How Healthy Lawns Benefit the Environment- Milorganite Agronomist
January 12, 2019
There are many benefits of maintaining a healthy lawn. It’s an air purifier, air conditioner, soil stabilizer, noise muffler, safe playing surface, and money maker, all while being kind to the environment. All that from healthy grass!
Improved Air Quality
The carpet of lawn beneath your feet is also nature’s air filter. Lawns filter out dust, pollutants, smoke particles and pollen, improving the quality of the air we breathe. Although small in stature, each blade of grass is a plant that does what plants do. Photosynthesis converts carbon dioxide into simple sugars and produces oxygen as a byproduct. A 50’ x 50’ area of grass (2,500 sq. ft.) produces enough oxygen for a family of four, annually captures as much as 300 pounds of carbon and naturally absorbs sulfur dioxide.
Nature’s Air Conditioner
Grass can be as much as 30°F cooler than asphalt and about 14°F cooler than bare soil on a hot summer day. It reduces the impact of “heat islands,” areas with little vegetation that causes surrounding area to retain heat, especially in urban areas. The cooler temperature of grass can reduce air conditioning costs. A couple of shade trees will also help keep your house cooler.
Cleaner Water, Reduced Runoff, Erosion
Healthy lawns improve soil stability and reduce run-off and erosion, which deters nutrients and chemicals from entering waterways. The dense carpet of grass blades and roots filters rainwater as it percolates down to replenish groundwater.
Noise pollution, particularly in an urban area, is naturally reduced by grassy areas by as much as eight to 10 decibels.
Fun, Fitness and Health
A well-kept yard—your personal athletic field—will help keep kids and weekend warriors safe by providing a cushioned playing surface. Green spaces have been shown to reduce stress, increase productivity, improve moods and general health, as well as speed recovery from illnesses.
Increases Home Value
Lawns are a good investment. Healthy, well-maintained turfgrass can increase the value of your home, in some cases as much as 15 percent. Landscaping can provide a 100–200 percent return on investment. People tend to get to know their neighbors better, socialize more, and feel better about their community in well-landscaped areas. When it’s time to sell, in the minds of a homebuyer, a well-maintained landscape can add to the perceived value of your home by more than 10 percent higher than the base price. It may also reduce the number of days a home is on the market.
A well-maintained lawn is one that’s grown using practices that are good for both the lawn and the environment. Cut grass regularly and only remove one-third of the blade at any one cutting. Grass only needs about 1” of water every week and the best time to water is in the morning, which allows the grass to dry off, reducing the risk of lawn diseases. Use herbicides and pesticides judiciously and carefully follow the manufacturers’ directions. Fertilize regularly with a fertilizer that naturally reduces the risk of runoff, such as Milorganite. And in all cases, follow local ordinances.
Enjoy the many obvious and hidden benefits of maintaining a healthy lawn!