Artificial Turf vs. Natural Grass in Central Florida: How to Choose

Posted by Joe Mouad on Dec 2, 2021 10:30:00 AM

If you sigh at the smell of freshly mown grass, love the sound of sprinklers chugging away, and delight at finding an elusive four-leaf clover in a fresh spring lawn, artificial turf isn’t for you.

If you’re rolling your eyes right now and thinking, “Dorks!” artificial turf might be exactly for you.

But there are other ways to tell if you should go with natural grass or artificial turf.

What are the differences between artificial grass and natural grass?
Let’s take a look.

First, What is Artificial Turf?

Artificial turf is a surface of synthetic fibers made to look like natural grass.

It’s most often used in sports arenas but is great for playgrounds; dog runs; golf courses; putting greens; driving ranges; athletic fields; areas with high traffic; or where cost concerns prevent natural grass from being used.

outdoor seating area with pool firepit and artificial grass

Now artificial grass is moving into neighborhoods — an increasingly popular choice for homeowners ready to hang up the mower, retire their sprinklers, and put away the fertilizer for good.

It’s great for commercial properties, too, where owners or property managers want a great-looking lawn with curb appeal — and no maintenance worries.

Artificial Turf: The Pros

  • It looks like real grass. It even comes in different blade lengths and widths, colors and textures, like real grass, so you can choose the look you like.
  • It’s environmentally friendly. All that mowing, irrigating, blowing, and trimming real grass creates some air and noise pollution. Artificial turf puts a stop to that.
  • It’s always green. Your lawn always looks great.
  • No more grass clippings blowing into your pool.

Artificial Turf: The Cons

  • It doesn’t last forever. Most brands offer a five-year warranty.
  • It doesn’t drain like real grass. You need a drainage system built in so rain can seep through.
  • It doesn’t produce oxygen as natural turf does.

drainage system installed into artificial grass between pavers

The Cost of Artificial Turf vs. Natural Grass

No contest here. Artificial turf is considerably more expensive than natural grass.

A lawn that might cost $1,000 in natural sod will cost about $8,000 in artificial turf.

Expect to pay $8-$12 per square foot. While it’s significantly more expensive upfront, you could save money over time on maintenance.

Artificial Turf vs. Natural Grass: Maintenance

Here, artificial turf wins. It’s low maintenance. Practically no maintenance, really. Just rake the leaves off it and occasionally sweep off any debris. No more weekends spent working on your lawn. No weeds!

artificial grass surrounding patio area
Meanwhile, real turf needs watering, mowing, fertilizing, weed control, insect control, fungus control. It’s kind of a pain.

Artificial Turf Does Heat Up

Artificial grass does get hotter than natural surfaces like grass and dirt under direct sunlight, but it cools down quickly and stays cool under shade or cloud cover.

Some homeowners opt to leave their irrigation system in place, so they can turn it on occasionally to cool off the turf.

Where to Use Artificial Turf

Let’s call it a tie here.

You can install artificial turf anywhere you’d have real grass, including pool areas.

pool surrounded by artificial grass
Artificial grass is perforated throughout to allow for water to flow through into the drainage base underneath. That means a tidier pool area, with no puddles, mud, or mess.

It’s not slippery, resists chemicals, and looks fresh and green all the time.

Artificial Turf Stands Up To Dogs

Artificial turf has an edge here.

Natural grass turns yellow from dog urine and it’s tough to green it up again.
dog sitting in grass
Artificial turf stays green.

Some artificial turf manufacturers carry turf designed specifically for dogs, with extra features like a flow-through backing for maximum drainage and antimicrobial technology built into the blades.

But even the regular artificial turf products are safe for dogs.

Dog urine can be easily washed out of the turf to maintain a clean surface.

Natural Grass or Artificial Turf? Either Way, Trust Ground Source in Central Florida

Trying to choose between artificial turf vs. natural grass in Central Florida?

Let us help.

Still skeptical about artificial grass? We can show you samples of artificial turf for you to touch and see up close.

Questions? Let us help you figure it out.

We’re turf experts, but our skills don’t stop there. We’re with you every step of the way as you plan your perfect outdoor space.

Sod, irrigation, landscape design (including artificial grass if you’d like): Let us transform your yard from an embarrassing eyesore to a place you spend every spare minute.

Are you ready to enjoy the vibrant, impressive yard you've always wanted? Request a quote today! We’ll help you review your options and then transform your property.

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