When we plant a lawn or a grassy area, many think about all the work that goes into it; mowing, watering, fertilizing, etc., but what we put into it we get in return, tenfold!
Climate is controlled at ground level by turf grasses as they cool temperatures appreciably, thus working as exterior “air conditioners.” So, those hot summer days are just a little more manageable as you sit in your back yard enjoying some family time.
The air is also purified. Smoke and dust particles from the atmosphere are trapped by turf which helps keep the air cleaner. Then, when watered into the grass, they get filtered away. Pollutants, such as carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide, are absorbed by turf grasses thereby rendering the air fit to breathe. Turf grasses are also excellent at reducing noise pollution. Noise is absorbed by grassy areas which cut down on excessive sound. This makes turf perfect for urban areas; studies have shown that when planted along expressways, grass can reduce noise 8-10 decibels.
Turf grass also gives us the gift of clean air and a clean water supply. Oxygen generation by turf grasses has a major impact in making our environment habitable. A 50’x 50′ lawn produces enough oxygen for a family of four. A dense turf can increase the infiltration of rain; reducing the run-off and re-charging aquafers deep in the ground. Reducing the run-off minimizes the risk to nearby streams from being contaminated by fertilizer and pesticides that have been applied to the lawn. Erosion of soil by water is effectively controlled by grasses as they intercept raindrops before they disturb the soil; they also slow the flow of water which minimizes soil loss.
At Grassland Oregon, we look at all of this when working to develop new turf grasses. We look for ones that establish rapidly and form a dense turf with a deep rooting system, grasses that require less inputs like water, fertility, and with lower growing heights, which mean less mowing. Products like Milagro Kentucky Bluegrass, Memphis Tall Fescue, and our newly released Wichita and Olympus Tall Fescues, will help contribute to this precious gift of nature. This year, thicken up your turf grass areas knowing that the little work you do now will bring great rewards years to come.
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