Turf Time

Tips to consider if artificial grass is right for your home
April 3, 2023

Artificial grass can help save you money over time and requires little maintenance, but is going to turf in the Lowcountry the right move for you? Here are some topics to help you decide:

Consider the Cost
The first thing to consider is the cost of turf. Artificial grass averages about $12 per square foot, with HomeAdvisor noting installation costs range from about $2,700 to $6,700. A 500-square-foot yard can cost $6,000 on average.

Depending on your budget, it can be a bit pricey. But you won’t have the weekly upkeep such as lawn services and fertilizer. Living in the South requires more water usage. Turf will cut down on those costs (which range on average $65-$200 a month). The average family uses more than 30% of its water on irrigating their lawn or garden, according to Clemson Cooperative Extension.

Keep in mind that the average lifespan of turf is 10 to 15 years. With a little bit of care (cross-brushing every few weeks, raking leaves, removing debris), the turf should maintain a solid longevity.

Impact on the Environment
Having artificial grass will cut down on noise pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency said emissions from mowers and leaf blowers are a “significant source of pollution,” and emit high levels of carbon monoxide. Turf negates the noise. Artificial grass doesn’t require chemical products like pesticides and herbicides.

Environmental cons include water runoff, which can contain chemicals, and artificial grass is not biodegradable.

No pests
Insects and other pests won’t be much of a nuisance. With turf, there’s no place to feed on. Bugs are not attracted to turf. And it limits access to soil, which forces bugs to move on to find soil to feed, according to synlawnsacramento.com.

More time to play
Wet grass isn’t too fun to play on – neither is a muddy lawn. Artificial turf dries fast, which allows more time to enjoy the surface. Also, you rarely will you have to stay off the grass because there’s no need for pesticides.

Warmer temperatures
Keep in mind that artificial turf is warmer than natural grass. While we enjoy the weather in the Lowcountry, we have plenty of days of the sun beating down on our lawns.

Natural grass is cooler. Temperature differentials vary, but on average artificial grass is about 20 to 50 degrees warmer.  
There are products that are designed with cooling qualities that help turf stay cool. Experts suggest installing high-quality turf, which will get rid of heat quicker than lower-quality turf.

Quality turf
The key is finding the best turf. High-quality turf will last longer, save you money and be cooler.

High-quality artificial grass will often have several colors to look like real grass. Choosing a color that most closely mirrors the natural grass species in your area is a suggestion from Ideal Turf.

By doing research and talking with trusted experts, look for turf that will withstand years of use. The best artificial grass is specifically designed to resist matting and lying flat, Ideal Turf said.  Turf fibers should return to being upright when you walk across them.

A cooling infill is recommended, which will help it cool off.

Overall, when choosing options, consider the number of footsteps that will be taken on the artificial grass. Picking a material that will withstand the traffic is vital.
Nylon feels like natural grass and requires not much upkeep but is known for “turf burn,” according to paradisegreens.com.

Polypropylene is a soft material and fairly inexpensive. But it’s susceptible to wear and tear and might not last as long as other materials.

Polyethylene is the “most realistic” looking grass, paradisegreens.com said, and is softer than nylon but more durable than polypropylene. It is susceptible to UV degradation.