At The Soil Farm, we work to regenerate soil biology, supporting and protecting biodiversity and natural habits.
When people choose artificial grass they will likely do so for the convenience and low maintenance benefits. On a balcony, or within a stone courtyard this may seem a practical way to soften and make use of the space.
However, when artificial grass is used to replace a lawn, or increasingly, to wrap an earth bank, the effect on the soil eco-system and habitats above ground are devastating. Typically the ground will be compacted prior to fitting, which, coupled with the absence of living roots in the soil, will kill soil microbes and reduce the soils ability to retain moisture, increasing runoff. The area will no longer sequester any carbon from the atmosphere, nor will it provide much needed habitat, especially when replacing hedgerows, which are one of the last remaining reserves for our wildlife to thrive.
When artificial grasses are used around established trees, the lack of complimentary plants and therefore roots, will significantly hamper the long term health of the tree, in much the same way as tarmac and paving, restricting the natural breakdown of leaves and branches, which attract beneficial biology and support the natural cycle of trees within their drip zones.
It is easy to lose sight of the critical function of our domestic land, our front and back gardens, our hedges and borders, as in isolation they seem insignificant. Collectively however, they make up a very significant parcel of land and for our wildlife, above and below ground, they provide critical safe havens and corridors for life to continue in the face of ever increasing development.
If low maintenance is the objective, we recognise that a lawn can be a hassle on a small patch of land, requiring weekly attendance and somewhere to store the mower, but there are alternatives that can suit the laziest of gardeners and provide incredible support to our wildlife and biodiversity. If a hard wearing and functional lawn is the objective, then a focus on seed mixes and favouring biology will still deliver great results. We offer a number of seed mixes, alongside natural mineral and fertiliser products, free from synthetic chemicals, that will give you an almost maintenance free habitat or vibrant green and functional lawn all year round. There are also many choices of native hedging that are low maintenance and incredible for our wildlife.
For us, beautiful will always be found naturally, in diversity and health, rather than in synthetic and practical uniformity at the expense of all else. Please give some consideration to your choices and if you need some assistance we are always on hand to advise.