Sharing your life and home with a dog is a wonderful thing. However, even the most lovable pooch can be known to wreak some destruction in the yard. Whether your dog loves to attempt to perfect digging a hole to China or leaves burned grass stains from urinating, there is no doubt that it is very difficult to keep your lawn looking pristine. Though not previously an often thought of solution, more and more people are considering a move to artificial turf. Even installing artificial grass in a portion of your yard as a potty patch would cut down on unsightly pee stains dramatically. But installing artificial turf in your yard doesn’t just solve the problem of damages from pet use, it also simplifies your life! With artificial grass covering your entire yard, you can say goodbye to mowing, weeding, and other nuisance maintenance tasks that rob you of your valuable free time. Is artificial turf for your yard something worth considering?
Why consider artificial turf?
Believe it or not, more and more homeowners are making the switch to artificial turf with 10-15 percent of all families in the United States now jumping on the bandwagon. Artificial turf, also known as artificial or synthetic grass, saves people time; something most families have precious little of these days. Simply by installing a synthetic grass pad in your backyard, your days of weeding, watering, and mowing can be gone for good. But more than that, you can wave goodbye to pee stains and digging problems as artificial turf resists stains and is hardy to prevent damage.
If you live in an area which often undergoes water bans, you know how hard it is to keep your lawn from looking withered and dehydrated, particularly in the summer months. But the high cost of keeping a natural lawn watered and fertilized is also becoming budget prohibitive for many families. Artificial turf requires no real maintenance. Watering, fertilizing, and mowing are unnecessary. It seems too good to be true, doesn’t it?
Still many families aren’t quite ready to entirely let go of the beauty of nature. For some, it can be difficult to think about letting go of natural grass in favor of a synthetic alternative. The beauty of artificial grass is you don’t have to cover your entire lawn with it. If your lawn shows signs of pet use and you’d rather it didn’t, you can simply install artificial grass in select areas for your pooch to use, keeping the real grass for your own enjoyment.
Among some of the most popular areas people choose to implement artificial turf are:
- Dog kennel runs
- Potty patches
- Patio areas
- Garden landscaping
- Sections of roof
- Children’s play areas
- Putting greens
How does artificial turf work?
Artificial grass is comprised of synthetic “grass-like” filaments that are woven into a durable backing. This backing is designed to allow water and other liquids such as dog urine to soak through the material. To ensure proper drainage, the turf itself rests on a surface such as gravel. The grass must then be anchored in place and is weighted down with a porous material such as heavy sand or pea gravel to ensure it maintains its position. Most often, artificial turf is made of polyethylene, nylon, or polypropylene.
Surprisingly enough, today’s synthetic grasses are quite realistic looking. Gone are the Astroturf looks of yesterday and in their place are artificial turfs which very closely replicate the look and feel of some of the most popular species of grass.
What’s the cost?
Artificial grass is not an inexpensive solution to an annoying problem. Ringing in between $5 to $20 per square foot, you are going to need to fork out a lot of cash up front to install synthetic grass in your yard. However, once installed, your grass is guaranteed to remain in good condition for 15 years and may even continue to look attractive for up to 25. Though professional grass sod installation is much cheaper at 40 to 60 cents per square foot, this new grass will require constant maintenance and monitoring with no guarantee of growth or flourishment for even a year. Based on the cost to cover a 500 square foot yard, synthetic grass will set you back slightly over $6,000 by a conservative estimate while natural grass weighs in at only $200. It is not difficult to see that natural grass is a much more budget-friendly option. However, most people do not consider installing artificial turf as a cost-saving measure. Though the up front expense to switch to synthetic grass is considerably more, there are savings in both time and money to be realized. Experts agree that within seven years, artificial turf pays for itself in real time financial gains from savings on water, fertilizer, and lawnmower expenses such as gas and repairs.
Are there pros and cons to artificial turf?
As with all things, there are definitely pros and cons to consider before calling up a synthetic grass specialist to place your order.
Here is the list of the pros to adding artificial turf to your yard:
- Your water bills will be reduced.
- It is environmentally friendly.
- It requires very little maintenance to remain looking beautiful.
- It is resistant to damage from pets.
- It is durable and long-lasting.
But no comparison is complete without showing both sides of the story. On the flip side of the coin, here are the negatives to synthetic grass:
- It will require some maintenance.
- It does not absorb pet urine and will require some cleaning to avoid odor problems.
- It becomes unpleasantly hot the touch under direct heat.
- It is not a recyclable product.
With the pros and cons firmly in hand, it then becomes a matter of what you hope to achieve by installing artificial grass in your yard. If your priority is a lower maintenance, attractive grass that is not prone to staining or damage from digging, artificial turf might just be the perfect product for you. If you prefer to stick with Mother Nature’s approach to ground covering and don’t mind spending the extra time feeding, watering, and maintaining natural grass cover, sod might be the ideal solution for you!
The bottom line is there is no perfect solution to ridding your lawn of pet urine easily. Both natural grass and artificial turf will require some maintenance, and there are costs associated with both. Fido will be happy with either!