|For many garden owners, this year’s extreme weather conditions may be the final straw. Periods of intense sun interspersed with torrential downpours have caused lawns to experience an extreme growth spurt, meaning that maintaining a neat lawn has sometimes required more than one outing a week for the lawnmower.
Whilst this increase in garden work could be seen by some as a good way to keep fit, for people who find mowing the lawn difficult, the thought of another summer of extra grass maintenance may be too much to bear.
While the nuclear solution would be simply to pave over the grass, this may not appeal to garden owners who enjoy the natural look and lush feel of a well-tended lawn. For those who enjoy the appearance of grass, but not the maintenance that goes with it, artificial grass may offer a solution.
In the past, fake grass carried with it the unfortunate stigma of associations with astroturf and greengrocers’ displays, but design and manufacturing changes in recent years have made enough of a difference to suggest that artificial lawns are worth a second look.
There are several benefits to artificial lawns:
1. No more mowing
While fake grass does look extremely realistic, it doesn’t grow, which means those investing in an artificial lawn can finally put that old Flymo on eBay. Heavy use can leave it looking flat, but a quick brush with a stiff broom is enough to get the blades standing up straight again.
2. Save water in summer
Unlike real grass, fake grass doesn’t require watering in summer to stay looking lush, although you may need to give it the occasional hose down to wash away dust or, if you have pets, wee or poo. This makes it more eco-friendly than real grass lawns, especially when temperatures are soaring.
3. (Almost) no weeds
One of the reasons that plants are so prolific is that they can germinate in even the tightest spaces. However, the relatively shallow depth of artificial lawns makes it far more difficult for weeds to take hold, and far easier to remove when they do.
4. Look good all year round
While heatwaves can leave lawns looking parched and scrubby, and long wet seasons can turn them into waterlogged bogs, artificial lawns are designed to maintain a smart appearance all year round. Many types of fake grass are UV resistant, which means they keep their colour and do not fade in the sun. Furthermore, by employing infill materials such as silica sand as a substitute for soil, and with the inclusion of a drainage base beneath, artificial lawns allow water to soak away easily, preventing waterlogging.
5. Easy maintenance
One of the best things about artificial grass is how cheap and easy it is to clean. All you need is a plastic-toothed rake and a stiff broom to tidy up any garden rubbish such as leaves or twigs that collect on the surface. A quick rinse with a hose will wash away any dirt that the rain doesn’t take care of, and if you find a smelly patch left over from pet mess, a mix of baking powder and vinegar in water will banish it in short order.
Artificial grass is not for everyone, but for those who would rather leave the gardening to Monty Don, they’re a great way to do away with laborious garden work while retaining a pleasant and natural-looking lawn.