Grass Vs. Artificial Lawn

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OnionChutney
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Grass Vs. Artificial Lawn

Post by OnionChutney »

This question might be equivalent to blasphemy on a forum that promotes rural living... But could an artificial lawn be a prudent investment in Japan?

With the long dry summers (in Kyushu) and the unpredictable deluges in rainy season, I'm fearing a large grass lawn could be hard to keep in good condition. Include the risk of typhoons, wild animals, and unwanted critters (termites, etc.) and it seems like a fair question to ask.

I currently have a 500m2 garden that looks like a Japanese school field (all sand, dust, and rocks). I want to create a nice space for the kids to play football, relax, and throw the odd BBQ party.

PROS of artificial:
- low maintenance (no need for weeding, cutting, treatments)
- can literally hoover it when dirty
- resistant to all weather types
- won't get destroyed by kids
- I won't have to worry about watering it when if I visit the UK for a month or so every year

We have a well on the land, so water costs aren't a factor.

CONS of artificial:
- installation cost
- need to replace in ten or so years
- doesn't feel like real grass

Any experience, thoughts, or opinions?
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Grass Vs. Artificial Lawn

Post by Chuck2 »

OnionChutney wrote:
Tue Oct 18, 2022 3:20 pm
This question might be equivalent to blasphemy on a forum that promotes rural living... But could an artificial lawn be a prudent investment in Japan?

With the long dry summers (in Kyushu) and the unpredictable deluges in rainy season, I'm fearing a large grass lawn could be hard to keep in good condition. Include the risk of typhoons, wild animals, and unwanted critters (termites, etc.) and it seems like a fair question to ask.

I currently have a 500m2 garden that looks like a Japanese school field (all sand, dust, and rocks). I want to create a nice space for the kids to play football, relax, and throw the odd BBQ party.

PROS of artificial:
- low maintenance (no need for weeding, cutting, treatments)
- can literally hoover it when dirty
- resistant to all weather types
- won't get destroyed by kids
- I won't have to worry about watering it when if I visit the UK for a month or so every year

We have a well on the land, so water costs aren't a factor.

CONS of artificial:
- installation cost
- need to replace in ten or so years
- doesn't feel like real grass

Any experience, thoughts, or opinions?
Me and my wife have talked about getting an artificial lawn but the initial cost scared us away from it. I do like all the pros you listed. I read that some people think there could be links to getting cancer from playing on artificial soccer fields. Not sure if this might be added to the cons.

For the time being our lawn sounds similar to yours. We do have some parts covered with that black boso sheeting and of course some parts with a lot of weed cover.

What kind of prices per 1 m2? When you install the artificial lawn, do you need to first lay down a boso sheets?

Where were you looking at buying the artificial lawn? I have seen some bigger sizes of it at NAFCO.
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Zasso Nouka
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Grass Vs. Artificial Lawn

Post by Zasso Nouka »

Can't speak about the benefits of an artificial lawn but can say keeping a real one in good shape is not easy. We've tried and failed several times but are still having a go, even with regular mowing it still gets invaded with weeds or the grass dies out in patches.

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Grass Vs. Artificial Lawn

Post by gonbechan »

Has anybody tried a mix of local shibafu, some kind of western grass and microclover (dwarf ver of dutch white clover).
We did this before and basically had green all year round. We mowed it a little longer than a lawn perfectionist might like it.
Also very nice for pollinators.
You can also add in DaikanDora sorry dont know the english name.

We started with the bog standard shibafu squares from the home center, had a hard time getting it nice and hated the brown winters, over sowed with a bluegrass and buffalo mix and it looked nicer but still wasn't amazing. Later we started added microclover to the patches and ended up with the mix which was quite lovely.

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Grass Vs. Artificial Lawn

Post by gonbechan »


Savot
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Grass Vs. Artificial Lawn

Post by Savot »

gonbechan wrote:
Fri Oct 21, 2022 9:15 am
Has anybody tried a mix of local shibafu, some kind of western grass and microclover (dwarf ver of dutch white clover).
We did this before and basically had green all year round. We mowed it a little longer than a lawn perfectionist might like it.
I ended up doing something like this unintentionally.

We used the have knee high weeds next to the house so I spent a couple of days digging everything up with a hoe and trying to remove most of the roots (I don’t recommend this approach, but as komeri deemed me unworthy of renting a rotary tiller it was my only choice). I sowed 75% Kentucky blue grass and 25% tall fescue (by seed count) and waited a couple of months. We ended up with something that’s a mix of native grass, western grass and clover. I keep it at about 60mm and am actually pretty happy with it.

Unfortunately we just had a mogura invasion which has undone some of my hard work. I put down a mix of cayenne, vinegar, coffee grounds and water today. Not sure if it’s working yet, but would appreciate any tips for keeping them away.

On the artificial vs natural question, I’d just say that there’s something very satisfying about growing and maintaining your own lawn despite all the challenges!
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Grass Vs. Artificial Lawn

Post by Zasso Nouka »

Savot wrote:
Sat Oct 22, 2022 10:19 pm
but would appreciate any tips for keeping them away.
I can totally recommend either tanuki or inoshishi for controlling mogura. What they will do is dig up the entire surrounding area in their quest to catch the sneaky little tunnelling blighters but they are thorough and will eat all the moles they can find. One of our cats loves hunting moles, she waits by the mounds of soil they make and when she hears one nearby she makes a precision strike and hauls the unlucky creature to the surface and then plays with it for several hours before becoming bored. Less damage to the lawn but can't help feeling sorry for the poor little mogura.

But perhaps you were looking for a less damaging solution :lol:

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Grass Vs. Artificial Lawn

Post by OnionChutney »

gonbechan wrote:
Fri Oct 21, 2022 9:15 am
Has anybody tried a mix of local shibafu, some kind of western grass and microclover (dwarf ver of dutch white clover).
We did this before and basically had green all year round. We mowed it a little longer than a lawn perfectionist might like it.
Also very nice for pollinators.
You can also add in DaikanDora sorry dont know the english name.

We started with the bog standard shibafu squares from the home center, had a hard time getting it nice and hated the brown winters, over sowed with a bluegrass and buffalo mix and it looked nicer but still wasn't amazing. Later we started added microclover to the patches and ended up with the mix which was quite lovely.
How much does a lawn like this hold up against boys playing football every day?
Does it seem durable?
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Grass Vs. Artificial Lawn

Post by gonbechan »

OnionChutney wrote:
Mon Oct 24, 2022 9:12 am
How much does a lawn like this hold up against boys playing football every day?
Does it seem durable?
Way better than a normal lawn I would say. especially if you have mixed in daikan dora.
The best things I liked about it was no yellow spots from dog wee, the clover was ok in semi shaded areas and the mix of the shallower grass roots and the deeper clover roots made it hard for the dogs to dig holes.
So if you keep it a little longer than a normal lawn, I reckon it would hold up pretty well.
Only thing, you would have to do it in segments I reckon, and keep your boys off new sections until things were established.


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Grass Vs. Artificial Lawn

Post by OnionChutney »

Clover looks like a great idea. I shall investigate more!
I'm not sure how to get the lawn started really (it's just a dust patch atm). So that's the first challenge!
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