Artificial grass and your Caribbean home

Is Artificial Grass The Right Choice For Your Caribbean Home?

Natural lawn at Jacoway Inn.

Natural lawn at Jacoway Inn.

Sometimes life is unfair, even in the world of lawn grass! Some homes are blessed with gorgeous views and poor quality soil while others may not have spectacular views but, they have rich, fertile soil. On most Caribbean islands you have the option of specialists help and even buying fertile soil however, if you are on a slope in the dryer areas that won’t help and can be costly.

While some places in the Caribbean can easily achieve perfect lawn grass others struggle to keep them alive. Even with irrigation and sometimes the help of specialists gardeners, certain soils are just poor and can be made worse by the elements of nature, wind and sun! Mother nature itself can be destructive to Caribbean lawns, hurricanes can destroy years of hard work in an instant. What options are available when all else fails and your beautiful Caribbean villa needs some green around it?

When it comes to the design of your Caribbean home, modifications must be made in nearly every area to fit the unique climate and environmental challenges of the Islands. Due to these conditions, growing a lush, natural lawn can be difficult and costly. For those who still desire a beautiful lawn for their home, artificial grass is a choice. Unsure whether this lawn type is the right option for your home?

Dominica guest house with natural lawn grass.

Dominica guest house with natural lawn grass.

Explore some of the top pros and cons of having artificial grass in the Caribbean.

Pro: Keeps the bugs away

On some Caribbean Islands, it isn’t uncommon to see insects such as scorpions, tarantulas, termites, and army ants. One pro of having artificial grass is that bugs are not as attracted to this surface, as they are with natural grass.  An artificial lawn can be one more effective step in your insect repellent efforts without being harmful to the local insects.

Con: Absorbs heat

The Caribbean is no stranger to hot year-round temperatures. In the Cayman Islands alone, the average high temperature for most months is 90°F. This isn’t the best news when it comes to having artificial grass. Why? For most varieties, “the surface of artificial grass can range between 120 and 165 degrees” when placed in direct sunlight. If you don’t plan to have your grass in direct sunlight, or if you won’t be stepping on it during the day, then this con may not be a deal-breaker for you.

Pro: It is an earth-friendly option

Lawn in Dominica regrowing after being ravaged by Hurricane Maria 2018.

Lawn in Dominica regrowing after being ravaged by Hurricane Maria 2018.

With the rich variety of species and beautiful bodies of water, it is crucial for residents of the Caribbean to focus on choosing earth-friendly options. Having an artificial lawn is a great choice when looking to make environmentally conscious choices for a number of reasons. First, because the grass isn’t real, no watering is required. This means that you will save an average of “55 gallons of water (per square foot) a year.” Second, no pesticides or toxic weed killers are needed to maintain artificial grass. Third, the material used does not pose any environmental threat; fourth, no need for petrol guzzling lawn mowers and finally, should your lawn be moved by a hurricane you simple pick it up and lay it back down the next morning!

Con: An artificial lawn costs thousands of dollars

Having artificial grass installed isn’t cheap. The effort behind making your lawn look natural takes time and significant work. For materials and installation, expect to spend between “$7 and $25 per square foot.”  However, despite its cost, artificial grass serves as an investment for your home. Not only does it look incredible, but the value added of never having to maintain a natural lawn is often worth the cost itself.

When living on the drier sides of the Caribbean the costs of having a beautiful lawn can be exorbitant, however, another option is Artificial grass. While it isn’t natural grass, there are a few pros… in the end the decision is yours.

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