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Choosing the Best Artificial Grass Material for Your Garden

February 22, 2024    By:  lawnmin

When it comes to transforming your outdoor space, the choice of material for your lawn can make a significant impact on both aesthetics and practicality. While natural grass has long been the traditional choice, an increasing number of homeowners are turning to artificial grass material for its numerous benefits.

Benefits of High-Quality Artificial Grass Material

If you’re considering making the switch, here’s why high-quality artificial grass material may be the perfect solution for your garden.

Realistic Look and Feel

One of the most appealing aspects of high-quality artificial grass material is its incredibly realistic appearance and texture. Unlike older versions that were easily identifiable as fake, modern artificial grass closely mimics the lushness and feel of natural grass. 

Advanced manufacturing techniques have enabled manufacturers to create fibres that not only look like real grass but also vary in colour and texture to replicate the natural inconsistencies found in a living lawn.

Durability

Artificial grass material is designed to withstand heavy foot traffic, extreme weather conditions, and prolonged exposure to sunlight without losing its colour or texture. High-quality synthetic fibres are engineered to be UV-resistant, ensuring that your lawn maintains its vibrant green hue for years to come. 

Additionally, artificial grass is highly durable and resistant to tearing, making it ideal for homes with children or pets who love to play outdoors.

Low Maintenance Requirements

Unlike natural grass, which requires regular watering, mowing, and fertilising to keep it looking its best, artificial grass material is very low maintenance.

Once installed, all you need to do is occasionally brush the fibres to prevent them from matting down and remove any debris that may accumulate on the surface. 

This not only saves you time and effort but also reduces your water consumption and eliminates the need for harmful chemicals often used in lawn maintenance.

Allergy-Friendly

If you have grass allergies, artificial grass provides a hypoallergenic alternative that allows you to enjoy the outdoors without discomfort or allergic reactions. 

Unlike natural grass, which can trigger allergic symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and congestion, artificial grass does not produce pollen or other allergens.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability Considerations

Artificial grass offers several benefits, including water conservation, reduced chemical usage, and lower maintenance requirements. However, consider its environmental impact and sustainability considerations to make an informed decision about its use. 

Water Conservation

One of the primary environmental benefits of artificial grass is its significant water savings. 

Unlike natural grass, which requires regular watering to maintain its lush appearance, artificial grass eliminates the need for irrigation. This can result in substantial reductions in water consumption, particularly in regions facing water scarcity or drought conditions.

Chemical Usage

Maintaining a natural grass lawn often involves the use of fertilisers, herbicides, and pesticides to control weeds, pests, and diseases. These chemicals can leach into the soil and groundwater, posing risks to human health and the environment. 

Artificial grass eliminates the need for these chemical inputs, reducing pollution and protecting water quality.

Energy Consumption

While artificial grass does not require watering, it does have associated energy costs during manufacturing, transportation, and installation. The production of synthetic materials, such as polyethylene and polypropylene, requires energy-intensive processes. Additionally, transportation emissions from shipping the product to its destination can contribute to carbon emissions. 

However, these environmental impacts may be offset by long-term water savings and reduced maintenance requirements.

Material Composition

The materials used to manufacture artificial grass, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, and recycled rubber, can have environmental implications. Some synthetic materials may contain harmful chemicals or heavy metals that could leach into the environment over time. 

It’s essential to choose products that are free from toxic substances and have been tested for safety and environmental compliance.

End-of-Life Disposal

At the end of its lifespan, artificial grass presents challenges for disposal and recycling. Most synthetic turf products are not biodegradable and can accumulate in landfills, where they may release microplastics and other pollutants into the environment. 

However, some manufacturers offer recycling programs for used artificial grass, reclaiming the materials for reuse in new products.

Heat Island Effect

Artificial grass can contribute to the urban heat island effect, particularly in urban areas with high concentrations of paved surfaces. Synthetic turf absorbs and retains heat, leading to elevated temperatures in surrounding areas. 

To mitigate this effect, consider incorporating permeable paving, shade trees, or other cooling strategies into your landscape design.

Lifecycle Analysis

Conducting a lifecycle analysis can help assess the overall environmental impact of artificial grass compared to natural grass. Consider factors like resource extraction, manufacturing processes, transportation, installation, maintenance, and disposal. 

While artificial grass may offer water savings and reduced chemical usage, it’s essential to weigh these benefits against its energy consumption and end-of-life considerations.

Why Artificial Grass Is The Best Choice

Artificial grass presents numerous advantages over natural grass, particularly in terms of water conservation, low maintenance, durability, and year-round usability. Unlike natural grass, which requires regular watering to maintain its appearance, artificial grass eliminates the need for irrigation, helping conserve water resources. 

Additionally, fake grass demands minimal upkeep, such as mowing, fertilising, and weed control, saving homeowners time and effort. Its durable construction ensures resistance to wear and tear, harsh weather conditions, and heavy foot traffic, resulting in a consistently lush and attractive lawn without the issues of bare patches or weed infestations. 

Artificial grass also maintains its vibrant green hue year-round, providing homeowners with a visually appealing outdoor space regardless of the season. 

While natural grass offers some environmental benefits, such as oxygen production and carbon sequestration, artificial grass mitigates water usage, chemical inputs, and emissions associated with lawn care, making it a more sustainable choice overall.

How To Choose The Right Artificial Grass for Your Garden

Choosing the best artificial grass material for your garden requires careful consideration of several factors to ensure that you select the right product for your specific needs and preferences. Here’s a guide to help you make an informed decision.

Determine Your Requirements

Consider how you plan to use your garden space. Will it primarily serve as a play area for children and pets, a relaxing retreat for outdoor entertaining, or simply a low-maintenance alternative to natural grass?

