Lawn is more than just a pretty face. A growing body of evidence shows that well-maintained, healthy lawns are beneficial to our environment and our health. The key descriptor here is well-maintained. Weed-ridden, poorly cared-for lawns do not provide these benefits. Well-maintained means lawns that are clipped to the optimal height, weeded, and supplied with proper nutrients.
Below are 5 major reasons to keep your lawn weed-free and well-groomed. If you do, you will do an ecological service to the environment and your health.
Here are the 5 Major Benefits of a Healthy Lawn:
1. Prevents Water Run-Off
Dense turf grass is a great absorber of rain. Dense turf is grass that is seeded and overseeded so that grass plants hug tightly together, with no space between them for weeds to grow. Studies show that grass is much better at holding water than forests or fields. A dense turf holds almost all the rain that falls on it. That means little or no water wasted and little or no nutrients leached.
Because dense turf reduces rain water run-off, it also reduces the need for urban storm water systems, thereby reducing municipal expenses.
2. Promotes Nutrient Rich Soil and Cleaner Waterways
Healthy lawns are great absorbers. Weedy and poorly maintained lawns lose 3 times more nutrients than well-maintained lawns. That is good for the environment because nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus are held in the soil, promoting healthy grass and not running off and polluting waterways.
Healthy lawns also support earthworm populations. Earthworms burrow through the soil creating holes or pores that allow water and nutrients more routes through the soil. The pores store the water and nutrients for later use by the grass, other plants, and trees.
Water filtered through a healthy lawn loses its acidity. In effect, healthy lawn cleans acid rain.
3. Cleans the Atmosphere
Turfgrass traps dust and dirt that is released into the atmosphere because of human or natural activities. All that dirt and dust contains a significant number of toxins. Among them, turfgrass removes hydrogen fluoride, peroxylacetyl nitrate and sulphur dioxide, all of which contribute to human health and ozone problems.
A large yard, say 15 m sq, releases enough oxygen to supply a family of 4.
Like grasslands do, well-maintained turfgrass stores atmospheric carbon at a rate of 450 kg per hectare per year. This act of storing carbon is called “carton sequestration.” Mulching lawn grass as you mow also amplifies its carbon sequestration. Healthy lawns lock carbon in the soil and hold it, taking it out of the atmosphere where is does environmental harm. Scientists calculate that lawns sequester millions of tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere each year.
4. Controls Temperatures
Turfgrasses cuts down on solar radiation. On a hot sunny day when your concrete bakes at 38°C, your lawn temperature will hover around 24°C. This substantial cooling is one reason why some folks choose to install turf on their roofs. Add some bushes and trees to the mix, and you have got a substantial savings on your air conditioning.
5. Promotes Healthful Living
A lawn can and should be a space for entertaining activities. In other words, we should play on our lawns or at least encourage our children to. One study found that children living near adequate lawn spaces were more likely to maintain a normal weight because they got more physical exercise. As
you already know, exercise cuts down on circulatory diseases.
If your lawn is looking poorly, in need of weeding, mowing, and nutrients, think about these 5 major benefits of a healthy lawn. If you can’t do the work yourself, call your lawn care professional to do it for you. You will be doing yourself and the environment a big favor.