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Artificial grass - hit or miss?

42 replies

CookieDoughKid · 14/07/2014 22:49

I'm buying a new build townhouse but it has a north facing garden. It's a small garden and I'll only get sun right at the bottom end (I think).

Given the lack of sun (and time), might I be better off buying artificial turf?
Do you have it and love it? I have dcs so it's great they have a bit of outside space but I don't want to be spending good money on turf if it's not going to fair well in a north facing garden.

I know very little about gardening btw. I just want something low cost and low maintenance! Thanks for reading!

OP posts:
CanaryYellow · 14/07/2014 22:53

My SIL has it in her small north facing garden. The drainage is terrible. Rain sits on top of the fake grass and the underneath is like a bog - there's no evaporation, it's like the ground can't breathe.

Ohhelpohnoitsa · 14/07/2014 23:11

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

halestone · 14/07/2014 23:28

I have it in my back garden, although i have no idea which way it faces. Its the best thing i ever did in the garden my DD and DN play for hours, without coming in covered in mud.

Also the drainage it brilliant and i find it drys much quicker than real grass which means the DC can play on it quicker.

Dogsmom · 15/07/2014 10:49

We had it at the old house and loved it, never had a problem with drainage, we put it down to stop the yellow pee stains from our 3 dogs.

It looked like new when we moved out 4 years later and we have laid some at this house on the side garden and are saving up to do the whole of the back garden.

We laid ours ourselves and it was easy.

QuintessentiallyQS · 15/07/2014 10:55

My neighbours garden is north facing, and she also just gets a strip of sun at the bottom. She laid new turf last summer, and it is looking great. She has made raised beds with ferns along the fence, and white climbing roses, clematis and winter and summer flowering jasmine trailing on her fences.

She has an area at the bottom with ornamental stones, where her dining table which is big enough to seat 10 people lives. She also has an acer, and fuschias and bedding plants for a spot of colour. Her garden is small but beautiful and neat.The climbers gives a splash of colour, and dont take much space on the ground. She also has some fab out doors mirrors in the seating areas, and with the ever green jasmine growing around, gives the impression of debth and space.

Tattypoo · 15/07/2014 11:48

I love our fake grass. Looks good, no hayfever, great for children, no lawnmowing. Ours seems to drain well and dry out really quickly. Just like having a big rug outside really. Get the stuff which 'recovers' - we got lots of samples and a lot of them flattened badly.

CookieDoughKid · 15/07/2014 12:54

Thanks all for your replies!! Really appreciate it. Tattypoo can you let me know what brand you bought? I think the drainage issue might be due to poor ground preparation. So I will pay attention there.

OP posts:
Cojmum · 15/07/2014 14:40

We have it in our north facing garden and love it too.

MothershipG · 15/07/2014 14:56

Small, north facing, 2 DC, 3 dogs - you can imagine the state of our garden.

We've had the artificial stuff 3 years, it still looks great and my kitchen floor gets much less muddy.

My DH laid it, first pic is when it first went down, second is more recent, yes, I know the leaves need sweeping. Grin

Artificial grass - hit or miss?
Artificial grass - hit or miss?
ThatBloodyWoman · 15/07/2014 14:57

Someone near me has it and I think its horrible.


affinia · 15/07/2014 17:17

We used to have a townhouse with tiny NF garden. Got sun almost all day as it came from the east in the morning and west in the afternoon. Just disappeared at lunchtime which was perfect. Was a suntrap otherwise. Look what's either side of your garden and you might find there's no problem at all.

CookieDoughKid · 15/07/2014 18:53

Thanks all and to mothership for taking the time to snapshot your garden for me. Your garden looks ACE!! I would not know it was fake from the photo at all. I do notice from your photo is that your neighbour's garden is a much darker/intense green. Does the fake grass suffer from fading? Thx!

OP posts:
Tattypoo · 15/07/2014 20:32

We went for Lazylawn Wonder Yarn 36mm (for extra 'lushness' Smile).

lessonsintightropes · 15/07/2014 23:47

TBH and just to provide an alternative opinion, it put us off a couple of places a bit (although that was not the sole reason we didn't offer on either) - nice patio flooring/decking would have been a more attractive option from a buyer's/our perspective - but if you're staying where you are for a long while no harm in having it for yourselves and asking for your EA's opinion when you come to sell, if replacing it would be a better option? Might be worth having a little bit of spare cash to one side for it as a pre-moving job.

