The well-kept lawn is almost as American as baseball and rock ‘n’ roll. All across the nation lawns are well manicured, with emerald-green grass surrounding homes of all sizes in neighborhoods. From the sprawling estate with a grounds crew to the humble bungalow with a white picket fence and do-it-yourselfer, we have a love affair with our lawns.
An Investment Worthwhile
In addition, recent studies show that Americans spend over $75 billion annually on lawn care equipment, products, and service. The average homeowner spends about 50 hours per year mowing their grass and $400-600 caring for it. At a glance, it might seem pointless to utilize so much of our time and money cultivating a crop that, seemingly, provides a very little benefit other than aesthetics. Perhaps this is just a one-sided love affair? What does our lawn do for us after all of this pampering that we provide?
Meanwhile, it’s a great investment, a well cared for lawn is also environmentally friendly. Collectively, our nation’s lawns trap about 12 million tons of dust which may contain pollen and other allergens. Our lawns do a fantastic job of erosion control. Additionally, the average lawn can absorb about 6000 gallons of water before runoff occurs. This helps to keep storm water from running into our lakes and rivers. Lawns can also help improve the quality of our air. A 2,500 square foot lawn provides enough oxygen for a family of four. The grass buffer that is maintained along our interstate system can provide enough oxygen for 22 million people. The average lawn can provide as much cooling effect as 9 tons of air conditioning.
Love Your Lawn This Season
Of course, to take full advantage of many benefits of turfgrass, the yard must be cared for properly. We must make sure that proper levels of nutrients are maintained as well as irrigation and mowing. The benefits can be complex and tabulated or simply be the immeasurable pleasure of walking barefoot through the evening dew on a lush, green carpet. Like any other relationship, there is always a bit of give and take.