Artificial Grass can give you a green lawn

Artificial Grass can give you a green lawn

Turf grass is the largest irrigated crop in the United States, using three times as much water as corn, according to a study by NASA scientist Cristina Milesi. And the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 30 percent of the average home's water is used outside. Unfortunately, the environmental benefits of lawns' carbon dioxide intake are outweighed by the negative impact of water usage. New artificial grass can give you a green lawn that stands up to year-round abuse.

Looks and feels like the real thing. Remember the scratchy, green carpet that people used to install on their patios and could never be confused for real grass? Those days are gone. Today's synthetic turf looks good enough to pass as the real thing. Under foot, it feels soft and natural. Modern turfs are manufactured by attaching countless "yarns" (grass blades) to a perforated backing. High-end artificial turfs include multiple sizes and colors of yarns to more convincingly simulate real grass.

Hard-wearing and designed to last. synthetic turf is ideal in settings where real grass has trouble surviving, like shady spots or atop poor soil. It stands up to abuse, making it a good fit for playgrounds or areas that get a lot of traffic. Frustrated with the damage your dog has done to your backyard? This might be a solution; Neighbors says that turf is frequently used in dog runs because of its toughness and ease of cleaning. Life spans vary, but many of the residential products are designed to last 15 to 20 years.

Things to consider. The cost of materials and installation can be substantial, at $4 to $6 per square foot, though the larger up-front cost compares favorably to what you could spend on lawn maintenance during the lifespan of the synthetic grass.

Though there is an environmental impact to the manufacturing of the artificial grass, remember that natural turf requires regular watering, mowing (likely with a gas mower), and fertilizing to survive. An artificial lawn is "low maintenance," not "no maintenance"; it needs to be raked once in awhile to groom the fibers, prevent matting and keep the lawn looking natural. It also needs occasional rinsing (the turf backing is perforated to allow for drainage) to clean off dust and debris, especially if dogs use the turf.

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