as will your neighbours!

Advantages for Soil Health and Biodiversity

The roots and blades of grass are extremely effective when it comes to mitigating soil erosion. They trap soil particles, making the ground much more resilient to adverse weather conditions.

Furthermore, grass helps your soil to retain water and is therefore cooling. Grass roots create channels in the soil, which provide natural paths through which water can seep. This added water retention helps your soil to thrive and prevents it from drying out.

The Sensory Experience of Real Grass

An interesting study published in the Journal of Health, Population, and Nutrition found that, among city-dwellers, touching real grass provided a sense of relaxation, comfort and a “sense of naturalness,” while decreasing levels of anxiety.

Real grass in your garden provides that sensory stimulation too – the feel beneath your feet and the smells of a newly mown or watered lawn. They are the opportunities to connect with nature directly outside your door.

Understanding Artificial Grass

Artificial grass is a man-made imitation of real grass, composed of a combination of synthetic fibres, usually polyethylene. If you’re considering artificial grass, think about the following factors first:

The Practicality of Artificial Grass

The main benefits of artificial grass is that there’s no mowing or watering to keep it alive.

The other attractive aspect of artificial grass is that it retains its colour all year round. Though not natural, artificial grass doesn’t change with the seasons, meaning you can be assured of a green lawn no matter what the time of year.

Limitations and Environmental Concerns

Laying artificial grass, however, is detrimental to the environment because you are essentially laying down a thick sheet of plastic on your garden. This sheet, both beneath and above, discourages biodiversity and increases land surface temperature by trapping heat in the plastic. This results in hotter, drier, harder ground, which is unwelcome during a hot Australian summer.

Increasingly, there are concerns about toxic chemicals leaching out of the turf as it heats up or degrades. Microplastics are created both in its production and degradation, and it is thrown into landfill after its useful lifespan (10-15 years).

Also, most believe that artificial grass requires no maintenance, but this isn’t true.  Leaves, pet droppings and other debris need to be removed regularly by sweeping and hosing. Drainage needs to be monitored, especially during wet seasons and if the artificial grass is in a shaded area, algal or fungal proliferation will require the use of algaecide/fungicide to clean the affected area.

And finally, artificial ‘lawn’ does not breathe in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This means an increase in greenhouse gases and your carbon footprint.

Though artificial grass may be slightly easier to maintain, the destructive impact it has on the natural environment needs to be seriously considered.

Why Real Grass Often Wins in WA

While artificial grass can play a role (at some sporting venues), given the increased negative impacts of lowering biodiversity interaction, generally increasing heat and questionable toxicity, it’s not an attractive option. As such, most Western Australians recognise the environmental importance of maintaining real grass around their properties for the following reasons:

Suitability for WA’s Climate

As Australia’s sunniest city, Perth residents require a grass that holds up well to excessive heat/sunlight. Village Green Premium Kikuyu turf, for example, has been specifically developed for the Australian climate, providing verdant colour and dense coverage throughout the year. Sir Walter Buffalo (a soft leafed buffalo grass), is also well suited to the WA climate, as is Wintergreen and Palmetto Soft Leaf Buffalo. Therefore, there are suitable real turf choices for WA’s unique climate.

Long-Term Investment and Value

Maintaining a lush healthy lawn boosts the value of your property and is a savvy long-term investment. Turf is a key element of your garden generally, enhancing your property’s curb appeal and encouraging the biodiversity of your plot.

Though maintenance is key, real grass is a life-long asset to your property and helps it retain its value.

Real Grass and Your Lifestyle

Western Australians love sport and recreation. Having real, cooling grass in the backyard encourages your kids to get out and play throughout the year.

You can also enjoy parties, long summer BBQs and picnics with the family, all while enjoying the sensory benefits that real grass provides.

A Professional Turf Installer’s Recommendation

If you’re on the fence about real turf, our recommendation is simple. Turf installation is affordable and tailored to your budget and preferences. Real grass is much better for the environment and aligned with the lifestyle choices of most Western Australians. Don’t cover your outside space in plastic, opt for real grass that benefits the environment, brings life to your garden and encourages you to enjoy your outside space.

Get Turf Installed Today with Looking Good

Established in 1997, Looking Good Landscaping has been providing excellent garden services and care to Perth home owners.

We offer turf installation to suit all budgets and preferences and can advise you about which grass to use in your unique outdoor area.  Contact us today to discuss or for a quote.

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