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No Mow May: Gardeners urged to let lawns grow wild

Garden Inspiration | Things to do in the garden | Posted on May 12, 2022 at 11:34 am by

This month is No Mow May, when gardeners are encouraged to let their grass grow wild – think of it as being like Movember for your lawn!

It’s an initiative that takes place this time each year, and is the brainchild of the conservation charity Plantlife, which aims to support British wildflowers, plants and fungi.

As part of those efforts, the organisation wants UK households to let their grass grow long during May, and even to let the weeds grow through.

While we’re all about a well-kept lawn that’s free from weeds, we’re not at all opposed to the idea of a meadow area, which can bring in the bees, butterflies and attract other garden wildlife.

Whether you leave your lawn to do its own thing for a month, or create a dedicated year-round meadow space, there are many reasons to give No Mow May a go.

So why is this so important, and how can you join in?

Why weeds matter

You might call them weeds, or you might call them wildflowers, but normally when they grow through your lawn, they’re not welcome.

But Plantlife’s surveys in previous years have found rare blooms like meadow saxifrage, adder’s tongue fern, snake’s head fritillary and eyebright growing through uncut lawns.

Even if all you get is dandelions, you’re helping the bees more than you’d think. On one lawn in 2021, Plantlife found 85 times more daisies than dandelions. Yet the dandelions produced almost a tenth of the total pollen and over a third of the garden’s nectar.

Ian Dunn, CEO of Plantlife, said: ‘The results underline how embracing a little more wildness in our gardens can be a boon for plants, butterflies and bees.’

How to join in No Mow May

Joining in No Mow May is easy – just leave some or all of your lawn to grow wild, with any flowers (yes, even weeds!) allowed to grow through and bloom too.

If you have dandelions, you might want to compromise by removing them once they’ve flowered, before they grow their ‘dandelion clock’ seed heads. That way, you shouldn’t be overrun by them next year.

On May 21st-30th, participants are invited to count the number of wildflowers in a square metre of lawn, to see how your garden compares with others around the country. Join over 4,300 other households and learn how many bees your garden’s pollen and nectar can support!

Do it your way

A weed-free manicured lawn is a beautiful thing, and of course we’re not suggesting you should lay a turf lawn only to leave it to go wild – it’s all about balance and getting what you need from your garden.

But giving yourself a month off from mowing is no bad thing either, and can allow your grass to grow stronger before the busy summer season of garden parties and barbecues.

Even a small dedicated meadow space can keep your garden in balance. You can plant daffodils, bluebells and wildflowers to grow back year after year for some spring-summer colour with almost no maintenance required.

Not only will you be helping out the butterflies and bees, but you’ll also be giving them their own place to buzz around in peace, well away from you, your family and your friends.


5 benefits of new turf in spring

Blog | Laying Turf | Posted on February 28, 2022 at 10:13 am by

Spring is finally on the horizon, and if you’re planning your garden for the warmer weather ahead, don’t overlook the benefits of turf to get your open space ready for a season of fun with friends and family.

It’s all too easy to focus on flowerbeds and rockeries, while neglecting a mossy old bumpy lawn or a patch of broken concrete that could be given new life as a vibrant, verdant grassy area.

Here are five big benefits of turf lawns and why this is the perfect time of year to think about laying a new lawn with freshly cut turf from Carbutts Turf.

1. Less prep time

Spring brings an end to the coldest weather, so if you’re in an area prone to ground frosts, it should be much easier to lay a new turf lawn as we move out of the winter months. If you already have a lawn in place, it’s also a great time to give your lawn an MOT.

While spring is still an unsettled season, that’s no bad thing – there should be plenty of days when the weather is good enough to lay new turf, yet also a good amount of rain to help your newly laid grass to grow.

If you’re preparing ground for turf that was previously covered by concrete, for example, you should find any soil beneath it is neither frozen nor parched, making it easier to dig up, fertilise and level.

