top down view of artificial grass

Is Artificial Grass Better Than Real Grass?

As summer is approaching the hottest part of the year in the UK, many people are exploring the world of artificial grass to get the best-looking lawn.

Artificial grass is known as being a more cost-effective and low-maintenance choice to be able to enjoy that Pimm’s while hosting your next family BBQ.

But is artificial grass better than normal grass?

We explore the pros and cons of this trend in this month’s bee-tastic blog!

A More Cost-Effective Choice?

The biggest pull of artificial grass is that it’s the cheaper option compared to a real lawn. Real lawns require tools like lawnmowers to keep them looking green and tidy.

However, artificial grass isn’t as cheap as we think. It costs an average of £50-75 per square metre, which doesn’t include the installing labour costs if you get it done by a professional.

When compared to your average lawn, a box of grass seed from your local garden centre and getting a couple of hours of sunny Vitamin D is much better for your pocket than artificial grass.

walking barefoot on real grass

sowing seeds into soil

Too Hot to Trot!

One of the most underrated cons of an all-year-round green lawn is how artificial grass retains too much heat for your children or pets to safely walk across it.

One UK study showed how artificial grass was 62.3°C at the same time as real grass being only 38.1°C in the sun. Artificial grass also had a temperature of 6.3°C higher than real grass while being tested in the shade too.

Sophie Thomson, an avid gardening influencer and mother of 5 also found similar results herself regarding artificial grass’s dangerous heat retention. After posting her finds with her digital infrared thermometer on Facebook, she received comments from other parents stating that their kids’ sneakers had even melted from playing on fake grass turfs!

sections of artificial grass

artificial grass being laid

A Plastic Wasteland

As you can guess, bees and bugs are not fans of artificial grass as they cannot pollinate it.

The Director of Fundraising and Communication at Bug Life also strongly advises against the use of fake or plastic grass as it leads to a complete loss of habits.

Many bees specifically use our lawns as habitats such as mining bees, which are solitary bees who create nests in the ground. Their ‘volcano’ shaped soil piles that are found at the entrance of their nests are actually great for your garden as it helps aerate the soil and create drainage opportunities. (Something that artificial grass cannot do and this lack of drainage lead to disgusting smells due to organic matter build-up!)

miner bee climbing on blades of grass

Maintenance Issues

Surprisingly, fake grass is more difficult to maintain. Organic matter that builds ups requires more maintenance such as hovering and washing it to avoid those sickly smells.

You don’t need to spend endless money and time on pesticides or mowing it. We suggest letting it grow wild! Keeping a real lawn wild supports our environment and lets our bees get the pollen and nectar they need.

Check our Six Steps to Create a Wildflower Area and join us this Summer in our ‘No Mow May’ campaign. It’s not too late to try it this summer!

If you have the choice between real or fake, you can’t compare to the feeling of real grass between your toes and being surrounded by greenery that is proven to ground us mentally.

If you already have installed artificial grass, don’t worry! Look to add planters of bee-friendly flowers and create organic areas in flower beds to invite bees and other wildlife into your space. The Bumblebee Conservation Trust suggests visiting your garden centre or planting seed packets (like our wildflower seed balls) to support our bees.

We hope this was helpful and encourages you to “rewild the world” as stated by Sir David Attenborough!

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