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Is artificial grass the right choice for your garden?

Artificial grass. Photograph by Michael Lorenzo

Artificial grass may be an increasingly frequent sight in gardens, schools and sports centres across the country, but the question still remains as to whether it's the right option for everyone.

For those who are considering artificial grass for their outdoor space, here are some of the pros and cons involved.


Also called imitation grass, fake grass or synthetic grass, this type of surface can be used in a wide range of spaces, from rooftops, balconies and lawns to swimming pool areas and play and commercial areas. Due to technological developments there are now options to use artificial grass in shades and styles that offer acutely realistic looking grass surfaces, each designed to blend into existing outdoor environments.

Crucially, imitation grass means less maintenance, with no need to water, weed, mow or treat the surface. Long term, this means that you save money and you never need to spend your valuable time ensuring that your garden space is kept neat and tidy.

The artificial surface will dry quicker than real grass and will never suffer from bald patches if used repeatedly for sport and play. This allows users to have fun without worrying about the surface looking messy, muddy or unkempt. It can even be washed should the need arise and will only need a mild detergent and warm water to make a difference.

Unlike real grass, this surface will not look washed out during long periods of sunshine and will keep its fresh colour in all seasons. A product of many styles and qualities, artificial grass also offers a soft comfortable surface that won't hurt the feet.


Whilst these benefits make artificial grass a great choice for those looking to change and improve their garden, there can also be a few drawbacks to using this man-made surface.

Firstly, consider your initial outlay. To begin with, an artificial lawn can seem a little on the pricey side; over time, however, the costs involved will significantly decrease and the surface will become less expensive to maintain than a real lawn.

Another problem with using imitation grass is that it will not encourage worms to live under the surface. This means that birds will be less likely to use the lawn to feed and could result in fewer birds in the garden. However, don't forget that birds will also feed on insects living on plants or from bird tables, so there are often solutions to this type of problem.

When making your choice, also take into consideration the seasonal weather conditions in your country. In extreme heat and direct sunlight the artificial grass can heat up and may require footwear to protect the feet against burning.

Finally, remember that the artificial surface has a life expectancy of around 15 to 20 years so you may need to replace it in the future. However, unlike real grass this surface requires only a little maintenance to keep it looking good, which means that the occasional replacement is probably outweighed by the lack of everyday upkeep.

Overall, the decision is, of course, yours, and will inevitably depend on your individual circumstances, the type of garden space, and how you plan to use it. However with a vast range of artificial grass options at sites like you'll find it easy to browse what's on offer, and to take your time choosing what will best suit your own lawn, decking, patio or balcony area.

Photo credit: Michael Lorenzo

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