Artificial turf — a honey-do or a fake faux pas?

Depending on whom you talk to, artificial grass is the best thing since sliced bread or the scourge of the planet. So what is it?

The pros for artificial turf are obvious. It doesn’t require watering, and it is always green. It often looks so real that you have to get on your hands and knees and touch it to know the difference. Best of all, it means no more mowing or gardener fees. On the other side, it does not support the habitat, does not reduce heat buildup, and does not recycle rainwater.

Some believe that it actually can increase your risk of cancer due to the particles in the turf. However, does the science back up the belief? So far, most studies have found that artificial fields pose little to no health risk. The reality is that it is something everyone must consider himself or herself.

Ron Vanderhoff, general manager, and vice-president of Rogers Gardens believes there is another way to look at it. “Artificial turf does have a place in specific situations, especially for dog-runs, athletic fields, where children play heavily, and maybe a couple of other reasons.” Are you replacing your lawn with artificial turf just to make it look like a real lawn? “If you are considering artificial turf, first ask why,” asks Vanderhoff. “If it is not for a specific purpose, maybe consider a drought tolerant garden or hardscape instead.” Alternatively, take Mike Evans, of Tree of Life Nursery’s word for it. “Artificial turf? Yes, ugly.”

Part 3