2. Fast to lay

Once your ground is prepared, turf is fast and quite easy to lay – just roll it out and tamp it down to create a level lawn surface, and to an extent the grass itself will do the rest as it starts to grow and put down firm roots.

This is why preparing the ground is so important, to give the turf the best surface to root into, but once it comes to actually laying the turf, things can move very quickly.

3. Instant colour

We often take green grass for granted, at least until a summer heatwave turns it brown, but if you currently don’t have healthy grass in your garden, new turf can give an immediate lift to your view out your windows.

As we move into spring, the flowerbeds will start to bloom too (with a bit of luck) but a bright, healthy green lawn makes the ideal centrepiece for whatever you choose to plant.

4. Improved drainage

Spring and summer are not without their downpours, and those microbursts of rain can be extremely heavy in a short period of time.

Grass lawns help to dissipate excess rainwater in a more controlled way. That can reduce the risk of isolated floods, while also relieving pressure on the drainage network in your street.

It’s a best of both worlds solution that can help to safeguard you and your neighbours’ houses on occasions when a sudden summer downpour might have been just enough to overwhelm an area of hardstanding, rather than grass.

5. Better comfort

The effects of a healthy turf lawn are not just psychological – they can be physical as well.

Healthy grass ‘breathes’ by the process of transpiration, and that has a cooling effect. On a hot summer’s day your lawn should feel physically cooler than concrete paving or other hard surfaces would be.

Equally, grass takes in carbon dioxide and releases oxygen, improving the air quality in your garden – and creating an oasis of calm for you to spend your spring and summer days in greater comfort, this year and for many years to come.

If you’re thinking of laying a new lawn, buy our gold standard turf online or contact us today with any queries.


The benefits of gardening as a hobby in 2022

Garden Inspiration | Things to do in the garden | Posted on January 31, 2022 at 1:21 pm by

There are many benefits of gardening as a hobby, from fresh air and Vitamin D to the chance to grow edible fruit and vegetables to include in your meals.

Sustainable gardening can feel good for the soul as well as the body, and there’s something deeply satisfying about looking at living plants and thinking, “I grew those.”

Let’s look at some of the best benefits of gardening as a hobby, and how you can turn green fingers into a healthy body and a happy mind in 2022.

Benefits of gardening for mental health

Gardening is not only good for your physical health; it has real benefits for your mental health too.

After the events of 2020-21, we are all more aware of the value of physical activity and time spent outdoors. Even a small outdoor space can help you take up gardening for wellbeing, from planting pots and window boxes to curating a freshly laid turf lawn, rockeries and shrubberies.

As you gain experience, you’ll start to learn which plants you enjoy growing the most. Whether they’re hardy perennials or something more challenging, find your own comfort zone and peace of mind won’t be far behind.

Eco gardening for wellbeing

Sustainable gardening helps you do your bit for the environment, and an eco-friendly garden can even help to clean the air around the exterior of your property.

Planting edibles is a good choice for eco gardening. Not only will the plants remove carbon dioxide from the air and replace it with oxygen, but you’ll be cutting carbon miles from your household diet if you manage to grow enough to eat.

A herb garden is a great place to start if you’re short of space or not particularly experienced. Fresh herbs can add flavour to your food, and while they’re not completely fool-proof, they’re not too difficult to grow either.

Year-round gardening

Winter doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy time in your garden. In fact, weather permitting, it’s the perfect time to clear fallen leaves and dead annuals, and cut back trees and shrubs that can take being pruned or pollarded.

Early spring is the time to plant many bulbs and should also see the first shoots start to grow through the bare earth – always a spirit-lifting sight after a cold winter.

Also, remember to look after the visitors to your garden. Not friends and family, but birds and wildlife – keep feeders filled, put out fresh (not frozen!) water for drinking and bathing, and create hidey-holes for hedgehogs and other ground-dwellers.

What about the lawn?

A well looked after lawn provides the ideal centrepiece for any wellbeing garden, a place to play or entertain, and just the feeling of open space.

