There’s no denying that artificial grass has become much more popular in recent years as an alternative to laying a new lawn using natural turf.
It’s also used widely in some sports, and 4G turf football pitches can now be found in every town and city, especially on training pitches rather than for competition.
Earlier this year, social media users were bemused to hear of Nike’s new ‘Grass’ golf shoes, which are literally made of fake grass – ironic considering golf is one of the sports least likely to be played on 4G turf.
With Earth Day on Monday April 22nd, we thought we’d take a look at some of the reasons why natural grass turf is so great, and why we don’t think artificial turf golf courses will become commonplace anytime soon.
Brand-name ‘AstroTurf’ dates back to the 1960s and got its name from its first high-profile use, at the Houston Astrodome stadium.
Since then artificial grass has evolved, with more convincing fake grass using blades of different lengths and different shades of green to create a better illusion.
But there are still problems. Fake turf can contain some pretty undesirable materials, from nylon blades of grass, to rubber padding, to glue bonding it all together.
It also removes the benefits of natural turf for wildlife, so you won’t see birds pecking for worms, and you’re even less likely to be visited by a hedgehog.
If you’ve read any of our guides to laying natural turf, you’ll know that for the best results, the ground should be prepared by aerating it, watering it and mixing in some fertiliser.
But laying fake turf is hardly any easier, as for the best results, you need to dig out the top layer of soil and replace it with a ‘permeable sub-base’ such as limestone.
Cheap fake grass often doesn’t drain as well anyway, and this combined with a poorly prepared sub-base layer can leave you with pools of standing water on your lawn.
In contrast, Carbutts Turf offer a complete natural turf laying service. We can prepare the sub-layer for you, supply the turf and quickly lay it in place, so all you need to do is regularly water it in and maintain the grass as it starts to grow.
One of the arguments in favour of artificial turf is durability, especially on football pitches and other sports fields where it will see heavy use.
But for most everyday garden use, real grass is durable enough to withstand footfall and children playing, and will quickly recover and grow back with minimal maintenance.
If you expect regular wear and tear on your lawn, choose our Gold Standard natural turf – it is ultra hard-wearing with faster shoot recovery to get it back to its best after being played on by kids or pets.
Artificial turf has its place on football training pitches and practice putting greens, but we think natural grass can’t be beaten for lawns and gardens.
With Earth Day 2019 upon us, we hope you will agree and do your bit to keep more natural planting in British gardens for the health of our planet.
Image source: http://www.ladbible.com/latest/sport-nike-to-charge-110-for-air-max-trainers-made-of-astro-turf-20190118