The Evolution of Fake Grass
Fake grass has in fact been around for a long time. The first generation of artificial turf was called “Astroturf” and it was first used in the 1960’s and was primarily used for commercial purposes, think indoor sports stadiums and arenas as the cost of maintaining real grass proved to be prohibitively expensive. This first generation of artificial turf did not in any way resemble real grass at all. It was made from nylon and more closely resembled a thick layer of carpet which on a playing field had a tendency to cause some nasty carpet burn.
Fast forward 50 years, throw in technological advancements and creative thinking and the “AstroTurf” of yesterday has become a viable and extremely attractive alternative in many drought-ridden communities who wish to maintain the façade of lush green grass.
Compared with the first-generation turf which contained short-pile fibres and no infill, today’s artificial turf is generally made from Polyethylene as a raw material for the grass fibres and infill made from recycled rubber, sand or a mixture of both. The result is longer blades of grass that feel softer and act more like real grass however quality raw materials and construction will determine the final quality and look of your grass. The old adage “ you get what you paid for” certainly applies here.
Is Fake Grass a Great Alternative?
Although fake grass was originally invented for the application of playing fields and sports arena’s with the advancement of better quality, softer, less abrasive and more resistant fibres the use of fake turf in homes and landscaping has been booming.
As the below graph from Forest Grass shows this is an industry on the rise.
More and more people are adopting the use of artificial turf in their homes and businesses. The fact that it requires very little maintenance, very little water and can last for 15-20 years means that in the long run, this is a very cost-effective alternative.
Is your lawn really Natural?
Contrary to popular belief your lush green lawn is not natural, think about that for a second. Your lawn is one of the most intensive parts of your garden. It requires a large investment in both time and resources to keep it at an optimal level. Did you know?
- Australian households are not very good at conserving water. On average each Australian uses 341,000 litres of water each year and a third of that consumption is used on our gardens and lawns.
- Lawn maintenance equipment (lawnmowers, whipper snippers, blowers etc.) uses 64 million litres of fuel every year contributing to environmental pollution.
- Millions of tonnes of fertilisers, herbicides and insecticides are used on Australian lawns every year in which 40-60% of these chemicals find their way into our wetlands and rivers via stormwater, drainage systems or through soil into groundwater.
Advantages – Artificial Turf
- Low Maintenance – Think of all that free time, no more mowing, fertilising, weeding or watering. You will of course still once in a while need to water down your lawn to give it a good clean up.
- It’s Mud Free – No more mud or grass clippings tracked through your home.
- Environmentally Friendly – You will be saving on water, a precious resource and no synthetic fertilisers damaging our water ways.
- Durability – Unlike real grass, artificial turf is very hardy. No more torn up grass from well-worn areas such as dog runs or children playing.
Disadvantages – Artificial Turf
- Initial Outlay – Initial costs to purchase and lay your artificial turf can sometimes be quite expensive. However, when you consider the ongoing maintenance costs of real grass at the end of the day it can be a great cost-saving alternative.
- Heat – Synthetic Turf does have a tendency heat up on a particularly hot day. Manufacturers are always looking for ways to improve on this issue. You will find that the darker in colour the grass fibres are the more sun it will absorb. This issue can be lessened by watering the lawn before use to reduce the temperature.
What to Look For When Buying Fake Grass
Just google the words “Fake Grass” and you will find a myriad number of suppliers. It is important to do your research before buying as this can be a
sizeable investment and it’s going to be around for a long time. The styles, colours and proper manufacturing techniques are all important considerations
when choosing your type of artificial grass. Most suppliers are happy to supply a sample of the types of grass they offer, all you need to do is ask.
- Quality grass should be soft and non-abrasive.
- Contain a high blade density.
- A holed baking for drainage.
- A realistic look when compared with real grass.
- What type of guarantee do they provide?
- What type of infill is provided? – Quality infill solutions should be provided.
What you buy will depend on a number of factors, such as:
- Your Budget
- Your yard usage – will it just be for looks or do you need to consider whether the grass needs to be pet or child-friendly
- Personal preferences – what colour or blade length do you prefer
When all things are considered, fake grass is a great option. There are so many ways that you can use fake grass, you’re only limited by your imagination. For further inspirational ideas check out the link below: