Turf Wars: Analyzing the Differences and Benefits of Sod vs Artificial Turf

sod and artificial turf

According to some estimates, 20 percent of the planet is covered in grass. It is nature’s carpet. Hard-wearing, durable and renewable.

There is no doubt grass is an amazing part of the planet. You may also be interested to know that the color green is associated with many positive emotions such as peacefulness and a sense of calm.

It comes as no surprise then, that many people desire a lush green lawn. However, that comes with its challenges. What mother nature has mastered is much more of a challenge for busy people in a modern world.

Sod and artificial turf are two possible answers to creating a lush green space. However, which one is best and for what purpose? Read on to find out.

Sod and Artificial Turf—Similarities

Sod and artificial turf can look very similar. They both can be effectively used to create a green space. They both can be used for creating a surface for certain sports.

There are the obvious sports like tennis, cricket, bowls, and other ‘grass’ based sports that function just as well on artificial turf as they do on grass. However, the king of the backyard sports on grass has to be the putting green.

It seems having your own putting space at home is a growing concern for many people. Golf has always been a popular sport and now improving your short game at home is very accessible with sod and artificial turf.

Sod and Artificial Turf—Differences

It must be acknowledged candidly, that natural grass and synthetic grass do have many similarities and can be used interchangeably for many purposes.

Yet, these two ‘materials’ are very different and that is really where the focus of making your decision should be. Let’s start with one of the most important differences.

Cost of Green

If you want a beautiful green lawn or green space, it is going to cost you money. There is no avoiding it. True, the grass is natural and it will ‘grow’ for free. However, it can be compared to ‘growing’ hair for free but never going to the salon.

If you want a healthy, lush lawn that looks good and is well maintained to constantly provide that perfect look, it is going to cost you a reasonable amount of money to maintain it. Depending on the quality of the initial turf you install, that may also be a significant cost.

In contrast, artificial grass will cost very little in terms of maintenance. Artificial grass is maintenance free but occasional repairs may be needed depending on how you are using it.

However, the initial cost and installation of artificial grass will likely cost more than your initial costs for natural grass. The factor you have to consider is whether you prefer the initial cost versus an unknown ongoing cost.

Time and Convenience

Synthetic grass requires little to no time at all to look after, once it has been installed. This makes it extremely attractive if you are a busy person with little time to spend in the garden.

Plus, synthetic grass is not seasonal in any way. It will not change color with the season or thin out during the winter months. It is constant, unchangeable and completely reliable.

That means synthetic grass is extremely convenient. You do not have to wait to play on it or use it for any other purpose. You can simply enjoy it.

In contrast, real grass requires significant time and energy to maintain. Either you need to do that in person or you need to hire someone to do it. Even if you maintain your natural grass, there will be periods of inconvenience when the grass needs to rest and restore.


This may seem an odd sub-category. However, you will be amazed at how many accidents occur in the garden while maintaining a natural lawn. In fact, lawnmower accidents are the leading cause of amputations for children in the USA.

We haven’t even started to mention the accidents associated with electrical equipment in the garden. Of course, if you have children you want them to experience natural grass. With a planet abundantly covered in it, have no fear about that.

Another concern you should be mindful of is the health risks associated with the chemicals used to help natural grass grow while killing unwanted weeds. The last situation you want is a beautiful lawn that looks good but no one can use it because of the chemical risks.

Synthetic grass is safer and more practical when you consider these aspects of natural lawn care and maintenance. How frustrating to have a beautiful natural lawn with a big sign saying ‘keep off the grass.’


Natural grass is by definition multi-purpose and the natural world demonstrates this daily. However, as grass serves different purposes it can be messy and dirty. Nothing wrong with that, but synthetic grass is also multi-functional and offers the same flexibility but without the mess.

Take as an example, using synthetic grass for pet areas outside your house. This will prevent your pets from digging up the ‘garden’ and even soiling it. Instead, it will offer an outdoor space that will allow them to exercise while not ‘laying the ground’ for chaos and mess.

Sod Versus Artificial Turf—Final Cut

In this article, we have explained some of the similarities and differences between sod and artificial turf. Both are a good choice but if you are looking for a modern, cost-effective, time saving, and practical option then give some thought to synthetic turf.

If you have any questions or want more advice please get in touch here.


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