What have you done for your lawn? There are estimates that in the United States lawns cover over 25 million acres, roughly the size of Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island combined! We need a little give and take to be successful in life and your lawn is no different. You cannot expect much enjoyment from your lawn if you do not put any effort or thought into it. So you ask – what has my lawn done for me?
There are a number of amazing benefits your lawn does for you. Did you know that an average 5,000 square foot lawn produces enough oxygen for eight people every day? This turf area absorbs carbon dioxide, ozone, hydrogen fluoride and harmful nitrates and releases oxygen in return. The grass and trees along the US highway system release oxygen to support 22 million people! And that’s not all (this sounds like a slick TV commercial); the average front lawn of eight homes produces about eight to nine tons of cooling effect, while the average air conditioner only provides three to four tons of cooling capacity.
Turfgrasses provide benefits above and below the soil surface. Healthy lawns trap up to 12 million pounds of dust and dirt each year released in the atmosphere annually in the United States. Since 90% of the weight of a grass plant is made up of root mass it becomes a very efficient form of erosion control. These grass roots, along with soil microbes, have the ability to remove silt particles acting as a filter to capture and breakdown many types of pollutants, purifying the water as it enters the ground aquifers. The prevention of water run-off and erosion of soil is very beneficial to the environment.
Athletic fields and playgrounds which are covered with natural, dense, growing grass help to prevent injuries. “Egg drop” tests that have been performed over the years report that when one dozen raw eggs where dropped from a height of up to 11 feet no eggs broke on densely covered turf mowed at two inches. More than eight eggs broke on thin turf at the same height and they all broke when dropped on an all-weather track from only 18 inches! Who says turf isn’t tough but gentle at the same time.
What about the emotional effects of healthy, green grass? Where would you rather visit grandma? At a grassy village setting with rolling green hills or a concrete jungle? Recovery rates are often quicker with patients in hospitals with a nicely landscaped view. What if you live in the big city and can’t wait to go to the park on the weekend to stroll, have a picnic or to play ball with the dog? We like lawn areas; they give a feeling of serenity, privacy and happiness that lifts the human spirit.
Perhaps you are thinking of selling your home. If so, a well landscaped property and lawn can add 15% more value to the home from a buyers point of view. The investment you put into beautifying your home landscape should pay dividends above your cost of installation. We noticed a few newly seeded lawns this fall in several neighborhoods that really stood out. The uniformity and healthy, green growth compared to the lawn that used to be there was dramatic. We hope you have a better feeling for your lawn and what it does for you.