by Jessy Highlander, April 19, 2014
Can you save time and money on maintaining and watering your yard and still have sharp-looking beautiful green lawn all year long?
If you are a California home owner, you probably tired of solving the dilemma of a beautifully manicured lawn vs. monthly water bill. Not to say that a recent California water drought hurt farmers and drove up food prices adding at least $10 to $15 at the checkout for every $100 we spend in supermarkets. If you live on at least a half of acre piece of land, your water bill can be as much as $250 per month. It is not a question of choosing between a house-with-a-yard living vs. an apartment-life-style. It is a question of choosing between your back lawn and the front lawn. That is at least for me.
I love to have a fresh, soft, natural lawn in my backyard. As to a front yard lawn, I do respect my fellow neighbors, but not to the extent of spending extra $1800 dollars for an automated sprinklers system and an added $120 to my monthly water bill. Calculate this.
$100 (on an average) x 12 month = $1200 per year. It is $6000 in 5 years. At least. How about $70 each month to make your lawn looking sharp and taken care of really well? I mean, if you have time to mow your lawn, it's great. I don’t. How about fertilizers? Sum all above. In five years you have already spent ten thousand dollars, i-don-t-know how many hours of maintaining your front yard, dealing with gardeners, poisoning you pets and yourself with pesticides. Call it $20,000 in the next 10 years, and $40,000 in the next 20 years. That’s a good amount of money to start digging for alternatives.
First alternative is simple and disapproved by the good-citizen-neighbor next door. Just don’t water you lawn. Let it die. Hope it will somehow come back next winter. Artificial grass? Oh, no. "It looks plastic-y." Seriously? Do you think technologies boomed only in the i-phones, aliens-movies industries? Nowadays, you can get an artificial grass that look so natural, you never believe it until you see it with your own eyes. The prices aren't as high as one can expect, but the installation is not cheap. DIY is possible if you have a flat, simply configured lawn, but you lawn isn’t flat, you better deal with the professional installers. How much can it cost you in California? With installation it can be from $8 to $9 per square foot. I can spend ten grand on this project, but I am still 30 thousand dollars ahead, considering a fact, that if you buy from a reputable company, the life expediency of an artificial turf is about 20 years.
Most manufacturers give 7-years warranty on their products. It is really not good enough to be sure you are making a good investment. You should have at least 10-years warranty and the twenty years life expediency on the turf. Then you know you have a good deal, especially if you are thinking environmentally safe, lead-free, safe for kids and pets. In times where there is not enough water to farm, staying conscious about water preservation is something every one of us must really think about twice.