Artificial turf (or synthetic turf) has been steadily rising in popularity as homeowners have come to realize the many benefits. Primary among those is the fact that they can virtually eliminate costly and time-consuming lawn maintenance including the use of fertilizers and pesticides. It can also significantly reduce water consumption and reduce exposure to outdoor allergens.

Artificial turf was introduced to the world over fifty years ago specifically for sports stadiums. (Anyone remember the Astrodome?) Since then, development methods and needs have evolved to create the artificial grass being used today in residential settings. It has an incredibly natural look and feel, has a vibrant color that blends well with existing bushes, trees, and flowers, and in many cases, is made with UV-resistant materials that will prevent fading due to sunlight exposure.

To simulate real grass, some types of artificial turf even include thatch. Thatch is shorter grass blades that are a different color from the primary, taller blades. These fibers usually have a different appearance than the primary blades to imitate the dying blades that occur in real grass.

“Versatile” is a term you will hear frequently when it comes to synthetic turf as it can be an effective solution for a wide variety of needs. In addition to replacing your natural grass lawn, other common areas of use include:

High traffic areas. With natural grass, high volumes of foot traffic can lead to pathways, ruts, or bare spots in lawns and gardens. Artificial turf is extremely resilient and resists the constant pressure of being walked on.
Pet-Friendly. Let’s face it, man’s best friend can be a bit hard on natural grass. Artificial turf is more resilient when it comes to withstanding wear and tear from continuous paw traffic or digging with sharp claws. Pet waste, which can cause natural grass to wither and die, easily drains through the porous surface. Most importantly, artificial turf doesn’t require any pesticides or chemical treatments that might be harmful to pets.
• Around pools. In addition to looking great, artificial turf is an excellent solution around pools because it is far more comfortable on the feet than concrete or stone which can get incredibly hot in the summer sun. Water also drains through it well, helping to prevent puddles or slick areas that contribute to slips and falls.
• Around steps and pavers. The small grassy areas that fill in between and around steps and pavers can be difficult to cultivate and maintain. Artificial turf is a solution that provides a clean, uniform look that complements the hardscape elements.
• Poor drainage. Too much water can be a death knell for sections of your lawn where puddling may frequently occur. Artificial turf can help to solve that problem. Prior to installation, the ground is smoothed out to eliminate grooves where water accumulates, and then small irrigation channels are added to help excess water drain away.
• Heavily shaded and deep areas of your lawn. Where natural grass can fade and die in shaded areas, artificial turf requires no direct sunlight. It works well in the shade because it will maintain its color and size with or without sunlight and water.
• Recreational spaces such as putting greens. Artificial turf has use beyond the traditional lawn space. If you are a sports enthusiast who wants to bring a favorite activity to the backyard, artificial turf fits the bill. An example is putting greens which have become popular among homeowners who enjoy working on their short game away from the course.

The fact that artificial grass requires no maintenance is a huge benefit. Not only does it not require mowing, seeding, fertilizing, or watering, but it also helps to eliminate most of the yearly costs associated with those tasks. Time and money that would have normally been spent on lawn care can now be used for family activities or relaxation. There is also no need for pesticides or weed regulators that might prove harmful to the children or pets who play on your lawn.

That’s not to say that artificial turf is maintenance-free. Cleaning it with a power broom once a year will fluff up the blades and help with overall longevity. In between, clean-up can be as easy as spraying it down with a garden hose.

With proper care, artificial turf can have a ten-to-fifteen-year lifespan depending on its use and the product manufacturer. One of the biggest benefits of artificial turf is its long-lasting value and cost-effectiveness. While the initial investment – roughly $10-$15 per square foot – can feel steep, it’s hard to deny how it can increase the overall value of your home. Dividing the cost of the turf and its installation over the many years it will remain in place and taking into consideration the minimal amount of money and time spent on maintenance, the turf will pay for itself in a few short years.

Of all the benefits associated with artificial turf, the one that stands out most is the fact that your property will look its best year-round. If having a lush, healthy, maintenance-free lawn that is the envy of the neighborhood sounds appealing to you, then let’s talk!

Buckhead Landscape & Design has a long history of serving the greater Buckhead area, providing landscape design, and maintenance services, as well as hardscape design, irrigation, and outdoor lighting. Many of our projects involve the installation of artificial turf and we’re happy to answer questions if you’re considering that option. Our mission is to create an outdoor environment that matches your lifestyle and inspires you to fully enjoy your property. The professionals at Buckhead are prepared to invest time in understanding your vision, goals, and budget to design and deliver a landscape that you will love.