For years, I’d turn my nose up at the mere mention of artificial grass or “astro-turf” we’d call it. Mainly because it’d bring back memories of scraped knees from PE lessons and after-school football club. Also because I had an image of shiny, fake green-grass that’d look cheap and ruin our lovely garden. But after two summers of patchy grass, an expensive re-turf that looked pristine for a matter of weeks and muddy toddler footprints coming in the house, I was persuaded by the hubby to reconsider going artificial…and guess what? We’ve never looked back and here’s why… Here’s my view on the benefits of an artificial grass lawn…
Why go artificial?
If like us, you have an active toddler, crawling baby and a dog that likes to wee about 10 times a day, you may have considered going artificial too. The dog wee would kill the grass, leaving bare patches and brown dead edges of grass, that quite frankly, looked embarrassing. Living in Manchester, we tend to have a fair bit of rain and so even on fairer days, the ground would be muddy and our living room floor would have a trail of muddy foot and paw prints that I’d frantically try and mop up…not really conducive to our idea of indoor/outdoor living in our open-plan, bi-fold door lounge. Our lawn would grow quickly, so require regular mowing, which we never seemed to have time for and therefore we’d be left with a scraggly overgrown mess of grass.
After spending thousands on composite decking last summer, (which looks amazing by the way!), it was always a disappointment to look out onto our garden that was halfway there, but still just looked crap because of the large expanse of crap, patchy, overgrown grass. Getting the picture I’m painting here?
The benefits of an artificial grass lawn…
In my opinion, after having our artificial grass lawn for about 8 weeks now, in both rain and shine, the benefits are:
- Low maintenance! There’s no disguising it, the upkeep is minimal with artificial grass. We just give it a good brush with a stiff broom every few days (reality: once a week!) to sweep up any debris or dead leaves etc. No watering, trimming, feeding!
- No mud! This has to be the best part for me and I didn’t realise it until we had it. There’s no mud! I know, I know, it seems obvious, but I didn’t think it was a big deal. Now I totally do! Having a crawling baby and an energetic toddler running in and out of the house in bare feet, it’s so lovely to not have to worry about muddy feet, knees and hands. No muddy fingernails from digging in the grass and you can sit on the grass and enjoy it in bare feet…like an outdoor carpet.
- The appearance. So I’m a total convert to the artificial grass lawn. I really thought the options would be plasticky, course and uncomfortable. I had no idea there were options of length, texture and even colour. When I received my samples from Great Grass I was pleasantly surprised and found myself stroking and running my fingers through the patches of fake grass. They had an option for all situations. More on that below…
Our artificial grass lawn…
So what did we choose? As I said earlier, Great Grass sent us our samples within 48 hours so we had something tactile and visual to play with. There were various lengths, quality, softness and colour. Just as I was getting confused as to what we would require, Great Grass followed-up with a phone call to ask me what we needed the lawn for, how we use it and how big the space is. Our priorities were: soft on baby knees, suitable for dog (wee) and as realistic looking as possible.
We were given a ballpark idea and figure and I accepted the offer of a quick onsite quote the following week. The quote took about 20 minutes, where the person measured and assessed the site and had a chat with me about what I wanted. He also brought larger squares of the samples that we could actually put on the ground and visualise in site (and step on with bare feet…which was my personal benchmark).
We opted for one of the more expensive options but I was genuinely impressed with the more budget ones too, as they really are far from that distant memory of school playing fields astro-turf I’d previously had. We went for the 36mm Touch of Luxury Supersoft artificial grass, which had a natural colour of green with brown bits to replicate real grass that is scorched by the sun. And I love it. It does exactly what it says on the tin and within days of it being installed, we were lazing around, sunbathing on the grass and watching the kids play. Perfection.
The installation process
I’ve had lots of questions about this and all I can say is, our experience with Great Grass was easy easy easy! From start to finish they were professional, helpful and speedy. We booked ours back at the beginning of April, as we wanted our lawn in situ for the long British summer we’d be having (we can all hope right?) and booked for the installation to happen whilst we were on holiday and our friend was house-sitting. We were assured that as long as they had access down the side of the house, to and from the garden, that was all they needed – and they were true to their word. My friend gave a friendly hello and goodbye and that’s all she needed to do.
Great Grass had 5 staff on site at around 8.30am and they were clear of site by mid-afternoon – all done and dusted, with just a note to let it settle and not place anything heavy on the lawn for a few days. In this time they dug out the existing lawn and soil, cleared it from site, laid sleepers around the borders, laid and compressed a level of sand, laid multiple membranes and then a layer of gravel for drainage. They then fitted the artificial grass and pinned it into place and it genuinely looks amazing!
We came home to a perfect job, clean site and with no hiccups – this is rare I think when you have external suppliers of this nature.
We’ve now got our garden climbing frame/swing/slide set on the lawn and enjoy it almost daily and I’ve never looked back…I am a convert to the artificial grass lawn.
Now the question is, will you be?
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