Down and Dirty on Lawns

by The Pros

I received a phone call asking if we'd support a city ordinance that prohibits turf grass. After all, it appears to take more than its share of water, exists as a totally useless ornamentation, is pesticide-needy and drains our resources. After being presented with such a hugely misinformed idea, I decided it is time for a review of the benefits of beautiful lawns.

I admit that there are some plants that seem like curses. Having bought more than my share of calamine lotion, poison ivy comes immediately to mind. I am also convinced that Greenbrier is a devil weed! The thorns and tubers . . .

But turf grass? Turf is the rich backdrop for any landscape. When you take a close look at the turf you find that it is has roots with millions of fibrous hairs. The little hairs are individually unique like snowflakes. It is those delicate like roots that suck up the water and nutrients we apply to make it such a beautiful carpet. It is not a rug but it is a tough, sturdy, living plant with innumerable benefits.

Turf grass:

1. Is Mother Nature's best water filter. Fertilization promotes dense turf, which then filters pollutants. The thicker turfs decrease water runoff and nutrients. This happens because good microbes are sitting in the thatch waiting to seize and break down the fertilizer, nutrients and pesticides for energy.

2. Cools our home. After replacing her grass with rock my grandmother and her neighbor, in St. Pete, were shocked when they got their electric bill! It was only after the huge increase that she believed my, "I would not do that, if I were you!" But you are never a prophet in your own land!

3. Produces significant amounts of oxygen.

4. Stands up to thousands of feet trampling across it and still provides a soft playing surface.

5. Microbes work hard to digest the smelly presents left behind by our pets.

6. Holds our soil in place and keeps contaminants from ever going in to our water supplies.

After building our home I can testify that grass reduced the dust, noise and dirt entering our home. Some dirt still comes in because I can't get our kids to master the difficult skill of wiping their feet!

Lawns deserve tremendous accolades. Healthy lawns function as tremendous carbon sinks, gives us oxygen to breath, holds our soil and produces beneficial microbes. It cools our days, reduces the noise around us and stands up to repeat trampling. I love flowers, ground covers, trees and the wide variety of plants but nothing increases our property value like our turf!

Come on now! Turf grass deserves one huge round of applause.

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