We love discussing landscaping projects.
One of the most common topics we discuss is artificial grass vs sod and what the differences mean for homeowners and business owners.
Whether you’re thinking about updating your yard or sports field, you should take a look at the differences below before you decide on either turf or sod.
Artificial Grass vs Sod
Choosing the right surface for your lawn or sports arena is an important decision that often comes down to deciding between artificial grass and sod.
While each one has their benefits, it is important to understand the differences that exist between the two so that you can determine which type best fits your needs. As you explore your options, use these factors to narrow it down to the one that will give you the longest long-term satisfaction.
Let’s take a look!
1. Consider the Cost of Installation
There are multiple factors that influence the cost of installing both sod and artificial grass. For instance, the size of the area that needs to be covered makes a big difference in how much the cost of materials is for your project. The existing landscaping materials, drainage needs and types of events that will be held on the surface all play a role in what you can expect to pay for installation.
For instance, the size of the area that needs to be covered makes a big difference in how much the cost of materials is for your project. The existing landscaping materials, drainage needs and types of events that will be held on the surface all play a role in what you can expect to pay for installation.
Typically, there is not much that you can do to lower the cost of installing sod without sacrificing quality since natural grass is very sensitive during the initial growth phase. For instance, skimping on soil preparation or drainage installation will only result in poor results. Artificial turf, however, does have options to reduce the cost of installation. Choosing recycled grass is one way to lower the cost of installation without noticeable changes in the overall appearance of your landscape.
Artificial grass, however, does have options to reduce the cost of installation. Choosing recycled grass is one way to lower the cost of installation without noticeable changes in the overall appearance of your landscape.
2. Think About Long-Term Maintenance
People often think about how much the cost of installation is for their landscaping project, yet the long-term maintenance is where the true cost of money and time come in to play. Caring for natural grass requires a careful balance of fertilizing, watering and mowing the lawn to keep it lush and green. Although grass can be seeded to keep it growing, every application of seed requires even more care. There are varieties of natural grass that have been grown to withstand tough conditions such as wear on a playing field, but all types of grass are susceptible to damage when it is exposed to heavy use.
Artificial grass does require some maintenance such as watering it down to remove dirt or cool the surface, but the cost of time and money is significantly less compared to natural sod. Typically, synthetic turf should last between eight to ten years with proper care. While you may occasionally need to have a patch repaired if the turf is exposed to serious wear and tear, it is usually a simple fix compared to having to replace sod.
3. Factor In Environmental Concerns
Today, it is important to consider the effects on the environment with any type of change in your landscaping.
Although natural grass does help to reduce airborne pollutants while also replenishing oxygen, it requires a large amount of water usage to keep it green. If you are considering natural grass, then you will also need to think about using organic fertilizers and pesticides during your maintenance plan to further reduce your environmental footprint when it comes to landscaping.
Artificial turf does require some water just to cool it down, but it also drastically reduces your overall water usage. Additional environmental benefits that are gained by using synthetic turf are being able to skip the application of pesticides and fertilizers that often lead to chemical run-off. Once
Once the synthetic grass has reached the end of its life span, it can simply be removed and recycled so that the materials used to manufacture it are never wasted.
4. Focus On Health and Safety
When you know that people will be spending large amounts of time enjoying your landscape or playing field, it is important to also think about the health and safety of everyone who visits your property. Natural grass does provide a more even temperature for playing sporting events. However, it also poses a few hazards. For instance, sod is more likely to develop minor holes and divots that pose a risk for trip-and-fall injuries. It is also more likely to attract insects such as bees or harbor pests such as snakes. Many people are also allergic to natural grass, which can increase the risk of allergies that cause people to not be able to enjoy your landscape.
Synthetic grass comes with high safety ratings since it does not contribute to allergies. You also have options for increasing the safety level by choosing things such as having padding added beneath the synthetic turf. This padding can be adjusted to meet specific needs such as needing a certain amount to protect athletes during competitive play. Although an occasional insect may find its way on to your turf, the synthetic materials do not make good nesting areas for pests. They also stay at the same length, which means that you do not have to worry about overgrown blades attracting snakes and other critters.
5. Keep Aesthetics In Mind
Even with the best of care, natural grass goes through dormant stages. This means that you will need to accept the possibility of having a brown landscape during the winter season. It is also common for other issues such as fungal growth to get in the way of having a lush lawn, and heavy use often results in muddy holes. While many types of damage to the natural blades can be repaired, it takes time to get a damaged lawn back to its original state.
Synthetic grass remains lush and green all year long, with minimal maintenance. You can also choose types that match the natural grass that is grown in your area. In some instances, such as creating a golf course, you can even buy specific types that fit your purpose. When the grass does get worn out, replacing a patch or reinstalling it completely takes only a short day or two before your landscape is fully operational again.
Creating an attractive landscape requires careful thought about your intended purpose and desired results. Although natural grass seems like a great option, synthetic turf often wins in the end when it comes to easy maintenance and budgetary factors. By understanding the differences that exist between the two, you can make a decision that stands the test of time.