Los Angeles may be known for plastic surgery-assisted physical perfection, but there is one area where our real endowment is worth preserving.  California native grasses, many of which we call IdealMow lawns, deliver outstanding aesthetics without the cost or health consequences of synthetic alternatives.  Here are a few reasons to keep it real:

Create your own, distinctive look.  Although synthetics may stay green, in all other ways they conform to the same boring traditional lawn look with only slight variations in shade, length and density.  In contrast, IdealMow lawns help homeowners achieve a distinctive, very L.A. look.  They range in color from blue-grey to emerald green to green-gold.  Textures can be anything from roughhouse-worthy, to velvety or positively shagadelic.

Enjoy better lounging and play. When the weather gets hot, synthetics emit a scent and heat that is something between a freshly paved parking lot and a tire fire.  If used in pet and play areas, the scent may be decidedly more pungent.. Sunset Magazine also noted “a distinctive plastic crinkle” when attempting to lounge on synthetics.  In contrast, IdealMow lawns carry a fresh scent, absorb ambient heat and encourage both lounging and play.

Save more water. IdealMow lawns thrive on just 30 percent of the water a traditional lawn needs to live in Los Angeles.  With drip irrigation, water can be delivered straight to their roots, so nothing is wasted.  While synthetics may seem like a water-free alternative, they must be sprayed down occasionally to remove biological contaminants.  This spray then runs off or evaporates, as if you are spraying a concrete driveway.

Save more money.  The cost of installing an IdealMow lawn with supporting drip irrigation can be recouped in as little as three years.  Depending upon the variety of IdealMow lawn you choose and how often you choose to mow, savings of $25,000-$30,000 can be expected within 10 years.  In sharp contrast, HouseLogic places the recoup mark of a synthetic lawn at 7 years and notes that they should be replaced every 20-25 years.

Do your mother a solid.  Both alternatives save water, eliminate the need for toxic chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and reduce or eliminate pollutants associated with mowing.  That is where the similarities end.  According to Sunset Magazine, synthetics are no friend of mother earth. “[Synthetics are] made from petrochemical plastics. They’re nonbiodegradable, provide no air-clearing photosynthesis, and some environmentalists are concerned they leach heavy metals from ‘tire crumb’ substrates into soil.”  Spraying with a chemical detoxifier is recommended to remove biological contaminants.  This spray is likely to become runoff.

Protect your health!  Perhaps the most compelling reasons to keep it real are the health trade-offs.  Synthetics have been connected to negative health impacts from heat exhaustion to lymphoma.  Those with allergens to latex should avoid them.  Pet owners in particular must take care to provide pets with a separate place to get cool when synthetics amplify heat islands, and take care to avoid staphylococcal infection by immediately and thoroughly removing biological contaminants.

In contrast, IdealMow lawn alternatives clean themselves and offer a self-cleaning and cooling space to play and lounge.  You and yours won’t be the only ones to enjoy it…native birds and butterflies love California native grasses!

Learn More about IdealMow Lawns here.