Grass can be a centerpiece of childhood memories. From playing catch or sliding down a slip-n-slide, to just rolling around and taking a nap, having a lush lawn is a smell and feeling that is difficult to forget. In the midst of global climate change and particularly devastating droughts, questions are being raised as to whether or not having a lawn is a good thing.
A Brief History on Grass Lawns
In 17th century England, it's believed grass lawns originated as a way to outwardly display wealth. The wealthy people owned the land and had no reason for it. They didn't plant food or let animals graze on it. It was left to grow and when it needed cutting, they hired peasants to come chop the grass with scythes. The question today is why grass lawns that require multiple gallons of drinkable water are allowed to grow when water is so desperately needed for the populace?
Does Grass Grow Naturally Where You Live?
An obvious first question to ask before you decide to rid yourself of a natural lawn is if the climate and weather lends itself to having a natural lawn. Grass requires abundant watering and it would save not only your bank account, but the Earth if you had grass in a grass-friendly climate. Of course, synthetic grass requires no regular water, though a bit of rinsing now and then is advised.
Do You Really Want to Maintain a Lawn?
Maintenance is probably the biggest selling point for synthetic grass. You will never need to mow the lawn, which saves you time and money. You will never have to pull out weeds or take preventative measures like spraying your yard with toxic chemicals. When you spray pesticides or weed killer on your lawn, the chemicals ultimately end up polluting the groundwater. Your synthetic grass doesn't need that. However, it is important to note that synthetic grass is usually made from rubber or plastic. This can also pollute the soil, leaving behind plastic particles, but this is not an immediate effect like the chemicals in weed killer.
The Biggest Downside to Synthetic Grass
The biggest drawback to synthetic grass is that, while grass needs a certain climate to thrive, that same climate could prevent you from enjoying your synthetic grass. For instance, a desert would seem to be a wonderful place to synthetic grass. Water conservation is extremely important in a desert climate, however, the sun and heat are unforgiving. Synthetic grass can absorb the heat from the sun, heating the plastic to almost scalding temperatures. You can't really enjoy a summertime barbeque if your feet are blistered.
Yet, synthetic grass, while it may be expensive to install upfront, it has a long lifespan because it is not going to die or wear down from excessive use. You also do not have to worry about dead patches. You will have a beautiful lawn with a relatively low need for maintenance for years.
The decision is ultimately yours. There are many reasons to invest in synthetic grass and many people feel as though they are helping the environment without compromising the aesthetic of their houses. Yet, some people cannot bring themselves to lose the smell, feel, and look of a real lawn (go to websites like this to contact sod installation professionals). Whichever way you go, as long as you have contemplated the pros and cons and make a decision based on your individual wants and needs, you can walk outside on a spring day and feel confident in the choice you made.