Lawns – Real Grass v. Artificial Turf

Lawns, Plan Your Garden

Artificial Lawn laid by ALDA LandscapesFaced with the prospect of another season of lawn cutting, feeding, edging and other maintenance, you may be feeling that you would rather be doing something else on your valued day off work.

Given the huge growth in sales of artificial turf in recent years, clearly many gardeners feel the same way.

So what are the pros and cons of installing an artificial lawn over conventional grass?  Is this really something that a ‘proper’ gardener would ever consider?!


  • There are lots of different types of artificial turf available nowadays, some of them looking remarkably like the real thing (the image in the banner above is part of an artificial lawn recently laid by ALDA), and complete with thatch.
  • Artificial lawns work very well where a “real” lawn is not suitable due to lack of light, shade, lack of moisture and airflow.  This means they are very popular in urban courtyard gardens.
  • They are particularly good where children and dogs are involved, as they withstand just about everything that they can throw at them, and can cope with high levels of foot traffic.
  • They are very low maintenance, especially if properly installed – requiring just brushing over / hosing down to keep them clear of dirt and debris.
  • They feel different – many of them have a carpet like feel (people either tend to either love or hate this, so we suggest you see/feel the ‘grass’ before buying!)
  • They can be walked over – without getting muddy – at any time of year.  Which seems like rather a luxury after all the wet weather we’ve had in recent times!


  • They are more expensive to install than a real lawn.  A properly installed artificial lawn has a free draining sub-base below, rather like a new patio.  And whilst artificial turf prices have fallen over the last few years, it is still many times more expensive to buy than real turf.
  • They aren’t good for worms.
  • They don’t last for ever.  Having said that, most of them will last for a good number of years, and most of them come with guarantees, typically of 8 years or so.
  • Nothing beats a real lawn.  Many people just prefer the real thing! Perhaps it goes back to childhood memories and nostalgia!

Some thoughts from a recent client…

We recently laid an artificial lawn for one of our long-standing clients.  The ‘real’ turfed lawn had proved particularly problematic, due to part of it being in the shade, and part in full sun, which regularly it dried out.  We replaced the entire lawn with top quality artificial lawn – see photo below (the banner for this blog post is also of the same lawn!).

To quote:

Artificial Lawn 1“We are very pleased with the new lawn. It looks great. We would have done this ages ago if we had realised just how good these new artificial lawns have become. So, thank you for suggesting it!”

“Having had endless problems with our turfed lawn we finally took the plunge and replaced it with new top quality artificial lawn. It looks very realistic and is more or less maintenance free – all that is required is occasional removal of debris with a garden broom or garden vac. And of course no more mowing, watering, feeding, weeding! The team at Alda Landscapes did their usual professional job on preparing the base and laying it.”

In Summary

Artificial lawns are not for everyone, but given the improvement in quality and drop in price of artificial turf over the last few years, they are now a viable alternative where a real lawn is not practical or is just too much like hard work!

If you want more advice on artificial lawns, including what and where to buy, don’t hesitate to call us on 0118 934 2958.


Like what you see?

From planning a new border to a complete garden remodel, we pride ourselves on transforming ideas into beautiful reality, with minimum disruption. If you’re based in or around the Reading and Newbury area, we’d love to meet and discuss your project in detail – book your free no-obligation garden consultation today. We do get pretty booked up, particularly during the Spring, so plan ahead if possible!