Is having a lawn necessary?
Recently there have been conversations as to whether having a lawn is necessary. I think a lawn is a wonderful thing. The fact that we can feed it, mow it and make it look like a carpet is really cool.
The planting of a lawn dates back to European aristocracy. The very first areas to be considered a lawn where grassy fields that surrounded castles. These large open spaces helped provide a visual indication if a threat was coming and protected the castle better than having the enemy hiding in the woods next to the castle’s edge. The word “lawn” comes from a Middle English word that means “glade or opening in the woods.” By the 17th century cut grass lawns where becoming the fashion. With the arrival of the Industrial Revolution and the development of the first lawn mower, lawns became more accessible to the average person. A well-manicured lawn looked better than the wild hayfields used for the animals.
Yes, it’s true, maintaining a great lawn takes some work and thought. There are seeding, fertilizing, mowing, and watering requirements to keep your lawn healthy and beautiful. But the positives are without a doubt, far reaching. Lawns purify our air. The leaves of the grass plant absorb pollutants, including those associated with acid rain and global warming. Grass plants remove carbon dioxide from the air and produce oxygen in return helping to reduce your carbon footprint! An average lawn of 5,000 square feet provides enough oxygen for eight people a day. The lawn around your house cools the immediate environment, saving on air conditioning costs. Grass controls erosion and improves soil conditions by absorbing “run-off” water. A healthy lawn purifies water, reduces glare and noise, traps dust and increases your property value improving the quality of our surroundings. A nice looking lawn provides a frame work to a great looking house.
Mowing your lawn is good exercise. If you recycle your clippings you can cut back from 4 feedings a year to 3 feedings. Also, recycled clippings help to reduce watering costs since grass blades are mostly water. A healthy growing lawn can resist a lot of damage from heat, drought, weeds, insects and fungus. You can greatly reduce tick populations with a regular mowing. Imagine your property without any grass cover; it would be a dust bowl. You can also take care of your lawn using organic products of you wish, another way to treat Mother Earth with respect.
Why do you think so many people congregate at parks? They like the peaceful serenity that the lush, green grass provides. How about a place for the kids to play ball or chase their dog? Many people like to walk on the lawn with bare feet or sit down and have a picnic. It makes them feel closer to Mother Earth. Many “green” roofs are now being constructed with grass to provide a little slice of heaven on a rooftop condominium in the city. These green roofs also provide cooling for buildings from the suns hot, harsh rays. Green spaces are an important part of architects and developers designs.
There are perhaps more costs to maintain landscape beds than lawn areas. Mulching, weed control, pruning and watering of landscape plants and trees can be require a lot of labor and chemical controls while proper mowing takes care of a lot of the lawn’s needs. Proper mowing at 3-4 inches will reduce watering needs due to deeper root systems. Many weeds are controlled by proper mowing too. If you can cut the dandelions in your lawn before the “puffy” seed stage you can prevent them from re-seeding next year’s crop.
In the words of my friend Paul who is serious about his lawn when asked, “Are lawns important?” His reply was, “No doubt!” Paul recently built a new home and now has a fresh new lawn to admire and make it the envy of his neighbors.