We’ve all been there before, we’ve just bought our dream new home, or are in the process of doing some much needed home renovations, and have come to the important stage of sorting out our landscaping.
The big question remains Synthetic versus Natural Turf, sometimes we lean one way, sometimes the other, they each have different appealing characteristics, but there are actually some key factors that need to be taken into consideration when deciding between the two.
Here at Hi Quality Turf we’re experts in the field, we’ve been in business for over 45 years, and know all the Pro’s and Con’s when it comes to all matters turf related. We’ve done the hard work for you, and composed this handy guide to help you select the perfect turf for your particular needs, and avoid many of the common pitfalls that many people face.
When selecting a suitable turf, the weather we experience is a crucial factor. Here in Sydney, we can be faced with a variety of testing conditions, ranging from strong winds and rain to stifling heat, this can be particularly seen in Western Sydney where summer temperatures can reach in excess of 40°.
It’s therefore vital to understand how a particular turf variety deals with heat. Synthetic turf is unfortunately a heat trap, in hot conditions it absorbs and retains a lot of heat, resulting in a scorching hot surface temperature.
With Natural turf on the other hand this is not an issue, on a hot day Natural turf is actually a lot cooler than the ambient temperature. Any heat experienced is naturally absorbed and spread into the soil, avoiding any concentration of heat on a particular area.
Bacteria / Chemicals
A turf’s ability to deal with foreign substances will prove to be an ongoing issue. The turf in our property can be exposed to a whole variety of foreign substances such as; rain drain off, car washing chemicals, pet excrement, along with a whole bunch of other nasties. If such chemicals are not released and become trapped in a turf, this poses a number of health and contamination risks.
With Synthetic turf, any such foreign substances become trapped in the material and have nowhere to go, over time with the heat, they become caked into the surface. This is a scenario we want to avoid.
Natural turf handles these circumstances a lot better. While it can be initially affected by the severity of these foreign substances, natural turf does not trap these chemicals, but instead acts as a filter releasing them back into the soil minus the nasties. A high concentration of chemicals is not retained providing an overall healthier environment for all parties involved.
In today’s modern world it’s important to be environmentally conscious. Careful consideration must be given throughout the entire life cycle of a product, this applies right from the initial purchase decision all the way through to any required disposal.
Natural turf is designed by Mother Nature to withstand everyday wear and tear, if the turf becomes damaged it can be nursed back to a good condition, and in the worst of circumstances, new rolls of grass can be brought in to fix any patches. Natural turf is able to regenerate and has no disposal impact on the environment.
A Synthetic turf on the other hand can be a lot more complicated. While it offers benefits of low maintenance, it has a limited shelf life. After a few years of use, it loses its shine and will need to be replaced. This is where a problem arises in that it cannot be environmentally friendly disposed of and unfortunately ends up becoming a landfill.
Cost considerations will impact your own particular budget considerations. Synthetic turf does initially appear to offer lower ongoing maintenance costs, however, it requires a significantly higher initial financial outlay (up to four times higher when compared to natural turf), and having a limited shelf life, means a repeated high cost to replace.
Natural turf offers a far more budget-conscious option. Depending on the variety of natural turf selected prices can vary, but they are still significantly lower than the financial outlay required for Synthetic turf. Additionally as long you look after natural turf with good general upkeep, there are no large replacement costs involved.
When selecting your turf it’s also important to consider the surface friction and any potential risk for injury. With Natural turf, you pretty much have all your bases covered, sure you may get a little dirty and muddy on rainy days, but the surface of natural turf has less friction than synthetic turf resulting in minimal risk of injury to kids or four-legged friends.
Synthetic turf is another story. As those of you who play indoor sports can attest to, the risk of carpet burn-like abrasion injuries is high. Sudden movements and falls on this type of turf can leave nasty burns and injuries that you want to steer well clear of. This is the primary reason why most elite sporting fields still use natural turf today.
Finally, what might not appear to be an important consideration can actually lead to structural problems if not properly taken into account. In today’s Australian climate we can be susceptible to periods of extended rain. It’s therefore vitally important to assess how a particular turf deals with water drainage.
Synthetic turf being made out of plastic, does not absorb water, water just sits on top of the surface, and with an extended period of rain, this can lead to large puddles forming with nowhere to go. If this type of turf has been placed close to corners or a retaining wall, prolonged exposure to retained moisture can affect the overall integrity of structures.
This problem does not exist with Natural turf. Sure, with prolonged exposure to heavy deluges puddles can develop, however, healthy natural turf with a strong root system enables a more rapid absorption of surface water ensuring that it does not sit permanently on the surface.
We hope that this guide has given you important information about selecting the right type of turf for your backyard.
When selecting your turf it’s important to take into consideration a variety of factors. With Synthetic turf, what might initially appear as benefits of low maintenance, need to be rounded out by the significant financial outlay and the surface’s ability to retain heat and foreign substances, and not absorb water. Due to its consistency, Synthetic turf also poses a higher risk of injury.
Natural turf offers a far superior environmentally friendly option. It does not retain heat, and water is naturally absorbed into the soil. It also provides a safe environment that your little ones along with your four-legged friends can enjoy for years to come.
If you have any questions on all matters turf-related, feel free to contact the experts at Hi Quality Turf. With our over 45 years of experience in the industry, we’ll help you pick a turf that’s just right for you.
Why not contact us today and let’s get the process started.