If yours needs a reset, you can get high-quality turf from the Carbutts Turf online shop, ready for whatever the spring, summer and autumn months of 2022 bring your way.

You’ll find even more ideas for gardening in winter and top tips for turf lawn care on our blog.

Happy gardening!


When and what to prune in winter

Blog | Garden Inspiration | Things to do in the garden | Posted on December 20, 2021 at 12:58 pm by

The British winter of 2021-22 started with a bang, as Storm Arwen and then Storm Barra swept through the UK, stripping the trees of any remaining autumn leaves.

Since then, conditions have improved, and we’re yet to meet Corrie, Dudley or Eunice – the next three names on the Met Office’s ‘Name our Storms’ list for this season.

There’s plenty to do in the garden over winter while the fine weather holds. In particular, now is the perfect time to take care of any pruning in your garden, as the winter months are the best season to trim most trees, shrubs and large plants.

Why prune in winter?

As temperatures drop, many plants enter a dormant phase. During this time, it’s safer to prune them back without causing unnecessary damage.

Pruning has the obvious effect of cutting back on the amount of growth by removing dead and unwanted branches, but it can actually boost growth over the long term.

That’s because once the springtime arrives and the tree or shrub exits its dormant phase, it’s able to put more energy into growing green shoots, rather than sustaining old, unhealthy branches that should have been removed.

Pruning vs. trimming – is there a difference?

Although the process of pruning a tree or shrub is very similar to that of trimming it back, there are some differences in the way the two terms are used, especially by professionals.

Pruning typically focuses on the health and vitality of the plant. It may involve removing dead branches or those damaged by storm winds, and there is often a public safety element to the process as well.

On the other hand, trimming is more of an aesthetic consideration. The branches removed might be in good health, but growing in an odd place or position, or growing towards nearby buildings where they are not wanted.

What not to prune

Some plants prefer to be pruned later in the winter season, after the last frost has thawed. If this winter remains cold and crisp, that could take us quite a way into 2022.

Apple trees and grapevines are fine to prune immediately, and cutting your apple tree back to a wine glass shape should encourage additional fruit growth in the next year.

Roses and clematis can also be pruned early in winter, whereas lavender, buddleia and ornamental grasses are all best left untouched until the warmer weather of springtime sets in.

An apple tree in the snow

How to prune

Pollarding is the process of pruning to encourage new shoots to grow next year. In general, shoots should be cut close to the base, which reduces the risk of disease and removes as much as possible of the unwanted wood from your shrub or tree.

When pruning apple trees to encourage fruit growth, aim for that wine glass silhouette, with evenly spaced branches, and leave a hollow centre rising up from the trunk.

Ornamental trees can be trimmed back to maintain a pleasing aesthetic. Aim to thin out the growth rather than severely cutting back entire sections of the tree.

Shaping the foliage on a tree for aesthetic effect is called topiary, so remember the P’s and the T’s: pollarding is pruning, and topiary is trimming.

Visit our blog for more gardening advice and inspiration, or buy our Gold Standard Turf here.


How to Make the Most of Your Garden on Bonfire Night

Blog | Things to do in the garden | Posted on October 15, 2021 at 3:59 pm by

Bonfire Night is celebrated in the UK on November 5th and is a uniquely British event, with just a few other Commonwealth countries also marking the occasion.

It commemorates the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in which Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators came very close to blowing up the Houses of Parliament.

Common activities include lighting bonfires, setting off fireworks and burning an effigy of Guy Fawkes, usually made of old clothes stuffed with newspapers.

Over the years, organised public events have grown in popularity, while back-garden bonfires and at-home firework displays have waned.

But with the Coronavirus lockdowns preventing full-scale celebrations in 2020 and many households still worried about the virus in 2021, there are good reasons to spend this November 5th within the perimeter of your own garden fence.

