Real Grass Vs Artificial: The Pros and Cons

Spring landscape - is it to be real grass or artificial?

Deciding between real and artificial grass (often referred to as astroturf) for your landscape can significantly affect the appearance, maintenance, and functionality of your outdoor space.

The setting up and construction varies…both start with getting good levels and setting the edges to the area.

Each option has its unique set of benefits and drawbacks. Here, we’ll explore the pros and cons of both to help you make an informed decision tailored to your specific needs and preferences.

Natural Turf Lawn

This can be either seeded or turfed depending on your budget and how quickly you want use the area.

Personally, I prefer turf for small landscapes less than 1000 square meters such as within your back garden. For larger areas seeding may be better, or use a combination of them both, with turf close to the living area and seeding further out.


– Environmental Benefits: Natural grass plays a crucial role in capturing carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen, and supporting biodiversity. It serves as a habitat for various organisms and helps in soil erosion control. The soil within the landscape is key to health of the landscape including trees and shrubs.

-Natural Cooling: Grass surfaces are significantly cooler than artificial turf, asphalt, or concrete, contributing to a cooler yard and surrounding areas.  

-Aesthetic and Feel: There’s a unique beauty and softness to natural grass that is challenging to replicate with artificial options. It offers a classic look and feels that many homeowners prefer.

– Self-Repairing: Grass can grow and repair itself over time. With proper care, damaged or worn areas can become lush and green again.

-The smell of a freshly cut lawn, picking daisy chains, and blowing seed of dandelion heads are all part of our childhood memories


-Maintenance: Requires regular mowing, watering, fertilizing, and weed control to maintain its appearance and health. This can be time-consuming and costly over time. Many suppliers help with this such as Aperion lawncare.

Water Usage: Maintaining a lush, green lawn requires a significant amount of water, which can be a concern in areas with water restrictions or for those looking to reduce their environmental footprint. Learning  how to and or investing in lawn care watering systems are essential  

– Seasonal: Grass can go dormant and brown in extreme heat or cold, requiring seasonal care to keep it looking its best.

– Pests and Diseases: Grass can be susceptible to pests and diseases, which may require the use of pesticides and other chemicals to manage.

Artificial Turf (Astroturf)


-Low Maintenance: Unlike natural grass, artificial turf does not require mowing, watering, or fertilizing, saving time and money over the long term.

– Water Conservation: Ideal for regions with water scarcity, as it eliminates the need for regular watering.

-Durability and Usage: Highly durable and can withstand heavy use without rest periods needed for recovery, making it suitable for high-traffic areas. Schools and play areas for young people favour its use.

– Year-Round Green: Provides a green, manicured look throughout the year, regardless of weather conditions.


– Heat Retention: Artificial turf can get very hot in direct sunlight, potentially creating an uncomfortable surface for people and pets.  

– Environmental Concerns: Made from synthetic materials, it does not offer the same environmental benefits as natural grass, such as carbon sequestration and supporting biodiversity. Additionally, disposal can be problematic.

– Cost: The initial installation cost can be high, although it may be offset by lower maintenance costs over time.

– Safety and Health Concerns: There are concerns about chemicals and metals in some artificial turf products, as well as the risk of abrasions from falls. 

When considering these options for your landscape, it’s essential to weigh both the aesthetic desires and practical considerations unique to your situation. Factors such as climate, intended use, maintenance capabilities, and environmental impact should guide your decision between a natural turf lawn and artificial turf.

If you require help or advice please get in touch.

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We are tree consultants, professional tree surgeons and landscape gardeners based in Norwich, Norfolk.

We have a high level of expertise in tree care, garden landscape design and consultancy. 

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