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To turf or not to turf?

Great Sports InfraArtificial GrassTo turf or not to turf?

Aug

12

To turf or not to turf?

This is a classic dilemma for homeowners and architects on how to break away from natural grass. It is obviously the first choice for anyone who has ever dreamt of having a garden. We always imagine waking up to a beautiful view of the garden, having lawn chairs, newspaper mornings, lazy evenings and chatty nights on the lawn. But this comfort of course comes with its share of baggage. So when do you know you need to invest in artificial grass?

1. Do you have a garden-supporting terrace/balcony?

If you are planning to make a roof-top or terrace garden, there are several factors you must keep in mind.
Over 25kg per sft is the amount of dead load on roof due to terrace garden with 6 to 8 inch of growing medium. Your roof should be strong enough to support that.

  • The roof should be water-proofed with the best available techniques.
  • The plants to be planted must be fibrous so as to avoid damage by erosion, and to cut down on weight.
  • All electrical cabling at the house must be done strategically avoiding possible leakage lines of the garden.
2. Is your land fertile?

Even if you are blessed with a land beside your dream house, sometimes it might not be right for a garden. Fertilizers can only help you to a certain extent. So check if the land can support vegetation. Apart from the soil-type check, a simple exercise will help you determine the fertility of the soil.

  • Take a look around the land. Does it have vegetation or does it look barren? If you see only a few, certain species growing on it, it indicates a skewed PH balance which might not be able to support a full-fledged garden.
  • Take the soil you dug up with your spade or shovel and visually and physically examine it. Healthy soil is moist (not wet) and crumbly. It has a dark, rich color because of the nutrients and organic material in it. It should have a pleasant smell. If you see lots of little bugs and worms, the soil is healthy. If unfortunately, the land is not that fertile, you might want to consider artificial turf for your lawn.
3. Can you afford a natural grass lawn?

It is often debated, that whether a natural grass lawn is expensive or artificial grass relatively? It is true that initial investment with artificial grass along with sub-base preparation is way higher than natural grass, but in the long run, there are various on-going costs with natural grass like soil replacement, sodding, watering, weeding, mowing, fertilizing, pesticides, insecticides, and if you have a large lawn, manpower as well. Given an average life of 15-20 years and minimal maintenance needs, artificial grass lawns come across as a less expensive option comparatively, while also saving time and efforts on maintenance.

4. Are your kids old enough for a lawn?

This might sound insignificant. But a lot of kids fall into a habit of eating mud, as a result of body’s way to derive nutrients. Kids of age 1-6 often fall under this habit, usually called Pica. Eating mud can lead to several sorts of poisoning, parasitic inflammation or other digestive disorders. In case your kids are of this age group, an artificial grass installation will be a better alternative.

5. Does your house require sterile environment in case of ill adults?

Senior members of the house often develop a low immunity with age, and changes in temperature, climate and slight irritants induce a much sharper reaction as compared to young members. Do see that they are not allergic to mud or pollen or other garden-induced substances that might find their way indoors and cause discomfort.

6.Is your pet dog house-trained?

Anyone who has had a pet and a lawn knows why this is a concern. Puppies and young dogs have a habit of digging holes in backyard which leads to very unsightly holes in your lawn. Additionally, these dogs often urinate on the lawn which has been seen to lead to dark patches on the grass surface. In case you have a pet dog, it might be a difficult task to keep the garden looking top-shape. Also, they might get frequent ticks, and might even bring muddy paws back into the house.

7.Are you eco-conscious?

It is a good thing to know if environmental consciousness has been stopping you from getting an artificial grass lawn. Comparing the two, natural grass also has some serious implications on the environment, with catching run-off water to use of pesticides and insecticides. It also keeps requiring mowing which induces emission of smoke and noise. A 100,000 SQM lawn uses approx. 117,000 lakh litres (1.17 Billion litres) of water every year. While artificial grass lawns are synthetic, they use zero litres of water in their entire lifetime. They also use recycled rubber from tyres as infill. While disposal of earlier artificial grass lawns used to be a concern, next-generation players are now manufacturing recyclable grass as well.

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