Why it's a good idea to rip out your lawn
As valuable resources dwindle and water quality worsens, replacing lawn with hardscaping or artificial turf is not only good for the environment, it saves on your monthly bill and cuts down on maintenance.
There might have been a few snickers when I first installed artificial turf in my back garden in 2008, but since that time I have used artificial turf to fill in borders around the swimming pool, and even installed artificial turf on my pavement. Now my neighbours see for themselves the benefits of looking at alternative options to a grassed lawn.
The original premise for installing artificial turf in the back garden was to allow for the fact that, due to the tall trees there wasn't enough sunshine for any type of grass to grow. The lawn was always filled with bare patches and my dogs left yellow patches on whatever grass was left. It was an eyesore. Having already spent a small fortune on re-planting different varieties of grass I realised it was time to look at alternatives, and Duraturf was one of those alternatives. Duraturf artificial grass can be professionally installed in different varieties, but you will also find a small selection of artificial grass at your local Builders if you plan to install as a do-it-yourself project.
Did you know that in a one hour period a petrol lawnmower generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as up to 11 motor cars and watering a lawn uses over 50% of residential water consumption during the hot summer months. [qz.com] Artificial grass is no longer a tacky alternative to the real thing. It might not smell like grass, but today's artificial grass is manufactured to look and feel as close as possible like the genuine article - without the maintenance.
I'm not embarrassed to say that I have artificial grass installed in my garden. Quite the opposite. I love the fact that my garden is green all year round, I don't ever have to drag out a lawnmower and I only need to water a few plants and shrubs occasionally if rain hasn't been forthcoming for a while.
Artificial grass is not the only option if you want to replace your lawn. Hardscaping and Xeriscape, as well as planting indigenous ground covers and succulents is another way to create a beautiful garden that is drought-tolerant and low maintenance.
According to Popular Mechanics, low-maintenance, indigenous plants are a good idea for keeping your garden looking good all year round with minimum effort. Then there's the paving option, with all kinds of gravel, stone and wood features you can incorporate for a colourful, interesting garden.
Or why not set up your own vegetable garden: It negates some of the water and time savings, but it will provide garden fresh fare for your family and reduce your ecological footprint at the same time. You'd be surprised at just how much you can grow - even on a small section. It's worth considering if drought isn't a problem where you are.