In the past, we have talked about how to enjoy your garden during the COVID-19 lockdown and over summer; now, here’s some tips for making the most of your garden on Bonfire Night.

How to prepare your garden for Bonfire Night

If your garden is mainly grass, there are some precautions you can take to protect your lawn on Bonfire Night, as well as to keep everything as safe as possible once bonfires and fireworks are lit.

First, try to keep your bonfire off of the grass.  Build it on a patch of bare earth such as an empty flowerbed, or in a container, especially if you have a purpose-made fire pit.

A lit fire pit on a patio rather than grass

Water your lawn well so it’s still wet. In November it’s likely conditions will be damp anyway, but this should help the grass resist any risk of setting alight if sparks or embers land on it.

Launch fireworks from a container of sand. This helps to keep them stable until they fire, and can prevent harmful chemicals and leftover explosives from entering your lawn and subsoil.

If you do notice some lawn damage after the festivities, you can always follow our easy guide on reseeding your lawn.

How to decorate the garden for Bonfire Night

If you’re having friends round to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night in your garden, or you just want it to feel festive for yourself, there are some simple and safe ways to decorate.

Fairy lights are a good option. You can get outdoor garden lights that can wind around tree branches or along your fence, and will create an instant magical atmosphere – as well as giving you some light to see by.

Think about how you will stay warm if you’re outside late into the evening. Patio heaters and fire pits are good options, as well as hot food and plenty of hot drinks.

Have somewhere to sit at a safe distance from wherever you light your fireworks, and blankets for anyone who gets cold – and look out for anything flammable around the bonfire.

How to stay safe in the garden on Bonfire Night

Finally, there are some simple steps you can take to stay safe in the garden on Bonfire Night:

• Keep your bonfire contained (e.g. in a fire pit)
• Light fireworks in a container at a safe distance from spectators
• Have adequate lighting and look out for wildlife or pets
• Keep flammable items like blankets well away from the fire
• Have a bucket of water ready in case of small fires

Last but not least, remember there are legal limits on when you’re allowed to set off fireworks, so your display should be over before 11pm unless it is actually on Friday November 5th, when the legal deadline is extended by one hour to midnight.

See our winter lawn care guide for more information about gardening over the coming months. To learn about our turf products and turf laying services, speak to our experts today.


Sustainable lawn care guide

Blog | Lawn Care Tips | Laying Turf | Posted on October 5, 2021 at 3:45 pm by

An eco-friendly lawn makes a great centrepiece for any garden and grass has plenty of benefits in terms of drainage, carbon capture and all-around sustainability – so its sensible to adopt sustainable lawn care methods too.

Those looking to invest a little more can lower carbon emissions with a robot lawn mower, but there are also plenty of ways to keep your lawn looking great using natural fertilisers and resources recovered from the environment.

The top tips below should give you an introductory sustainable lawn care guide to help you get started with an environmentally friendly lawn.

Removing excess fertiliser

If excessive fertilising over the years has left your soil imbalanced, there are several ways to get it back under control.

The fastest but most difficult is to remove several inches of topsoil and replace it with fresh, good-quality soil free from excess chemical fertilisers.

Alternatively, if you have the time, you can plant mustard which is known for drawing large quantities of nutrients from the ground, and can work well as an eco-friendly one-year ‘reset’ button for your soil.

Of course if you’re laying a new turf lawn, this is the perfect time to remove some topsoil, making it an opportunity to tackle your soil fertility at the same time.

Garden fork turns compost

Natural lawn fertilisers

Again, there are several natural lawn fertilisers if you want to keep your grass lush and green, without using artificial chemicals.

Just some of the best natural lawn fertilisers include:

Compost leachate

Also called ‘compost tea’, this is the richly fertile fluid that drains from the bottom of a compost bin.

Some bins drain this liquid out automatically but some retain it, allowing you to release it via a tap and use it on your lawn or flowerbeds.

Pond algae

If your garden has a pond, don’t waste the nitrogen-rich algae you skim from the surface or extract from your filter box.

