Many people are choosing to keep their natural grass lawns instead of switching to artificial turf or another type of ground cover. Homeowners often prefer the natural grass to the alternatives simply because they like to do perform the maintenance and enjoy working outside. For some, it is a normal part of home ownership. Those who choose to keep natural grass do face potential problems, however.
Compliance With Water Usage Restrictions
One of the biggest problems for homeowners who choose to maintain a natural grass lawn is remaining in compliance with water usage restrictions. It takes over 150,000 gallons of water each year to maintain an 800 square foot lawn. With that being said, those who live in areas that have been hardest hit by droughts will face stiff fines if they try to water their lawns and keep them well irrigated. In some areas, the restrictions are so tight that people are being encouraged to report their neighbors if they violate the new laws. The environmental concerns that are being raised by the drought conditions are severe enough that many California residents are willing to do it.
Natural grass also requires the use of toxic chemicals when it comes to fertilizing and killing weeds. To have a vividly green lawn, fertilizer is a must. For homeowners who have small children, using toxic chemicals on their lawn means keeping the children inside until the chemicals dry or are absorbed by the soil. If not, they run the risk of exposing their children and pets to harsh chemicals that are known to cause breathing disorders and skin irritations. The hazards of chemical exposure for children and pets are real and the instructions on the container should be followed to the letter to avoid any degree of poisoning or contamination.
The Need to Re-Seed
Natural grass lawns that are exposed to heavy foot traffic may have to be re-seeded from time to time. This is especially true in areas where children and pets are constantly active. Playgrounds and other recreational areas may have bare spots worn into the grass where it is difficult to establish new growth. Re-seeding in the spring can help to keep the natural grass looking thick and green, unless those areas are kept kid and pet free. However, the grass won't grow properly enough to replenish itself. It is important to choose a hardy variety of grass seed if your lawn receives an excessive amount of foot traffic.
Maintenance, Maintenance, Maintenance
Natural grass lawns must be properly maintained on a weekly basis if they are going to look their best. This means mowing, trimming, seeding and watering at least once each week. With severe drought conditions, the grass may only need to be mowed once a month, but even then, it can take several hours a week to pick up and remove debris that accumulates in landscaped areas and under trees. In addition, to keeping the lawn looking nice, you must also maintain the equipment you use. Lawn mowers, tractors and trimmers need to be properly maintained if you expect them to last for several years.
Natural grass is beautiful and feels wonderful underfoot. The beautiful landscaping requires work and determination. Many homeowners enjoy being outside and will do what needs to be done without hesitation. Others look at it as a chore that must be endured. If you own your home it will be up to you to decide how much effort you want to put into maintaining your lawn and plan accordingly. For those who have a green thumb, the choice is an easy one to make.