The Disadvantages of Artificial Grass


Living in a climate with excessively high year round temperatures can make having a beautiful manicured lawn difficult if not impossible. As a result, a bevy of companies offer synthetic grass as a viable alternative for those who want to enjoy the look of a plush front lawn but don't want the hassle associated with trying to maintain one. While the allure of installing visually appealing man-made grass can be tempting, it is important to carefully weigh all of the potential disadvantages.

Preparation for Installation

If an existing natural lawn is in place, the sod needs to be completely removed in order to install the artificial grass. Existing plants will have to be dug up during installation. Depending on the size and landscaping of the property, this can be a time consuming and costly process. Most artificial grass companies provide natural grass and plant removal for an added fee.

Ecosystem Disruption

Natural grass serves many purposes in the environment, including providing oxygen, creating sanctuary for plants, insects and animals as well as assisting in the prevention of erosion. When synthetic turf is installed it can upset the biodiversity in the region and change the scope of the ecosystem.


Setting up a synthetic turf landscape can come with a hefty price tag. Aside from the price of the turf itself there is the added cost of professional installation. Should the turf incur unexpected damages over time it will need to be repaired. And depending on the quality of the turf itself, replacement will ultimately be required within fifteen years.


Artificial grass never needs to be mowed or watered, however, it will still need to be raked and kept free of debris buildup from leaves, pollen and other naturally occurring outdoor elements. While rainwater will help to keep the simulated grass clean, it may also need to be flushed with a hose in a regular basis, especially in hot climates with limited rainfalls. Regular brushing may be needed to prevent the turf from getting matted.

Environmental Concerns

Artificial grass is made with polyethylene and polymers. While these elements allow the simulated grass to be strong and durable during use, disposing of the faux grass when it wears and needs to be discarded poses a problem. Most simulated turf that has outlived its usefulness winds up dumped into a landfill. Since it is not biodegradable it creates lasting waste.

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About this Author

Faith Schuster is a freelance writer from New England whose craft, gardening and lifestyle articles have appeared in newspaper, print and online publications for more than 10 years. She holds a degree in English from the University of Hartford.