The average Australian spends about 2 hours every week maintaining their lawns. This can include the gruelling task of using a lawnmower. Another maintenance to consider can add extra costs of chemicals and sprays to maintain the lush green colour and feel. You will also need to water the grass once a week. This can sometimes equal more than a 5-minute shower worth of water.
So, you'd like to switch things up and help save the environment? How do you decide between Artificial Lawns or Instant Turf?
Both of these options can be a great time and money-saver. With very little upkeep and maintenance required and minimal impact on the environment. Artificial grass could potentially make a huge difference in the world's battle against climate change.
Let's break down the pros and cons of each option and see which will suit your personal needs
The overall cost is something most people consider greatly when making big changes to their lives, and rightly so.
Artificial grass without the price of installation could cost between $30 to $180 per metre roll. This price does depend on the manufacturer, the quality of the plastics used, and the density of the final product. You can look into getting something on the cheaper side of the scale. But this will most likely be a lower quality product and you will need to replace it within 2 years. If you invest in quality artificial grass and maintain it well, it could last up to 10 years.
Instant lawn however can cost between $7 to $20 per metre roll. Once again depending on the type, manufacturer, and style of grass required. This also excludes the cost of installation and other materials needed to install the grass.
Here is a short breakdown of overall costs with installation charges.
It could cost between $50 - $200 per square metre for artificial grass, including installation and extra steps like weed mats and sand weight overlay. Instant lawns could range between $42 - $56 per roll. This item comes in a soil curtain-like structure that can be instantly laid onto pre-prepared areas. You might need to invest in a hose attachment in order to spray down the grass as you go. It's good to remember that a natural lawn is a living thing, so it needs to be kept moist in order to maintain its structure. Costs really do depend on the yard size and how much you are willing to spend per square metre.
We have a handy little feature on our landscaping pages to help you find the correct square footage requirements of your space. CLICK HERE
In our opinion, smaller patio spaces and courtyards would be ideal for artificial grass. High-action areas like backyards with pets and play areas for young children would be suited better for Natural Instant Turf.
Now that you have decided which style of lawn you would like in your yard area, let's talk about the installation process. Once you have cleared out the area and prepared the soil, the install process can begin.
Artificial lawns could take between two to three days to cover a large area, depending on the brand used and type of grass. With some types of grass, you may need to add layers of fabric and a thick weed mat underneath to prevent the growth of weeds through the artificial grass. The installer will also need to lay sand to create a flat surface for the grass. After the grass has been laid, you will need to add weight to the area. The final step is to rake the grass and push the sand down below the spike blade and make it look almost invisible. This can also be achieved with a synthetic power brush too.
Instant lawn, on the other hand, needs to be installed within 30 minutes of the arrival of the product for that same or similar area. There is also some risk in this installation. Once the rolls have arrived, you have a limited time to lay them on your pre-prepared surface. They are a living "carpet" style product. Compared to artificial lawns, organic rolls are easier to shape and cut to size. There is a lot more leeway with natural lawn when dealing with curved and cornered gardens. You are able to cut the natural lawn and "connect" it to other pieces easily. The roots will grow together and connect. You won't notice the repair job with natural lawn whereas the plastic grasses have more issues if installed in rolls versus one large piece.
Maintenance is another crucial factor that homeowners should consider when deciding to either install instant lawn or artificial grass. Some key factors that you should consider will be how the lawn is used, how much spare time you have, and the overall budget.
ARTIFICIAL LAWN MAINTENANCE
People are often mistaken that artificial grass requires no upkeep or maintenance. This is not the case to order to maintain the lush green colour and shape of the grass blades.
Artificial laws still need to be cleaned and brushed regularly, especially if it is located in a high-traffic area like a backyard with kids or an entertaining area. It's a good idea to clean the debris that accumulates in between the blades, by manually raking it over once a week with a synthetic brush or by hand with a garden roller. You may still have to weed your artificial lawn if a weed mat has not been installed correctly by a professional. Even after your artificial grass has been installed for a while, then weeds could pop right up through the gaps in the turf. It won't be at the normal rate of regular grass, but it will still need to be maintained.
Artificial turf usually does not require watering if the weather is cool enough or if it had been raining. However, if you have pets or use artificial grass in a children's play area, you will need to clean and wash the artificial turf at least every two weeks. Using a spray deodorizer or cleaning brush would remove a lot of the pet waste odour from the grass.
You will need to spray the artificial grass down with water before playtime if you are located in a warm-weather climate. We will go over this in more detail further down.
INSTANT LAWN MAINTENANCE
While instant lawn needs more constant upkeep in the beginning, after around 3 weeks the grass should have rooted itself into your existing soil and will require less overall maintenance. Like artificial grass, you will need to rake off debris regularly. It's recommended that you fertilize your lawn annually and make sure to aerate the soil below around the same time.
If you have pets, you do not need to worry about the smell of the urine they left behind as much, because the natural grass and soil have bacteria and enzymes that will decompose it and naturally remove the odour.
Environmental awareness and water restrictions in your area make people lean more toward choosing artificial grass over natural options like a seeded or instant lawn. They want artificial turf because of the perception that artificial grass does not require water. This is incorrect
Although it does not need as much water compared with an instant lawn, artificial grass still requires some amount of water usage. We recommended that you scrub your artificial grass clean a lease once a week. Twice a week if you have pets or young children that use this area often.
The plastic polyethene won't act like regular grass and soak up a pet’s waste odour. It's important to remember to water down your artificial grass during scorching weather as the plastic grass blades bring up the surface temperature and can be harmful to anyone not wearing footwear.
Natural grass like an instant lawn, on the other hand, only needs to be watered several times a day for the first few weeks until the lawn has established itself into your existing area. After that, most of the time the grass can survive with as little as once a week of watering and even less if it has been raining.
There is one item that many people fail to consider when choosing between artificial grass and lawn turf. That is surface temperature. Depending on where you live in the world, sunlight and excessive heat can alter the way you use your lawn. If you have children and pets, this is something to consider.
For example, if you are located in sunny Brisbane where it's a whopping 30°C outside in the direct sunlight. That artificial grass will now be maintaining a scorching 50°C. Prolonged exposure to a pet's paw or bare skin of guests or young children can cause significant burns. It can also raise the overall temperature of the surrounding garden beds as well which can kill plants and other vegetation around it. This is a hazard that you should always consider if your home is located in a warmer climate.
On the other hand, Natural lawns and turf offset the overall heat in a yard by 50% through cooling evaporation. Your natural lawn can even lower the temperature of the surrounding area by 15°C.
In conclusion, which is better, Artificial Lawn or Instant Lawn?
The answer is both.
Both items have their pros and cons, they both have risks but also big rewards.
In terms of water conservation, artificial grass may need less water overall. But in the end, it still needs some amount of water every week. So it's not a complete water-saving solution. This is very true for those living in warmer climates and those with young families or pets. Another way of maintaining this is to place a bucket in your shower to catch excess water or use old dishwater.
Natural lawns are more aesthetically pleasing and smell less like plastic, but they also require yearly maintenance and monthly mowing. They make for a better look and overall feel.
At the end of the day, the choice is yours.
If you are only after a convenient and water-saving solution then artificial grass is for you. If you care more about the environment and overall health then a natural lawn is the way to go.
Give us a call on 03 5250 2056 or visit us at 370 Grubb Road, Wallington and talk to our friendly team about making the switch today.