Are you considering mixing artificial and real grass in your outdoor space?
It’s a tempting idea – the low-maintenance benefits of fake grass combined with the natural beauty of a living lawn.
But is it really possible to put artificial grass next to real grass? And if so, what are the pros and cons?
In this article, we’ll explore the possibilities and pitfalls of combining these two types of turf.
So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in!
Can You Put Artificial Grass Next To Real Grass
The short answer is yes, you can put artificial grass next to real grass. However, it’s important to take certain precautions during the installation process to ensure that the two types of turf don’t clash or cause damage to each other.
First and foremost, it’s recommended that you separate the two types of grass with a border or edging of some kind. This will prevent the real grass from accidentally getting caught in a lawnmower and damaging the artificial turf. There are several types of edging you can choose from, such as brick or stone, to create a distinct zone between the two types of grass.
It’s also important to note that while artificial turf is incredibly realistic, it’s unlikely to match your natural lawn perfectly. This is because natural lawns are affected by growing conditions and maintenance measures, making it difficult to keep every stretch of grass looking identical. For this reason, it may be difficult to mask the presence of the synthetic patch.
However, there are still benefits to mixing artificial and real grass. Artificial turf stays vibrant and green all year round, regardless of your location or weather conditions. It also requires very little maintenance compared to natural grass, which can save you time and money in the long run.
Ultimately, whether or not you choose to mix artificial and real grass is up to you. Just be sure to take the necessary precautions during installation and weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision.
The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Artificial Grass
Artificial grass has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its low-maintenance, durability, and cost-effectiveness. However, it’s important to consider both the benefits and drawbacks before deciding whether or not to install artificial grass.
– Low-maintenance: Artificial grass requires no watering or weeding, saving you time and money on maintenance.
– Durability: Synthetic grass is incredibly durable and has a flat surface that is perfect for children and pets to play on. It will last significantly longer than natural grass, with only occasional patches needed due to wear and tear.
– Cost-effective: While the initial cost of installation may be high, artificial turf is more economical over the long haul as it requires minimal maintenance.
– Flexible design options: Artificial grass can be customized to fit your specific design needs, providing a green, vibrant space that you can enjoy all year round.
– Eco-friendly: The average home saves over 50 gallons of water per year for every square foot of artificial grass installed. In many drought-prone areas, water companies often ban traditional watering of home lawns and offer cash rebates up to $1 per square foot.
– Surface heat: Artificial turf holds more heat than natural grass, so it can feel warm to the touch. Some types of infill can also raise the surface temperature.
– Odor build-up: Like natural grass, if you don’t clean up messes on artificial turf, they will fester. Certain types of infill are prone to holding odors too.
– Toxic run-off concerns: People used to be concerned that water run-off from crumb rubber infill might be harmful to families, pets, or the environment. Years of scientific studies have shown only minimal levels of toxic residue, and today there are several alternative infill materials.
– Appearance: While synthetic grass often looks good enough to fool us into thinking it’s real, it’s unlikely to match your natural lawn perfectly due to growing conditions and maintenance measures.
– Not biodegradable: Artificial grass isn’t biodegradable, which means it will eventually end up in a landfill.
The Pros And Cons Of Real Grass
While natural grass is the traditional choice for lawns, it does come with its own set of pros and cons. Here are some things to consider before deciding to stick with real grass:
– Natural beauty: Many homeowners prefer the look and feel of a well-maintained natural lawn. It can enhance the curb appeal of your home and make your outdoor space feel more inviting.
– Emotional factor: For some people, the act of mowing and caring for their lawn is therapeutic and provides a sense of pride and accomplishment.
– Environmental benefits: Natural grass helps to absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air, making it a more eco-friendly choice than artificial turf.
– Cost-effective upfront: Installing natural grass is generally cheaper than installing artificial turf.
– High maintenance: Natural grass requires regular mowing, watering, fertilizing, and weeding to keep it healthy and looking good. This can be time-consuming and expensive.
– Weather-dependent: Natural grass is affected by weather conditions, such as drought or heavy rain, which can cause it to die or become overgrown.
– Allergies: For some people, natural grass can trigger allergies or respiratory issues.
– Short lifespan: Natural grass has a limited lifespan and may need to be replaced every 10-15 years.
Ultimately, the decision to use real grass or artificial turf depends on your personal preferences and priorities. Consider factors such as maintenance, cost, environmental impact, and aesthetic appeal before making a choice.
Mixing Real And Artificial Grass: What To Consider
If you’re considering mixing real and artificial grass, there are a few things to keep in mind before starting the installation process.
