Did you know, apart from looking attractive, there are also numerous environmental and quality of life benefits to a garden lawn?
Air Quality and Oxygen Generation
The air we breathe is created and cleansed through the process of photosynthesis. It’s not just trees that produce oxygen either – most green plants, including turf grass, take in carbon dioxide and water and use the energy from sunlight to produce carbohydrates for the plant to live from – releasing critical oxygen in the process.
A 5 square meter lawn produces enough oxygen to meet the everyday needs of a family of four.
Plants also absorb gaseous pollutants and turf grass is no exception – taking in carbon dioxide, hydrogen fluoride and peroxyacetyl nitrate; breaking it down and cleaning the air.
Grasses also trap dirt and dust significantly lowering the levels in the atmosphere.
We’ve all experienced the pleasant feeling of cool grass underfoot on a hot summers day and this is not imagined; each blade of grass acts as an evaporative cooler for itself and its surroundings by the evapotranspiration process.
Grassed surfaces scatter and absorb the sun’s heat during the day and release it slowly in the evening – moderating temperature.
Temperatures over turfed surfaces on a sunny day can be anywhere from 10 to 14 degrees cooler than concrete or asphalt.
The cooling power is quite significant – with roughly 50% of the sun’s heat eliminated through this cooling process. To put this into perspective: the front lawns of 8 average homes having the cooling power of 70 tons of air conditioning, This is one reason why urban areas feel so unbearably warm compared to their rural counterparts.
Grass absorbs noise and excessive sound; a growing problem in urban areas. Grass slopes beside a motorway have been tested to reduce noise by 8 to 10 decibels.
Soil erosion is a serious issue affecting the world today – in the UK alone it is estimated that around 2.2 million tonnes of topsoil are eroded away each year by wind and rain.
Grass binds soil more effectively to the ground than any other plant due to its extensive root system. Up to 90% of the weight of grass can be found in its roots.
Healthy areas of turf have been shown to absorb 6 times as much rainfall than a similar-sized wheat field and 4 times that of a hay field.
A thick healthy lawn reduces runoff to almost zero, which in turn reduces soil erosion dramatically and helps reduce flooding.
Turf grass is a great water purifier as it leaches through the root zone and down into underground aquifers. Soil microbes here help break down chemicals into harmless materials.
This is so effective that rainwater filtered through a strong, healthy lawn if often 10 times less acidic than the same water running off of a hard surface such as a road.
These incredible filtration properties are so effective that they are used industrially to filter effluent water by passing it through the root zone of grass.
So there you have it, not only are natural garden lawns attractive and soft underfoot, but they also contribute to our health and wellbeing of ourselves, our families and our planet.