That turf on football and baseball fields looks lush and photogenic; while some fields boast real grass, many opt for faux options. Like the home team, your lawn can also sport grass that stays forever green. Yes, fake grass is an option. However, when you’re ready to uproot that growing greenery, here are a few artificial grass installation tips to ensure that the grass stays greener…on your side of the fence.
Artificial Grass Cleaning and Maintenance
Fake grass is typically made from plastic. This means that it will never grow or require the same care as a natural lawn. This is great for your water bill—no sprinklers! However, understand that artificial grass still requires other maintenance.
To keep the grass clean, wipe down spills and periodically apply a vinegar (or bleach) cleaner. Checking under the turf is important too as weeds can burst underneath (and ruin the appearance).
Dog messes can also pose a problem with artificial grass…especially urine that isn’t cleaned. Remember, artificial grass is plastic. Any wetness can threaten to leave behind a nasty smell. While you may have let the dog roam free on the natural lawn, every mess on artificial grass needs to be cleaned! However, there are products made for fake grass that can help keep the lawn fresh and destroy the odor of pet accidents.
If you hate cutting the grass, you can officially retire the mower when you switch to artificial grass. However, those plastic blades won’t stay perfect without a good brushing. Yes, instead of mowing, you’ll need to brush your grass monthly!
With regular maintenance, your faux grass could endure for decades (about 30 years!). Although the mat beneath some artificial grass products (to give the grass more of a natural feel) will need to be replaced every few years.
Choosing a Product
Artificial grass products can be really expensive. However, there are products in a variety of price points. Like carpet, higher-end products may have a better feel (and may not require a mat beneath the blades). Your budget may be a determining factor regarding the product you choose.
So how much does artificial grass cost? Home Advisor reports that you can expect prices around $5 to $20 a square foot. The final cost obviously depends on what product you prefer and how much of it you’ll need for that perfect lawn. Like carpet, there are many different products and the quality of these products may vary.
While the products can be pricey, again, the maintenance is not. Maintaining an artificial lawn requires a broom and mild cleaners (talk to your installer for recommendations). While you may need to invest some time into cleaning the lawn, you will no longer need to trim the lawn regularly during those high-growth periods.
Homeowners might also save money thanks to a decreased water usage. How much does it cost to water your lawn? Every area differs, but Today’s Homeowner breaks down that irrigation cost:
“Here in Mobile, Alabama, it costs $2.00 per 1,000 gallons for water plus $4.26 per 1,000 gallons for sewer, for a total of $6.26 for every 1,000 gallons of water that comes out of the tap. That means that to supply a 100’ x 100’ yard with one inch of water costs over $12.00 if you have a separate meter for irrigation, or $39.00 if you don’t.”
Doing the math, the site estimates that it might cost an extra $50 to more than $150 per month to water the lawn. Over a year, this expense really adds up fast. Your cost could be more or less depending on the prices in your area or what time you choose to irrigate. Artificial turf can put those irrigation costs back in your budget.
Artificial Grass: Not So Fun in the Sun
If you live in an area that is known for high temperatures, artificial grass might not be the right choice for you. While real greenery can dry up during the hotter months, artificial grass turns up the heat. A Las Vegas Sun article cited a UNLV study that stated that fake grass can become extraordinarily hot—170 degrees!
However, since the article was published, new products have hit the market that don’t soar to such extremes. Those living in hot climates should investigate products that are adapted for the high temps. No one wants to step on hot coals!
Choosing artificial grass installation is one way to keep your lawn green and lush without hours of maintenance. However, you will need to clean and brush your investment, and, depending on the product you select, you also may need to replace the pad beneath the product. Pet accidents also should be cleaned promptly to ensure that smells don’t linger. Those living in hot climates should consider products that are made to stay cooler even during hot weather.