Good Looks & No Maintenance: Artificial Lawns

by Matt Goering

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p> Tired of mowing, watering, and fertilizing your lawn year after year in order to keep it looking healthy and attractive? If so, an artificial lawn might be exactly what you've been looking for. Artificial grass surfaces have come a long way since their inception. The stuff being sold today looks incredibly realistic and is surprisingly comfortable underfoot. Whether you're thinking about installing artificial grass poolside, in a dog kennel, or over an entire yard, you won't find a more maintenance-free landscaping solution anywhere!

Perfect for Extreme Climates
Installing an entire artificial lawn is a great idea if you live in an extreme climate such as the desert southwest or northern latitudes where keeping grass alive is a costly, wasteful, and sometimes impossible endeavor. Of course the qualities that make artificial grass so well-suited to these extreme conditions (no maintenance and year round enjoyment) make it very attractive to homeowners in moderate climates as well.

Great for Heavy Use Areas
Artificial grass is also perfectly suited for targeting areas where live lawns traditionally suffer. Poolsides, dog kennels, and play areas for kids are all prime candidates for artificial upgrades. Installing artificial grass in these areas not only improves things from an aesthetic perspective, it also drastically cuts down on the dirt and mud that gets tracked into your home by your children and pets.

Golf, Anyone?
The other popular use of artificial grass is for sporting activities, and no sport demands a perfect grass surface like golf. If you're an avid golfer why not designate a portion of your landscaping towards improving your game? Artificial putting greens are easy to install and can provide you with the perfect surface to practice your putts year round. Talk to a specialist in this area to get an idea of the full range of possibilities that are available.

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Artificial Grasses

Going Artificial Will Actually Save You Money
Most artificial lawns last 20 years or more before they need to replaced, though that can vary some depending on the type of use they get. From a cost analysis standpoint, that makes them a wise financial decision, as well. Add up the costs you'll incur keeping a grass lawn alive and healthy over 20 years (including water, irrigation systems, maintenance equipment such as lawn mowers and weed eaters, and fertilizer) and the long term cost benefits of artificial grass start looking pretty good to just about any homeowner.

Once You're Ready to Purchase
Artificial lawns are actually outdoor, weatherproof carpets. And like any other carpet, you'll have a lot of options to choose from when you visit your supplier. You'll need to decide between different colors, textures, thicknesses, and longevities. Sit down and make a list of what you want to get out of your new lawn before you start shopping, and be sure to consult with your landscaper or installer in order to get the best product for your specific needs.

Matt Goering, formerly a carpenter and house painter, is a freelance writer for the home improvement industry who has published over 600 articles.