While home lawns help create a serene and beautiful landscape, turf grass provides
a great deal more than a lush outdoor carpet for your property. Believe it or not, turf is
North America's largest agricultural crop. Because it is so commonplace in the landscape,
it is easy to overlook the many benefits of turf. Here are some reasons why turf is
Grass plants capture and use greenhouse gases, thereby counteracting climate change. Turf also traps air pollution and generates much of the oxygen we breathe. A 50- by 50-foot lawn produces enough oxygen for a family of four to breathe for one year. Turf also acts as a barrier that deters chemicals from entering the soil profile.
The natural shedding of turf stems and leaves, as well as mowing clippings left on the lawn
contribute large amounts of valuable organic matter to the soil over a number of years.
Business and economic improvement
Lawns increase the value of a property by 15 to 20 per cent. They improve curb appeal. Real estate
agents will tell you that homes with well-maintained landscapes and turf sell quicker and for higher
values. Property managers say that well-maintained landscapes increase tenant satisfaction and
lower vacancy rates.
Turf serves as a natural air-conditioner. On a hot day, compare the difference between standing on
pavement and standing on turf. The difference in temperature and comfort is measurable. The turf
on eight average-sized healthy front lawns has the cooling effect of 70 tons of air conditioning,
enough for 16 average homes.
Turf traps dust and smoke particles from the air and acts as a filter for the air we breathe. This is particularly important in urban areas where dust generated by cars and trucks can be trapped and washed down into the soil, preventing further movement.
Grass offers a very efficient and inexpensive erosion control function. Turf intercepts raindrops before they disturb the soil. Turf promotes water percolation rather than runoff. Our streams and drainage infrastructure would be absolutely overwhelmed if not for turf's water-retention capabilities. Our fertile soil would be lost if the turf biomass was not so efficient at slowing water runoff.
Millions of people play golf for exercise and relaxation. Turf is an integral part of this enjoyable activity.
Well-maintained turf areas serve as excellent sports surfaces. Turf helps to absorb physical impact and reduce injuries. As a playing surface it is safer than artificial grass or bare soil. It provides traction and cushioning.
Garbage is less likely to be thrown on a landscape that is well maintained.
Gardens (including turf) provide mental health benefits. The Horticultural Therapy Association exists to promote therapeutic benefits of green space as a technique for rehabilitation. No wonder so many people use landscape pictures as screen savers on computers. It has been shown that looking at images of landscapes and plants helps to reduce stress. Grassy areas in golf courses, cemeteries, parks and homes can create feelings of peacefulness and remind us that the earth is alive.
Grassy areas can decrease noise by eight to 10 decibels. This is especially important in an urban location.
Research over the last ten years has demonstrated that storm water runoff from a healthy lawn rarely occurs. Not only does grass slow down water and soil runoff, but it also protects surface water quality as it filters and cleans the water percolating into streams, drainage systems and aquifers.
The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), www.landscarenetwork.org
Sustainable Urban Landscape Information Series, www.sustland.umn.edu
Environmental Benefits - Turf and green spaces benefit our environment. They filter pollutants and dust from the air, provide shade and lower temperatures in urban areas, and reduce erosion of soils and contamination of our waterways. They increase oxygen, act as carbon sinks, decrease pollution, improve indoor air quality, and attract wildlife and other natural attractions.
Lifestyle Benefits - Imagine your local park completely devoid of green -- not a pretty picture! We tend to take for granted the role that green spacesplay in our lives. Research has shown that green spaces foster improved mental and physical health and well-being, promote quicker recovery for hospital patients and those in long-term facilities and can promote decreased aggression and violence.
Economic Benefits - Turf and green spaces benefit our economy. They conserve energy by providing shade, windbreaks and cooling effects. Landscaping has been shown to increase property values for homeowners and to be a wise investment for all levels of government. The results are soil stabilization and reduced run-off from open spaces, reduced maintenance for open spaces, increased public safety and greater appeal to tourists.
Some General Benefits include:
· Oxygen Generation
· Cooling Capabilities
· Dust and Allergen Reduction
· Reduces Noise Pollution
· Reduces Soil Erosion
· Filters Pollutants, Protects Groundwater
· Reduces Water Run-Off and Flooding
· Improves Play Safety
· Increases Value of Homes
· Economic Benefits of the Industry to our Economy
It’s Good for the Air
A healthy lawn releases enough oxygen daily for a family of four, has the same cooling effect as three home central air conditioning units and cleans the air by capturing particles.
It’s Good for the Soil
Dense grass captures pollutants, filters rainfall and prevents water runoff.
A nice lawn enhances property value, and provides a great place to play and entertain.
The naysayers have been made aware of these benefits, but they tend to focus on the potential dangers to the environment and health of the products used to maintain turf. Possibly some products used in the past may have presented potential dangers IF used incorrectly, however, newer regulations and newer turf care products have alleviated these fears. We can feel confident in suggesting that the products used to maintain quality turf grass for our homes, parks, and public spaces pose no unreasonable negative effects on the health of people and animals, nor on the environment.
Here’s a decent video that gives a good overview of turf benefits…American, yes, but sums it up nicely.
Landscape Nova Scotia