Synthetic Grass vs. Natural Grass: Which is Best for You?


When you want to have a lush and bright green lawn for your home you can search for “landscape companies near me” and hire professionals for the job. You have two choices – synthetic grass or natural grass. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and let’s figure out which one’s best for you.

The Differences

  1. Installation cost – Let’s crunch some numbers and figure out how much money you’ll need to spend upfront for installing both synthetic and natural grass on a 100 square feet lawn. For synthetic grass, materials, labor, fees, overhead, and the profit of the landscaping company affect the final cost of installation.

Usually, a landscaping company would take around 3 days for installing an artificial lawn on a 1000 square feet space. For quality installations, you’ll pay around $9 per square foot at a minimum. That brings up the minimum installation cost for the synthetic grass to around $9000.

On the other hand, you can grow a lawn with natural grass by either sodding or seeding. Adding would always cost more since it’s pre-grown natural grass that you transfer to your property. For either type of natural grass, you’ll need an irrigation system that will put you back around $2000 for a 1000 square feet area.

If you want to stick with sodding, the cost of installation is around $3.50 per square foot. That means along with the irrigation system, you pay an upfront cost of around $5500 for sodding. To save cost, you can grow your own lawn by seeding it.

For the seeds, you’ll pay around $0.05 per square foot and that puts the cost of seeds at $50 for 1000 square feet. Apart from that, you’ll also need to seed the lawn for 8 weeks for seed germination. To water one inch of water for a 1000 square feet area you’ll need around 623 gallons of water. For germination, you need to spend around 40 inches of water or around 25000 gallons of water. On average, the bill for that kind of water use would be around $300. That means you pay around $350 upfront for growing your own lawn.

  1. Maintenance costs – On average, fake grass lasts for 25 years. Let’s use that timespan to calculate the overall maintenance costs. Fortunately, fake grass requires minimal maintenance and care. You just need to wash away the pollen, dust, and debris that settles on the synthetic grass. For that, a quarter-inch of water should be enough for every rinse. For a 25-year span, that would cost you around $300 for rinsing a 1000 square feet lawn.

Apart from that, you’ll also need to brush the lawn to fluff up the fibers and keep your artificial lawn looking good. A big brush for the lawn costs around $50. You’ll also need to spend money on odor removers. Those products cost around $100 a gallon and you’ll need around three gallons for the job every year. That puts you back around $7500 for 25 years. So, the total cost adds up to around $7800 for artificial grass.

On the other hand, the natural lawn needs mowing, edging, and the disposal of grass clippings. If you pay someone to do that, it will cost you around $30 on each visit. For two visits a month, you’ll pay around $720 a year and around $18000 over a 25-year timespan. Even if you decide to do that job by yourself, you won’t save a lot of money since you’ll need to buy your equipment, fuel them, maintain them and get them repaired.

Apart from that, there’s also the fertilizer cost. While it differs depending on the soil and climate, you’ll spend around $50 on each application. If you do that four times a year for 25 years, you’ll pay around $5000. You’ll also need to pay around $2000 for aerating your lawn for 25 years. However, water would be the major cost here since you’ll need to feed your lawn over 1.25 million gallons of water over 25 years. That would put you back around $15000. That means you’ll pay over $40000 on maintaining and caring for your natural grass lawn.

  1. Total cost of ownership – When the above-mentioned figures are added together, you pay around $40,350 for growing your natural grass lawn and maintaining it. On the other hand, if you opt for a natural grass lawn obtained from sodding, you pay around $5000 more. Compared to that, the total cost of ownership of synthetic grass is just around $17000. That means you pay less than half the amount of owning and maintaining artificial grass.
  1. Environmental impact – The environmental impact of natural grass is severe. While you use several thousand gallons of water to wash and rinse your synthetic grass lawn, you use over a million gallons for growing and maintaining a natural grass lawn. That’s why environmentalists are not in favor of natural grass lawns. They recommend gowing native species that are less resource hungry. You also have the option of synthetic grass. 
  1. Safety – Apart from the environmental impact, you’ll also need to think about the safety of your kids and pets when choosing between natural and synthetic grass. Synthetic grass is made to have a soft texture and never damage the delicate skin of your kids and pets. Moreover, you need to use toxic pesticides and fertilizers to grow and keep your natural grass lawn pest-free. You don’t need to use these harmful chemicals on artificial grass and that means your children aren’t exposed to those toxins when they play on the lawn.


In the end, the choice between natural and synthetic grass depends on your unique situation. While synthetic grass has a lower cost of ownership in the long run, you also need to think about climatic conditions, use of water, and other such factors. Either way, if you want to have a lawn installed or grown for your home, you can search for “landscape companies near me” and hire professionals for the job.

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