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Tenant warned about potential yard modification on long-term rental home: 'Not as low-maintenance as you'd think'

"If I were you…"

"If I were you..."

Photo Credit: Reddit

Artificial grass may seem like a good alternative to natural grass, but the details will make you think twice before installing it. 

A Reddit user asked r/landscaping for advice on installing artificial turf in their small yard. "I'm looking to take on doing artificial grass on our property. Was hoping to get some guidance," the user wrote. They explained that the yard was part of a rental property and that they were looking for something low-maintenance. 

The comments advised the user against artificial turf and suggested alternatives.

"If I were you I'd plant some ornamental grasses that you don't mow," one comment suggested. "Fake grass is not as low-maintenance as you'd think and [leaches] plastics into the ground."

"It's a rental property so you want to set it and forget it. … What about a native meadow style garden? … After you get it established you'll need to check on it maybe once a year," another user advised.

While artificial turf is presented as an easy, low-maintenance alternative to grass, there's more than meets the eye. 

Artificial grass can expose you to chemicals and carcinogens and reach temperatures of over 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which can burn your skin, and it is not as low-maintenance as you might think. 

Artificial lawns are also bad for the environment. They provide no shelter or resources to wildlife and are often made of non-biodegradable materials like polyethylene. 

There are many low-maintenance, cheap, and eco-friendly alternatives to artificial grass that the property owner can consider. A clover lawn, for example, requires little to no mowing, fertilization, or manual watering. Other great options include sedge, buffalo grass, and plants native to the area.

While there's been no update from the renter regarding the lawn, we hope that the comments convinced them against installing artificial turf.

"Artificial grass will cause you more grief and money than just hiring someone to do minimal mowing," commented one user.

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