Benefits of Lawns

Every April is National Lawn Care Month, a time to celebrate the benefits of a healthy lawn and provide people with the proper tools and knowledge to maintain their lawn. Besides being attractive and providing a fun place for your family to play, lawns have some surprising environmental benefits.

Oxygen Production

It is a well-known fact that plants produce oxygen, but how much oxygen do grass on lawns produce? According to the Lawn Institute one 5,000 sq. ft. grass lawn can produce enough oxygen each day to support 14 to 34 people, depending on location. Even just 25 square feet of lawn is enough to produce the required oxygen for one adult for the day!

Keeping your lawns healthy and free of moisture stress actually aids in the oxygen making process, so making sure your lawn stays healthy matters!

Runoff Reduction

All the soil root masses that make up lawns make them great at absorbing runoff and water.

Depending on your soil type, a 5,000 sq. ft. natural grass lawn has the potential to capture around 2,000 – 27,000 gallons of rainwater before runoff occurs. The thatch alone can capture up to 500 gallons!

Lawns also act as a natural filter for the water. The extremely dense and fibrous root system of grass lawns acts to trap and remove non-point source pollutants before they enter groundwater supplies. Grass is often used in urban areas for catchment and filtration. This is due to its ability to trap pollutants like heavy metals, oil, grease, and fuels. Household and industrial hazardous waste can also be captured by natural grass before entering surface waters. Lawns can be a great natural filter!

Cooling effect

Stretching out on a lawn on a hot summer day can feel very cooling. This is because lawns naturally cool themselves in a process called transpiration. Transpiration occurs when plants lower their temperature through evaporation. According to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences (UF/IFAS) the surface temperatures of natural grass can be up to 100 degrees cooler than surfaces of synthetic turf (which is just one reason why natural turf is preferred over synthetic). The benefit is not just for your feet, but for your home. Front lawns of a single house have the cooling effect of 9 tons of air conditioning. To put that in perspective, the average homes AC typically has a capacity of 3-4 tons. This can reduce your AC bills in the hot months.

Taken on a larger scale, greener spaces in cities that have more lawns and grass are significantly cooler on hot days than more developed areas with asphalt and concrete. Your lawn can help curb urban heat!

Improved Air Quality

Lawns take approximately 5% of the carbon dioxide from earth’s atmosphere, which can help negate the effects of climate change and a warming atmosphere. Researchers investigated the carbon capture of a suburban home located on a half-acre lot featuring a grass lawn, trees, shrubs, and landscape beds surrounding the home. The research concluded that 81-90% of the carbon captured was captured by the lawn alone!

But lawns capture more than just CO2. They also capture other air pollutants like dust, dirt and allergens. It is estimated that turf grasses remove 12 million tons of impurities from the air in the United States every year.

Additional positive effects of natural grass lawns

  • Curb appeal: A well-manicured lawn can increase home value as much as 15%.
  • Supports a thriving ecosystems below the surface
  • Helps prevent soil erosion.
  • The surface of grass is better at absorbing ambient noise than hard surfaces like pavement and bare ground
  • Lawns and landscapes help strengthen neighborhood interactions and community ties
  • Positive environment for birds and beneficial insects

Take time this month to celebrate your lawn and everything it does for you – and your community!

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