Algae can be composted to recover those valuable nutrients, or if you have exposed soil for a future lawn or flowerbed, you can dig the algae into it as an instant fertiliser.

Grass clippings

Your lawn is one of its own best fertilisers, so don’t make the mistake of removing your grass clippings or dumping them in your garden waste bin.

Try ‘grasscycling‘ instead; leave the cut grass where it falls to naturally mulch back down into the soil, or put your clippings in your compost bin to rot down separately.

Watering your lawn

Lawns cope well with hot weather – even if they turn brown, they’ll usually be back to green when the rains come – but there are eco-friendly ways to water them.

Keep a rainwater butt somewhere in your garden and you’ll have an easy source of water for your lawn and flowerbeds, without any of the chemicals that are in tap water.

The water pressure of a full butt alone could be enough to power a hose or irrigation pipe, or you can use a watering can for targeted coverage.

With just these few simple steps, you can create a sustainable lawn care routine that’s easy to start, easy to follow, and costs practically nothing over the long term.

Contact Carbutts Turf to learn more about our turf supply and laying services, or check out our new turf guide and lawn care calendar for more tips and tricks.


Easiest garden care schedule

Blog | Lawn Care Tips | News | Posted on September 2, 2021 at 4:07 pm by

Whether you love it or hate it, gardening is something we all must do to keep our outdoor space looking clean and tidy.

It’s also an example of when ‘little and often’ can help to keep on top of things, rather than allowing your garden to grow wild and woolly before you take the shears to your urban jungle.

To avoid facing a forest of weeds when you open your door, here are some simple steps you can take on a regular basis to give yourself the easiest garden care schedule possible.

1. Mow the lawn

As a garden turf supplier, we’ve seen some poorly treated lawns over the years, so get some fresh turf delivered and laid, and commit to keeping the grass trimmed more regularly.

This doesn’t have to be every week, and you don’t have to cut it too short – in fact, slightly longer grass can look greener and healthier.

Let your grass tell you when it needs a trim, and try to mow it during dry but not too sunny weather, to give it the best chance to bounce back.

2. Pull up weeds

Make it a habit to pull up any weeds you spot as you walk around your garden, rather than waiting to spend your weekend trying to pluck them all at once.

This nips them in the bud much sooner, preventing their root systems from becoming well established, and should leave less gaps in your grass too.

Pay special attention to baby trees, as you ideally need to remove these as soon as you can, before they put down roots.

If you’re looking for more information about reseeding a weed-infested or patchy lawn, see our blog.

Image of a hand weeding the lawn

3. Tidy twigs and leaves

Once a week, give your garden a walkover and remove any small twigs, leaves and other debris that has landed on the wind.

You can sweep hard surfaces in a matter of minutes, and gently rake your lawn to collect debris together and make it easier to pick up.

4. Water the plants

On rainy days your plants should be fine, but on hot sunny days it’s sensible to give them something to drink.

Realistically with the British summer weather, you’re only likely to need to do this a couple of times in any given week, so just keep an eye on the weather and the time of year.

A hose is a good addition to larger gardens, as it’s much easier to water flowerbeds, pots and planters, as well as to give your grass a quick soak as evening falls.

Image of a hand watering the lawn

5. Check your benches and buildings

Finally, your garden is not just your grass and plants, but also includes outdoor furniture, benches, sheds and so on.

Make it routine to give them a quick check – at least once a month, if not once a week – and if you spot signs of wear and tear or weather damage, fix them as soon as you can.

This all helps to keep your garden structures protected all year round, so the harshest elements of winter can’t cause as much damage during the coldest months.

For more information about our turf products, contact us here.


How to safely treat your lawn for birds and wildlife

Blog | Lawn Care Tips | Posted on August 9, 2021 at 10:44 am by

A freshly laid turf lawn looks great to you and me, but for birds and wildlife it can look like an invitation to dinner or a place to set up home.

