Home owners often face a problem of installation and maintenance of natural grass, especially in India where the weather takes up extreme limits and supply of water can be erratic.Artificial synthetic turf has come up as an answer to these issues in a big way in recent years. Earlier, these turfs were used primarily in large sports utility areas. But now, artificial turf has been adopted by scores of architects and builders to take a more involved role in present Indian society. The growth is driven by better manufacturing techniques along with growing awareness about long-term environmental benefits and aesthetic appeal of the products.
Various benefits of artificial turf over natural turf, especially in Indian context are
1.Feasibility: Maintaining a fresh grass lawn in India becomes a little tough as the weather conditions can get extremely harsh with very hot summers, very cold winters and high rainfall during monsoon. Also a lot of landscapes are made on rocky surfaces which do not allow grass growth on them. Artificial Turf addresses this problem since it is a minimal-maintenance product and remains green and springy throughout the year. Because of its adaptable nature, it can be easily installed at balconies, indoors and terraces too which can not, at times, support natural grass.
2.Convenience: It is true that nowadays, lives are so busy that the time-consuming activity of looking after a lawn becomes difficult. Also, people who have weekend homes are not available at all times to tend to the garden. At the same time, we do want our gardens to look green and well-maintained. With watering, mowing, weeding, fertilizing and raking, the lawn alone requires 4-5 hours a week if not more. Also, with monsoons in India being unforgiving, it becomes cumbersome to have a wet patch of garden at home with damp mud leaving unpleasant dirt marks.
As artificial grass is maintenance-free, people who do not have time/resources at hand to maintain a garden can opt for artificial turf. Also, players like FieldTurf offer porous grass covers which has a permeated lining. This helps the water to drain right through the grass leaving the garden functional and springy again minutes after a shower.
3.Hazards to the soil: Considering that a natural grass cover needs chemicals and fertilizers to maintain its prime shape and colour, continued usage can decrease fertility of soil and thus, eventually the garden loses its earlier beauty. With artificial turf, such issues are avoided altogether with zero soil invasion.
4.Environmental concerns: Grass is a poor source of oxygen. However, maintenance of a grass cover requires tones of water every year, along with fuel-based motor mowing and fertilizers which change the PH balance of the soil, and run into ground water. With acute shortage of fuel and water supply, it becomes a burden economically and morally to maintain a high-maintenance lawn whose contribution to fresh air is nil compared to trees and bushes.
5.Durability: It is a common occurrence in home gardens/parks that bald patches appear in the ground at specific spots (end of steps/ children slides/ sitting area). Natural grass is torn off very easily upon rough usage and is specially a trouble around pets like dogs who try to dig out mud. What remains are bald, unpleasant, muddy patches upon the area, where grass simply stops growing. Artificial turf comes with infill which helps maintain the shape & comfort and is tear-resistant.
While we look at advantages, there have been a few disadvantages to using artificial turf over real grass covers.
1.1 A lot of players from local manufacturing/Chinese markets use disposed rubber from tyres to make artificial turf. The drawback is that that turf contains high amount of lead, more than what is recommended as safe.
1.2 A lot of time, sand is used as infill instead of silica/rubber granules. Sand can clog the pores at the turf-base which account for permeability of the grass. This can lead to water logging over the grass causing unpleasant wet patches and unsteady drainage.
Although there are these disadvantages, players like Field Turf India provide turf made out of PP/PE plastic (and NOT rubber) which becomes perfectly safe for family. Moreover, they also use silica and rubber infill in the turf instead of sand. Silica and rubber do not have a tendency to stick and clog, and hence there is no possibility of water logging, making this artificial turf perfect for Indian homes and weather conditions.