Most people are only familiar with synthetic turf through professional sports. Terms such as turf toe, astro turf or even smurf turf typically define the limits of general knowledge surrounding these products which is unfortunate seeing as how synthetic turf can provide a number of benefits for a homeowner who wishes to use it instead of sod for their yard.
Created in the 1960’s artificial turf was intended to replace natural grass on sporting fields, beginning with baseball’s Houston Astros, as a way to cut down on maintenance costs that made keeping a natural grass field inside of the domed stadium cost prohibitive. Over time, stadiums for other sports also started moving to this replacement for natural grass as they too saw it as a way to reduce costs in not only maintenance but those associated with watering and replacing natural grass as well.
Synthetic grass for the home
Homeowners also began to see synthetic turf as a smart choice for their lawns. Aesthetically it is a clear winner, as it never needs to be cut so unsightly, overgrown lawns are not an issue. Synthetic turf also stays green all year long so yards in arid locations or those where droughts are common don’t have to worry about brown, dead grass.
Like the big sports arenas, maintenance for a synthetic home lawn is simple as well. Maintenance generally requires the lawn to be hosed down now and again for a cleaning and an occasional rake across the blades of grass to fluff up any areas that may have been matted down.
Synthetic turf does cost more to put in than a live lawn, ranging between 6,000 to 8,000 dollars for a lawn, but owners often find a quick return on the initial investment through savings found in their monthly water bill and also the fact that they do not have to spend money on fertilizers, insecticides, re-seeding and other costs that go along with the upkeep of a natural lawn.
One hardly associates any artificial replacement for something natural to have environmental benefits, but there are some ways that a synthetic lawn can help a homeowner go green. Thousands of gallons of water are saved due to eliminating the need to water the lawn; and the lack of fertilizer and poisonous insecticides means that these toxins are not being washed into water supplies or seeping into groundwater stores. Reducing the need for lawn maintenance also helps cut back on CO2 emissions from gas powered lawn mowers.
Add to this the fact that insects that live in natural lawns will no longer invade the home or cause a nuisance. The need for pesticides inside the home will also be reduced and that alone is reason enough for many to seriously think about switching to the artificial alternative.
However the most important benefit that goes along with a synthetic lawn is the increase in free time that results in not having to care for natural grass or clean up any of it that gets tracked through the house.