Artificial turf has been somewhat controversial since its introduction in the mid-1960s. Originally, it was only used on sports fields, in stadiums, and in some parks. However, it has now been adopted for residential use, due to its benefits, newer formulations and lower costs. Residential uses include entire lawns, as filler in planting areas, or even as indoor greenery.
The Benefits of Artificial Turf
There are a lot of benefits to artificial turf’s use in residential applications:
- Save money on maintenance. Without need of a gardener, lawn mower, trimmer, watering, and other maintenance issues, artificial turf creates a greenscape without the work or annual expenditure. It requires no fertilization, no mowing, no watering, etc. Of course, there is the upfront cost of the artificial turf installation.
- Qualify for tax breaks. Because it requires a lot less maintenance, artificial turf is sometimes subsidized with tax breaks for the home owner. Why? Because it is a type of xeriscaping, so it uses no water or other municipal resources.
- Have a green lawn year round. Since it’s not living, artificial turf is green all the time, even during the “brown season” that most property owners dread. Since weather, drought, and heat don’t affect artificial turf, it will always be green and look good during its lifespan — though it will need replacing eventually. Be aware that it does tend to gather more heat than does natural grass, but newer, more modern synthetics are better at reflecting heat and mimicking their natural counterparts.
- Reduce air and water pollution. Since lawnmowers spew carbon monoxide and smog-producing elements into the air, their use is a big contributor to pollution. What’s more, it’s estimated that the average homeowner spills half a gallon of gasoline onto the ground every year thanks to their lawnmower either being difficult to fill, their container being hard to fill, or their mower leaking it out onto the ground. Pesticide and fertilizer runoff from lawns can also contaminate groundwater.
Those are just a few of the things that artificial turf mitigates. For the eco-conscious and those who are not interested in paying high water bills, lawn maintenance fees, etc., artificial turf can be a great option.
More Information on Artificial Turf
Artificial Turf for Lawns – Colorado State University Extension