Firstly, it’s important to consider why you want to mix the two types of grass. Is it for aesthetic purposes, or do you want a low maintenance lawn area to relax or play on? Perhaps you want a real lawn area for biodiversity or for a dining area. Whatever the reason may be, make sure it’s worth the effort and investment before proceeding.
Secondly, as mentioned earlier, it’s recommended to separate the two types of grass with a border or edging. This will prevent accidental damage to the artificial turf and ensure that both types of grass can thrive without interference.
It’s also important to note that while artificial turf requires less maintenance than natural grass, it still requires some upkeep. This includes regular brushing to maintain its appearance and prevent matting, as well as occasional cleaning to remove debris and prevent odors.
Additionally, if you’re installing your artificial grass next to your neighbor’s real grass, be sure to communicate with them beforehand and get their approval. Mixing the two types of grass can affect the appearance of their lawn and may cause disputes.
Installation And Maintenance Of Mixed Turf
If you decide to install a mixed turf of artificial and real grass, there are several steps you should take to ensure a successful and long-lasting result.
First, prepare the area where you want to install the mixed turf. Remove any existing grass or vegetation, and level the ground as much as possible. Make sure to add any necessary drainage systems, especially if you live in an area with heavy rainfall.
Next, lay down a layer of gravel or crushed rock to create a stable base for the artificial turf. This will also help with drainage and prevent any sinking or shifting of the turf over time.
Once your base is in place, it’s time to lay down the artificial turf. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, as different types of turf may have specific installation requirements. It’s also important to use the correct tools and materials, such as a turf cutter or utility knife.
When it comes to installing the real grass, it’s best to do this after the artificial turf has been laid down. This will prevent any damage to the real grass during the installation process. Make sure to choose a type of grass that is compatible with your climate and growing conditions.
It’s important to maintain both types of grass regularly. For the artificial turf, make sure to brush it regularly to keep the fibers standing upright and prevent matting. You may also need to rinse it with water occasionally to remove any debris or pet waste.
For the real grass, make sure to water it regularly and mow it at the appropriate height for its type. You may also need to fertilize and aerate it periodically to keep it healthy.
Design Ideas For Mixed Turf Landscapes
If you’re considering mixing artificial and real grass in your lawn, there are several design ideas you can incorporate to create a cohesive and visually appealing landscape.
1. Checkerboard Pattern: Create a checkerboard pattern by alternating squares of artificial and real grass. This is a great option for those who want to maintain some natural grass while still enjoying the benefits of artificial turf.
2. Pathways: Use artificial turf to create pathways or walkways through your lawn. This will not only add visual interest but will also protect the natural grass from heavy foot traffic.
3. Island Beds: Create small island beds within your lawn using artificial turf. This is a great way to add pops of greenery without having to worry about maintaining plant beds.
4. Hardscaping: Incorporate hardscaping features like paving stones or gravel to break up the space between the artificial and real grass. This will create distinct zones while still allowing for a seamless transition between the two types of turf.
5. Raised Beds: Create raised beds for your natural grass using wood or stone borders. This will not only protect your natural grass from damage but will also add dimension and texture to your lawn.
6. Border Planting: Use plants or shrubs to create a border between the artificial and real grass. This will soften the transition between the two types of turf and create a more natural look.
By incorporating these design ideas, you can create a mixed turf landscape that is both functional and visually appealing. Just be sure to take the necessary precautions during installation to ensure that both types of grass thrive in their respective environments.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mixing Real And Artificial Grass
Here are some frequently asked questions about mixing real and artificial grass:
1. Is it safe to mow natural grass near artificial turf?
Yes, it’s safe to trim natural grass near the synthetic grass, as long as care is taken to avoid direct contact between the blades or wire of the power equipment and the artificial turf. However, it’s not recommended to use power lawn care equipment on the artificial turf itself.
2. Can I use different types of artificial turf products to create a unique look?
Yes, you can use various types of artificial turf products to develop a unique or showpiece installation. For instance, you can develop an artificial lawn that uses slightly different colors to create a unique look or design effect.
3. Will artificial grass damage my decking?
Artificial grass can lead to moisture damage of the decking and rot it over time. The only way you can lay artificial turf on your deck is by using an underlayment, such as a rubber membrane or a wooden flooring material which will protect your deck from any potential water seepage.
4. Is synthetic grass hotter than natural grass?
Yes, all synthetic grass is hotter than natural grass because it doesn’t have the natural cooling capacity of natural grass. However, precautions can be taken such as having at least one portion of your lawn area shaded for instant relief, spraying the synthetic grass with water right before you walk or play on it on a really hot day, and adding a light color of approved silica sand or other infill that is light in color to lower heat on synthetic grass.