Carbutts Gold Standard Turf is designed to withstand a reasonable amount of wear and tear, and that includes the impact of garden creatures.

But there are some steps you can take to look after your lawn in a way that protects it against the more severe effects of wildlife passing through.

How to deter wildlife from gardens

It’s important to give natural wildlife somewhere to live and you can do this by attracting wildlife to your garden but you also don’t want your new turf lawn to be completely colonised, especially by any kind of biting insect.

Several natural oils and plants have been linked with repelling different creatures – and some of them you can grow in your flowerbeds.

Examples include:

  • White vinegar to repel ants (although this should not be used on the lawn itself)
  • Peppermint oil to repel spiders
  • Lavender or marigolds to repel mosquitoes
  • Citronella to repel mosquitoes, spiders and unwelcome cats

Check if a substance is harmful to grass (e.g. vinegar) and, if it is, make sure you only apply it to surrounding areas like walls, fences and patios.

The wildlife itself can help too, so if you’re lucky enough to live in an area where hedgehogs prowl, you might want to make your garden as hedgehog-friendly as possible, as they will feast on slugs and insects and help to protect your grass and plants as a result.

How to kill weeds without hurting wildlife

You might welcome wildlife but still want to keep your lawn free from weeds, and again there are safe ways to do this.

Mass-market weedkillers like Miracle-Gro EverGreen Complete 4 in 1 are safe for pets once the grass has fully dried out after application.

Or if you enjoy spending time working in the garden, you could adopt a policy of pulling weeds out manually – be sure to remove them by the root and any small gaps left behind in your grass should quickly fill back in with healthy growth.

Regular lawn care will help keep your grass healthy and reduce weed growth:

  • Keep grass well-watered
  • Avoid mowing too often or too short
  • Scarify once a year or as required

Scarifying removes the dead ‘thatch’ from around the base of your grass shoots, and can help to control unwanted growth like moss and weeds that can choke your grass.

Build a wildlife area

Finally, why not welcome the wildlife into your garden, but with a dedicated area for birds, insects and small garden mammals?

Hang birdhouses and insect hotels, put out food like nuts, seeds and fat balls, add a water feature for drinking and bathing, and plenty of ground-level growth to shelter in.

Always check carefully before using power tools like lawnmowers, strimmers and hedge trimmers, as it’s sometimes hard to tell when a hedgehog is hiding or a bird is nesting.

Ultimately, our gardens are home to all kinds of wildlife – much of which is beneficial for your lawn, or at least is not harmful – so a ‘live and let live’ attitude can have its benefits in the long run.

For further information on Carbutts’ turf, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


How to choose good quality turf

Blog | Posted on June 30, 2021 at 3:07 pm by

 

Good quality turf is more than just grass. That’s why our Gold Standard Turf is specially blended to create a top-quality lawn that will hold its own under normal levels of wear and tear.

We have worked hard to develop a ‘best of both worlds’ solution, high-quality turf that looks fantastic but is also usable for families, pets, or just to spend some time alone in your garden.

But what exactly does this mean? When choosing the special blend of grasses in our turf, we took several different factors into account:

  • Soft and springy underfoot with a firm sublayer
  • Easy to maintain and resistant to close mowing
  • Healthy roots that bed down fast in their new location
  • Adaptable to new and unfamiliar soil types
  • Receptive to feeding for a lush, green lawn all year round

All of these are completely reasonable expectations, and we developed our Gold Standard Turf to meet all of those needs in a single product.

That means you don’t have to choose between aesthetics and performance – you can have strong, sturdy natural grass that bends underfoot but springs back quickly into place.

 

Who is Gold Standard Turf suitable for?

Our turf caters to a wide variety of needs and, therefore, it’s suitable for a very wide range of people.

Some examples include:

Families

If you have young children who like to play on the lawn, or your family has pets who need to go out in the garden, Gold Standard Turf can withstand this level of use without bare patches or severe damage.

