Which turf is right for you? Real or Synthetic?
Fake Turf –
- It’s always green (unless of course you buy a cheap and nasty version that fades
- Less chemical and physical inputs over time (remember low maintenance doesn’t mean NO maintenance).
- Low water requirements (again, low doesn’t mean no). Many synthetic turf manufacturers recommend applying water to the surface, to prevent soil underneath from cracking, and to cool the surface.
- Good quality synthetic turf should last a minimum of ten years, with some lasting up to 35! Good quality synthetic turf may actually save you money over its lifespan…..so while installation is expensive, you are saving on pesticides, herbicides, mowers, brush cutters and their petrol (not to mention getting your weekends back!). Can be incredibly aesthetically pleasing, and allows greater design and installation flexibility than real turf.
- Excellent dust prevention
- The rubber bedding they use as infill can contain heavy metals and VOC’s, which is a nightmare for soil and groundwater health.
- It is recommended that all soil is heavily compacted before installing synthetic turf, so this will leave a hard surface.
- Soil structure, soil microbes and soil life… and tree roots in the vicinity will suffer over time as the soil hardens and loses oxygen.
- The porosity and permeability of some synthetic turf is fairly woeful… again not allowing a lot of moisture through to the soil. Being a petrochemical product, the manufacturing process is less than ideal for the environment.
- Fake turf does nothing to capture atmospheric carbon and can increase area heat by a couple of degress in the area.
Real Turf –
- Real grass sequesters carbon. Australian lawns and playing fields can absorb a massive amount of CO2 every year Real turf produces oxygen… 58 square metres of lawn provides enough oxygen for one person for an entire day.
- Real grass means a cooler temperature around buildings, and in our urban spaces. On a block of eight average houses, front lawns have the cooling effect of 70 tonnes of air conditioning.
- Excellent dust prevention. Real turf can trap an estimated 12 million tons of dust and dirt released annually into the atmosphere.
- Houses surrounded by turf are less likely to be affected by bushfire.
- Real turf reduces run-off, helping to filter the water before it recharges the groundwater
- It’s attractive, and kids and pets are more likely to roll about on a patch of real lawn.
- Healthy grass provides a feeding ground for birds, who find it a rich source of insects, worms, and other food.
- Unlike fake grass, real grass does not have a negative impact on soil health. Lawns can actually survive on very little water.
- Most lawns are composed of a single species of plant, creating a monoculture which significantly reduces biodiversity, especially if the lawn covers a large area. Monocultures lead to an increase in pest and disease issues, requiring the use of pesticides and herbicides, many of these having significant negative environmental impacts.
- Many people overwater their lawns, believing they need a lot of water. This leads to shallow rooting grass, which dries out rapidly in summer, prompting people to dump more water on their lawn. Overwatering also leads to significant fungal problems and pest issues, encouraging the use of horticultural chemicals.
- Most of our lawns are composed of turf species not local to our area (or even our country), further decreasing local biodiversity, and adding to weed problems in our environment
- The greening of turf in our urban spaces generally requires considerable use of fertilisers which, as we know, have contributed to the degradation of much of our countries soil and heapswater catchments.
- Mowing can be a pain. Unless you hire somebody who enjoys doing it
*All stats obtained by SGA