MothershipG · 16/07/2014 06:45

Cookie it comes in different shades so you can pick a darker green if you prefer Smile Ours is kind of a summer green with some brownish blades mixed in for a natural look. It shouldn't fade.

As my shrubs and planting have grown it's softened the hard edges of the beds so now visitors don't realise it's fake until they are standing on it. Of course it's not to everyone's taste but it works really well for us (also makes it easier to pick up dog poo). Grin

burnishedsilver · 16/07/2014 09:07

While I understand all the advantages of artificial grass, where do we draw the line? If someone brings out a very convincing range of artifical trees and plants will we go for that too?

Hooliesmoolies · 16/07/2014 11:10

If it is for your house and you are living in it OP and it is what you want then go for it. Personally, I would never have it in a house of mine. I'd imagine it is a bit like marmite.

Memphisbelly · 16/07/2014 11:15

When drainage is an issue the comany fitting it should dig down further and put in extra drainage, both of my parents have it and have no issues with drainage.

QuintessentiallyQS · 16/07/2014 11:19

I just realized that you were not really looking for opinions on whether turf would grown in a north facing garden, but on fake grass, so I told you about my neighbour who laid turf.

Now, my other neighbour laid down fake grass last summer, while the other neighbour turfed.

Her fake grass looks great from my bedroom window....
It is a bit lighter now, so I reckon the sun must have faded it slightly. Her grass was very expensive.

Bear in mind it is not natural, and it is like a carpet in your garden. She needs to hose it on a regular basis to keep it clean and fresh looking. But there are no grass roots drinking the water, so it gets a bit soggy and boggy underneath.
Beware if your drain overflows, as you may end up with kitchen goo and roof grit soaking your fake grass, and it will stink.

As she has a dog, she is out regularly rinsing out wee, and picking up turds, and as there is no nature handling the wee and poo, but imagine it on a carpet, it gets a big yucky. But, for her it is still an improvement, as dog wee was "burning" the grass when she had a lawn.

wonkylegs · 16/07/2014 11:28

It's great for small areas if it's laid well (good prep is key) and it's a good quality product - a mixed colour brown/green is better than a single colour as it's more natural.
Friends of ours laid it in front garden and it was fab, with 2 dogs & 2 kids, their main problem was it got hot when it was in the sun too long, oh and the kids complained about the loss of the fresh cut grass smell. Grin

PrimalLass · 16/07/2014 17:49

It's a miss for me. Even though our back lawn is a nightmare, I couldn't put the fake stuff down.

MothershipG · 16/07/2014 17:53

She needs to hose it on a regular basis to keep it clean and fresh looking. But there are no grass roots drinking the water, so it gets a bit soggy and boggy underneath.

But why would you want it to look clean and fresh? It's supposed to look natural, so I like mine with the border planting spreading over it and a few bamboo leaves strewn across it.

And it really shouldn't be soggy, the backing is perforated so water just goes through it. Ours is laid on weed resistant membrane, on top of a layer of sand, on top of London clay soil and it is never boggy. It will only be boggy if you put it on top of a bog! Smile

I have three dogs and my ex-lawn didn't 'handle' the wee and poo. Wee washes through like it always did, but without the dead patches, and poo sits on top but is easier to locate as it's not hidden by mud and tufty grass.

I generally only hose mine if a dog has vomited on it (sorry to be gross!)

MissPB · 16/07/2014 17:54

It's a miss for me too. Too artificial and also not great for wildlife - what about the bugs and worms under the "grass" and what about the birds - I love seeing the birds on the grass digging for worms :(

Jubelteen · 16/07/2014 18:07

I love my artificial lawn. The surface needs proper preparation/drainage etc and a good job won't be cheap. My grass looks realistic with brown bits mixed in, nothing like astro turf. It's brilliant if you have dogs or children no more mud dragged into the house from the garden, they can play out right after a rain shower.

fanjobiscuits · 16/07/2014 18:51

Our poshest friends with excellent taste have some in their huge and lovely london home. Looks fab, we are saving up for some. Our actual lawn meanwhile is sadly neglected and looks dire.

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