Should I replace my lawn with artificial grass? Join the Ideal Home Room Clinic debate
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It cannot be denied that artificial turf can make gardening work a lot easier. With no lawn to mow, you are suddenly free to enjoy your outdoor area.
But is it a good idea to fake it? Yes, the quality of artificial grass has undeniably improved in recent years, and a green green artificial grass certainly looks better than a stained or overgrown real one. However, some might say that fauxing has its downsides – especially for the environment.
In our last debate we pitted two enthusiastic gardeners against each other – who do you agree with?
Should I replace my lawn with artificial turf?
Yes, you will get much better use of your garden
Jess Cook, 45, lives with two of her three sons – Otto, 11 and Freddie, 7 – in a three-bedroom Victorian semi in Cheltenham. The eldest son Sam, 23, is at the university. Jess, a former garden designer, is now the PR manager and trustee of the Royal Windsor Rose and Horticultural Society (rwrhs.com).
“I have to admit that at first I was really against the idea of artificial turf. But as its popularity has increased, so has its quality. They look like real grass and are easy to care for. I didn’t have time to keep mowing our lawn. And with two dogs digging it up and the boys playing soccer, it looked like a mud patch in winter. ‘
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Three years ago I gave in and had a false lawn laid. Once it was installed, the guys played on it. I knew I made the right decision. The dogs love it too and don’t seem to miss out on digging holes. They still use it as a loo sometimes, but I just put the power connector on the hose to clean it and that’s a pleasure. ‘
Related Topics: Artificial Grass – Everything You Need to Know About Buying and Installing Easy-Care Artificial Grass
“The environment is very important to us, so I thought about how to level the lawn. Obviously now I don’t use pesticides on the lawn and I also grow shrubs, flowers and vegetables in pots. ‘
“Since we got the wrong lawn, we made better use of the garden in winter. My only criticism is that it gets very hot underfoot in summer. ‘
No, we should plant more green spaces
Joe Perkins, 43, lives with his wife Natalia and their three sons Leo, 13, Alex, 12, and Harry, 9, in a 1930s four-bedroom semi in Hove, East Sussex. Joe is a garden designer (joeperkinsdesign.com).
“Basically, I don’t like anything that pretends to be something that it isn’t. My own lawn isn’t nearly as neat and beautiful as you can imagine. I don’t always have time to mow it, so it often looks a little unkempt. It is covered in daisies in summer and gets very muddy in winter. But there is no rule that says we need to have a perfectly manicured, striped lawn – and it’s better for the environment if we don’t. ‘
“I hate the way that artificial lawns don’t allow foraging: birds can’t get to worms and there are no snails or slugs that hedgehogs can feed on. Laying artificial turf also requires removing topsoil, which is filled with vital microorganisms. “
“In addition, with real grass, children can come into contact with the ground and connect with nature. It helps them learn where we belong in the environment. Artificial grass just doesn’t have the same effect! ‘
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“I have great concerns about the sustainability of the materials used to make artificial lawns. There is a real danger that they will be seen as a convenient choice, which means we get cheaper products that travel long distances, have a shorter lifecycle and are then difficult to recycle. ‘
“Artificial lawns also heat up considerably under strong sunlight. We should stop shedding surfaces that attract heat – especially in urban areas where there is already so much pavement. We should plant more natural green spaces instead. ‘
“My advice to everyone who doesn’t have time to mow their lawn often? Do not worry! Enjoy the wildlife that flocks to your garden. ‘
What do you think? Join the debate at the Ideal Home Room Clinic on Facebook and we will add the best comments and pictures below!