Across North America, a beautiful, lush turf has become a source of pride for property. A well-manicured turf area is not only attractive and comfortable, it provides a space to work, play and relax.
Residential, public and commercial properties all embrace green space, however there is a financial and environmental price to pay.
Mindful Water Use
Here in Ontario we are not accustomed to water shortages on the scale of California, in fact most of us take our water supply for granted. However, just because we are less cognizant of the need to conserve water does not make that need any less important.
Canada is home to one-fifth of the world’s total fresh water, spread across thousands of lakes, rivers, creeks, ponds and wetlands. We rely on this water for drinking, agriculture and even hydroelectric power. Millions of animals living in ecosystems across the country also rely on this same water to thrive.
However, our water supply is not infinite. The threat of climate change, our rapidly growing population and increasing energy needs are placing an ever-greater strain on the water supply. According to the Water Resources Group, by the year 2030 “global water requirements will be ‘a full 40% above the current accessible, reliable supply.’“
Conserving water is everyone’s responsibility – and it also makes good business sense.
Conserving Water in Landscape Design
When designing your outdoor landscape, it is easy to create a space that is both attractive and water conscious. Your landscape team will start by selecting plants that are native to your area, or drought tolerant, which will ensure that your landscape will withstand the conditions of your climate.
Plants such as sunflowers, lilacs and succulents are a great choice for arid climates, as opposed to tropical plants which require more water. Incorporating mulch, stones and rocks into your décor will not only add interest, it will also protect the soil and prevent water evaporation.
Don’t be surprised to see your landscape professional intentionally place smooth stones to direct water from a downspout or runoff. This will ensure no water is wasted, and plants that are in the most need of water can be planted in the correct location to receive it.
Most importantly, your landscape professional will water correctly and only when necessary. According to Columbia University’s Earth Institute, “30 to 60 percent of urban fresh water is used on lawns. Most of this water is also wasted due to poor timing and application.”
According to a press release from the Synthetic Turf Council, as of 2012 the use of synthetic turf saved over six billion gallons of water across North America, and eliminated “close to a billion pounds of harmful fertilizers and pesticides.”
The Southern Nevada Water Authority calculates that “every square foot of natural grass replaced saves 55 gallons of water per year.”
If you are looking to cut down on watering while being environmentally conscious, then artificial turf may be the solution for your property.
Advantages of Artificial Turf
Unlike traditional grass, artificial turf does not require watering. It is already widely used in places that are prone to droughts like California, however right here in Canada many property owners are embracing the benefits of this natural grass alternative. Saving water is just the start, the benefits of artificial turf are enormous. Artificial turf:
- Is resilient: it won’t die or turn to mud because of overuse, which is why it is so popular on sports fields.
- Doesn’t need sunlight: owners of shaded properties will no longer have to spend time and money replacing sun-starved areas of turf.
- Pesticide and fertilizer free: saving the environment, local ecosystem and costing you less.
- Looks better: unlike real grass, artificial turf never dies, turns yellow or grows too long. It looks great all year.
- Requires less maintenance: no watering, no mowing and no edging.
If you are considering artificial turf, you’ll be surprised to find that there are more options than ever before. Give us a call to learn more about synthetic turf.
Written by Paul Lammers
Paul Lammers is the vice-president of operations with Garden Grove Landscaping. Garden Grove provides Commercial Landscape Management Services across the Golden Horseshoe, GTA and Southwestern Ontario. Paul may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-996-1099.