Lee Valley Tools    Gardening Newsletter
   Vol. 4, Issue 3
   June 2009
   Alternatives to Grass Lawns

Artificial Turf
Of course, the lawn that requires the least maintenance is made of artificial turf. There are companies that specialize in plastic grass that looks just like real grass and they will replace your lawn with concrete and artificial turf for a fee. This alternative is probably the most expensive choice at first, but after the initial fee, you will no longer have to be burdened with watering, fertilizing or applying pesticides. Throw away your seed dispenser, your aerating shoes and sell your lawn mower! It sounds tempting, doesn't it?

I will warn you, however, that it's not all perfect. You will need to rake your plastic lawn often to make sure no debris gathers there. Decomposing leaves and clippings will quickly create a soil layer where weeds can take root, and since plastic doesn't grow, it can't compete with weeds the way white clover or bugleflower can.

Obviously, plastic does not have any of the environmental benefits that living plants do. For instance, plants convert oxygen, prevent erosion and control temperature. They also preserve moisture and dampen sound. Plastic does none of these things, and I don't imagine that it feels very nice to sit on during a hot day, but it does provide an excellent way to keep up with the Joneses.

Morgan Blenk

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