Evaluate the amount of foot traffic the area will receive and any specific durability requirements based on your lifestyle and activities.

Assess Quality and Realism

Look for artificial grass materials that closely mimic the look and feel of natural grass. High-quality synthetic fibres should have varying blade heights, colours, and textures to create a realistic appearance.

Request samples or visit a showroom to feel the texture and assess the overall quality of the artificial grass material before making a decision.

Consider Durability and Resilience

Choose artificial grass material that is designed to withstand heavy foot traffic, UV exposure, and environmental elements without fading, matting, or deteriorating over time.

Check the manufacturer’s warranty and inquire about the expected lifespan of the product to ensure long-term durability and performance.

Evaluate Drainage and Water Permeability

Opt for artificial grass material with excellent drainage capabilities to prevent water pooling and potential water damage. Look for perforated backing or integrated drainage systems that allow water to drain quickly and efficiently, keeping your lawn dry and free from mould or mildew.

Consider Maintenance Requirements

Determine your tolerance for maintenance tasks such as brushing, cleaning, and infill replenishment. Choose artificial grass material that offers low-maintenance benefits, such as minimal brushing requirements and easy cleaning with water and mild detergent.

Synthetic Lawn Installation Techniques for Optimal Performance

To ensure the optimal performance and durability of your artificial grass material, here’s a guide to some essential installation techniques.

Step 1: Surface Preparation

Clear the area of any existing grass, weeds, rocks, and debris. Ensure the ground is level and compacted to provide a stable base for the artificial grass. Install a weed barrier fabric to prevent weed growth from underneath.

Step 2: Base Construction

Depending on the application, choose an appropriate base material such as crushed rock, decomposed granite, or compacted gravel. Spread and level the base material to create a smooth and even surface. Compact the base using a vibrating plate compactor to achieve proper stability and drainage.

Step 3: Edging Installation

Install perimeter edging along the borders of the area to contain the artificial grass. Use materials such as plastic bender boards, aluminium edging, or treated timber. Secure the edging firmly in place using stakes or screws to prevent shifting.

Step 4: Artificial Grass Installation

Roll out the artificial grass and allow it to acclimate to the temperature and humidity for at least 24 hours. Position the turf rolls to minimise seams and ensure proper alignment. Trim any excess turf along the edges using a sharp utility knife. 

Then, seam multiple rolls together using specialised seam tape and adhesive, ensuring a seamless appearance. Secure the perimeter of the turf using timber edging and attach using galvanised nails or staples spaced evenly along the edges.

Step 5: Infill Application

Spread an appropriate infill material evenly over the surface of the artificial grass. Common infill materials include silica sand, rubber granules, or a combination of both. 

Use a drop spreader or power broom to distribute the infill and brush the turf fibres upright for a natural appearance. Add infill gradually until the desired level is achieved, typically 10 to 15 kgs  per square metre.

Step 6: Brushing and Final Inspection

Use a stiff-bristled broom or power brush to evenly distribute the infill and groom the turf fibres. Brush against the grain to fluff up the fibres and promote a more natural appearance. Inspect the entire installation for any wrinkles, uneven seams, or imperfections. Make any necessary adjustments or repairs to ensure a flawless finish.

Maintenance Tips & Best Practices for Artificial Turf

Maintaining artificial grass material is relatively straightforward and requires minimal effort compared to natural grass. Here are some maintenance tips and best practices to keep your artificial lawn looking its best.

Regular Brushing

To prevent matting and keep the fibres upright, brush your artificial grass regularly using a stiff-bristled broom or brush. Brushing against the grain helps lift the fibres and distribute the infill evenly throughout the turf.

Remove Debris

Clear any debris such as leaves, twigs, or pet waste from the surface of the artificial grass using a leaf blower, rake, or gentle sweeping motion. Promptly remove any stains or spills with water and mild detergent to prevent discolouration.

Rinse Occasionally

Periodically rinse the artificial grass with water to remove dust, pollen, and other airborne particles that may accumulate on the surface. Use a garden hose or sprinkler system to thoroughly rinse the turf and refresh the fibres.

Inspect for Damage

Regularly inspect the artificial grass for signs of damage, such as tears, rips, or loose seams. Repair any minor damage immediately using adhesive or seam tape to prevent it from spreading and compromising the integrity of the turf.

Address Weeds and Moss

While artificial grass is resistant to weeds and moss, it may still appear along the edges or in areas with poor drainage. Use a weed killer or moss remover specifically designed for artificial turf to eliminate any unwanted growth without damaging the turf fibres.

Maintain Infill Levels

Check the infill levels periodically and replenish as needed to maintain proper support and stability for the turf. Use a drop spreader or power broom to distribute the infill evenly and prevent compaction or uneven wear.

Protect from Heavy Objects

Avoid placing heavy objects or furniture on the artificial grass for extended periods, as this may cause indentations or damage to the turf fibres. Use furniture pads or platforms to distribute weight evenly and minimise the risk of damage.

Prevent Pet Damage

If you have pets, regularly remove solid waste and rinse urine with water to prevent odours and staining. Consider using a pet-specific artificial grass cleaner to neutralise odours and disinfect the turf surface.

Use Artificial Grass for Your Garden Today

When it comes to transforming your outdoor space, opting for high-quality artificial grass material offers a multitude of benefits that surpass those of natural grass. 

From its realistic look and feel to its durability, low maintenance requirements, and environmental sustainability, artificial grass provides an attractive and practical solution for enhancing your garden. 

Artificial grass is the perfect choice for creating a lush and inviting outdoor environment that you can enjoy year-round. Make the switch to artificial grass today and elevate the beauty and functionality of your garden space. 

We specialise in providing artificial grass solutions in New Zealand. Use artificial grass for your garden today!

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