Elderly People

We know our older customers spend a lot of time in the garden, especially on hot and sunny days. Gold Standard Turf is comfortable underfoot, but still provides a firm walking surface, and will not be significantly damaged if you sit out on a lawn chair or blanket.

Gardeners

Keen gardeners come in all ages, and our natural grass turf makes your lawn the centerpiece of your outdoor space. Again, it’s highly resistant to damage, although you can use kneeling pads when working directly on the grass to reduce the pressure.

 

Why choose quality turf from Carbutts?

It’s not just the turf that matters – we make sure we offer more than most in other ways too.

For example, we are careful to cut all our turves to the same length and width, so there should be no unnecessary gaps when laying turves alongside one another.

We produce turf for use all year round, and you can lay our Gold Standard Turf in any weather conditions apart from a ground frost.

Turves are easy to lay and compensate well for any slightly uneven ground. Our grass is suitable for domestic gardens, public spaces, commercial premises, and landscaping projects alike.

 

Save up to 28% when you buy in bulk

We offer bulk discounts for larger orders. For the biggest savings, order more than 50 rolls of turf and we can offer as much as 28% off our normal purchase price.

Find out more in our online turf store, or contact us directly to let us know what you need for your upcoming project.


The environmental benefits of real grass lawns vs. artificial turf

Blog | Posted on June 11, 2021 at 1:21 pm by

Nothing beats a real grass lawn, but artificial turf has grown in popularity over the years as a supposedly low-maintenance alternative.

While fake turf is a lot better than it used to be, can it hold its own in terms of environmental benefits?

In this article, we’ll look at a few of the main differences between real and fake turf and how they might affect the eco-friendliness of your lawn over the years to come.

 

Real grass vs. plastic grass

In an era when we are all trying to cut down on our plastic consumption, laying a lawn made of plastic grass is a major obstacle to your efforts to be eco-friendly.

Real grass not only avoids using plastic, but acts as a store for carbon too. Green grass consumes carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and releases oxygen into the air – something particularly beneficial in urban areas.

While it is true that grass clippings release that carbon again as they decay, you can let your lawn grow a little longer to avoid this, and leave the clippings on your lawn to act as fertiliser for the blades that grow in their place.

 

Which drains better?

Artificial grass drains up to 50 litres per square metre per minute, and this figure has improved over the years thanks to better-designed backing on synthetic grass ‘turf’.

Natural grass drainage depends on the soil conditions, but it’s important to think about where the water goes.

With artificial turf, the water drains straight through and is quickly dumped into the sewers. Real grass – and real soil – slows this process down, retaining some of the water for longer.

In a downpour, that reduces demand on the local sewers and can buy crucial extra minutes for wastewater to drain away, without the nearby drains and pipes becoming overwhelmed.

And when the sun comes out after a storm, all you’ll smell with artificial grass is wet plastic, whereas with a real lawn you can get the evocative scent of petrichor.

 

Which lasts longer?

Artificial grass lawns have a limited lifespan, often around 7-10 years. If not laid correctly, they will start to show signs of wear and tear much sooner.

They are not maintenance-free, either. You may need to wash your fake grass to remove moss and algae – this could end up more time-consuming than using feed-and-weed on a real lawn, and may require the use of soapy detergents that drain into the soil.

Good quality turf, on the other hand, will last for years once it puts down strong roots. Even after a heatwave, natural grass will grow back once watered.

 

Final thoughts

Artificial lawns are a lot better than they used to be, not only in terms of aesthetic appeal but also characteristics like sustainable drainage.

But they do not store carbon or produce oxygen; they do not slow the release of wastewater during a deluge, and they are far from maintenance-free over the long term.

Finally, natural grass provides a hugely important ecosystem for all sorts of beneficial bugs that work their way up the food chain via birds, hedgehogs and other friendly garden dwellers.

Artificial grass may have the visual effect, but looks can be deceiving, and we believe a real turf lawn will always come out on top overall.


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