Pros and Cons of Artificial Turf
No need to mow– We all love our weekends, and this gives us that time back. Artificial will require raking and regularly blowing.
No allergy issues– Those of us plagued with allergy concerns may be able to avoid this issue, at least with grass allergies.
Works well in the shade– In that super shady spot in the yard, this grass will do much better than traditional turf.
High traffic great wear vs. natural turf – Sometimes, especially in a commercial setting, natural turf just will not take the constant abuse of foot traffic, whereas artificial will stand up well for a period of time.
Less water – There’s more to this story. Yes, you will not be watering this to keep it alive. You will be watering it for other reasons though.
No pesticides – There is no need to kill off any bugs or pests of any kind, but again there might be environmental issues to deal with.
High-cost product – It can be drastically higher than traditional natural turf.
Safety – Professional and college athletes have been known to choose a college or professional team based on their playing surface. Artificial turf is not nearly as safe as natural turf.
Environmental concerns – Users generally think they are helping the environment, but in fact, they may be doing the opposite. This material has a life span and will end up in a landfill, as will the infill. There are also concerns with runoff with infill leaving the property. The normal filtering of natural turf is not possible with this product. South-facing windows have been known to melt the plastic in the grass as well. Biodiversity in your yard will be affected as this cannot support natural life.
Elevated heat levels – It literally can burn a pet or you. In the list of pros, we talked about using LESS water because you will need to cool the artificial turf due to this heat issue.
Maintenance – It’s not maintenance-free. It requires raking and can get moldy. We have seen weeds pop up through it, and it requires disinfecting for several reasons. Bacteria can still grow in artificial turf. This may lead to health issues for you or your pets. Don’t forget pet waste as well.
Pros and Cons of Real Turf
Cooling effect – Sod cools and cleans the atmosphere by reflecting the sun’s heat. On a hot summer day, lawns will be 30 degrees cooler than asphalt and 14 degrees cooler than bare soil. The front lawns of 8 homes have the cooling effect of about 70 tons of air conditioning.
Oxygen producer – It absorbs carbon dioxide and other harmful pollutants and releases oxygen and moisture into the air we breathe. 2500 square feet of lawn releases enough oxygen for a family of four to survive.
Safe for play – Many studies have proven that natural turf results in fewer injuries to the upper and lower extremities and torso. Turf burns from artificial turf put athletes at a higher risk of MRSA. In fact, most athletes prefer natural turf. A 2010 study found that 82% of NFL players prefer real turf over artificial.
Runoff filter – Turf lawns reduce stormwater runoff by trapping and filtering water as it percolates through its fibrous root system.
Erosion control– Makes sense, right? The fibrous root system holds our soil in place, keeping it in your yard and not in our waterways.
Carbon sequestration – As turfgrass roots die, they decompose into soil organic matter, fixing carbon in the soil. One such study found that lawns are able to sequester anywhere from 25.4 to 204.3 g per cubic meter a year.
Noise reducer – By absorbing and deflecting sounds, life’s a little quieter with a lawn.
Initial maintenance and care – This is critically important to newly laid sod.
Maintenance, in general – This is constant between mowing, fertilizing, and treating various pests.
Not all areas are the right place for turf. – High traffic areas in a commercial setting and areas with too much shade or little light are places that are not right for turf.
Allergy issues – As a general rule, turf is an allergen trapper. It will keep dust and seasonal pollen trapped in your lawn, which will be problematic for individuals with grass allergies.