Turfgrass is best recognized for the way it beautifies our communities. But more importantly, with the ever-growing concrete jungles, turfgrass has become an essential part of our environment's health. When properly applied, lawn fertilizer can positively affect the environment.
A healthy lawn is the best defense against soil erosion. Fun fact, under the right conditions, one grass plant can grow up to 300 miles of roots. While grassroots hold soil in place, grass blades protect topsoil from eroding by windy and rainy conditions. In addition, healthy, thick lawns reduce runoff helping to keep excessive pollutants from nearby roads from flowing into streams and storm sewers.
Studies have shown that the increase of impervious services like roads and parking lots has contributed to the decline in water quality. Healthy lawns act as a filter. While the root zone filters out environmental contaminants, microbes in the soil break chemicals rendering them harmless. Water filtered through this natural filtration system has been found to have less acidity than rainwater.
Most people don't think of lawns as oxygen producers, but that is what they are. In fact, a 2,500 square foot area of healthy turf can produce enough oxygen for a family of four.
With the amount of carbon-based fuels burned in the U.S., air quality is still a significant concern. Plants clean the air by absorbing air pollutants through their leaves. Grasses blades also trap about 12 million tons of dust, dirt, and smoke in their leaves annually. Otherwise, they would be released into the atmosphere. After these particles get trapped, water washes them through the soil, where microbes break them down.
Have you ever wondered why it feels cooler in rural areas than it does in the city? That is because cities have more concrete which has a higher solar reflectance rate. So, when solar heat hits concrete, the concrete reflects the heat back to the surrounding areas making it even hotter. Grass, on the other hand, has a low rate of solar reflectance and is able to absorb heat through photosynthesis. So, a home surrounded by healthy turfgrass can actually help keep your home cooler than one surrounded by concrete. Not to mention that maintaining a healthy lawn is one of the simplest ways you can help climate change.
Increasing noise pollution has become a frequent problem, especially in urban areas and along roadways. According to World Health Organization, noises above 60 decibels can increase your risk of heart disease. Noise levels are affected by the rigidity of a surface it's traveling over. The harder the surface, the more the sound will bounce off of it. Conversely, the softer the surface, the more it can absorb sound. Grass's naturally soft surface is an excellent sound absorber and can rescue noise levels as much as 8-10 decibels.
Increase your Lawn's Sustainability
There are many simple ways to improve your lawn's sustainability and its effect on the environment.
- Choose a grass that's best for your region. Using a grass type that isn't meant for your region will require more maintenance than if the grass was planted in the proper region. Here in Central Indiana, Turf Type Tall Fescue (TTTF) is by far the best choice. TTTF is a cool-season grass that is drought resistant, heat tolerant, and disease resistant, making it perfect for Indiana's dramatic weather changes.
- Water appropriately. Infrequent and deep watering promotes deeper root growth for a healthier lawn.
- Make sure not to mow the lawn too short. For a healthier lawn, set your mower to cut at the height of 3.5-4 inches. Mowing too short will hinder the grass's photosynthesis process.
- Leave your grass clippings on the lawn. Grass clippings are a free natural fertilizer for your lawn. And, as the saying goes, "Waste not, want not!"
A healthy, thick lawn is a proven way to improve your home, community, and environment. For help with proper lawn fertilization, call the experts at Lawn Pride. We know what lawns in Central Indiana need to get and keep them healthy.