With temperatures hovering in the upper 80s this month, keeping the front lawn green is an impossible dream. Pea gravel or wood chips were once the best solutions for replacing water-thirsty sod, but several Mile High companies now offer an alternative: synthetic grass. The plastic cover-up has come a long way since AstroTurf—companies have options like antimicrobial infills and recyclable grasses. While covering a front yard will set you back about $6 to $8 per square foot, if you factor in sweat equity and lower water bills, switching out sod for fake blades just might make sense.

  1. Evergreen
    Worried that your green lawn will look out of place during a December blizzard? Opt for a swatch with scattered brown blades to better camouflage your lawn during any season.
  2. Comfort factor
    New plastic varieties mimic grass so well that you can curl your toes in the turf. But watch out: Synthetic sod doesn’t retain moisture like the real thing; it heats up more in the sun.
  3. Don’t ditch the sprinkler Rainfall washes away some grime, but you’ll need to hose down synthetic grass occasionally, just like patio furniture.
  4. Staying power
    Most warranties guarantee perky, bright turf for about a decade—after that, UV degradation steals some luster.
  5. The verdict
    Perfect for dog owners, mega-allergy sufferers, and croquet lovers.