Fun Fall Container Gardening
Some people may disagree, but in a world that is increasingly hands-on with environmental matters global warming is still a number one priority. Anything and everything is analyzed and assessed for its ‘green’ credentials – even gardening, that benign healthy outdoors activity that gets us closer to the natural world! And the poor old lawn has often been the easy target.
But it is innocent. In fact, your lawn is one of the most ‘green’ components in your garden. And with my help, your lawn care will be too.
Grass of one variety or another covers vast areas of our planet. Thriving in the most diverse conditions it is clearly an important ally to Mother Nature. And once cultivated in our gardens as lawns, it continues to do one very valuable thing in particular– capturing carbon dioxide. The bigger the area of lawn, the more carbon is captured. And like all plants, grasses repay us for their much-needed CO2 by pumping clean oxygen into the atmosphere.
But, say the doom-mongers and cynics – there’s a cost; “lawn care involves mowers, strimmers, scarifiers and aerators – many of these need power, the very thing that we’re supposed to cut down on, the very thing that leads to more filling the atmosphere… and what about all those nasty chemicals?”
Firstly, the healthier the lawn, the more it can trap CO2, and the more it can also remove other nasty pollutants from our air. And yes, a healthy lawn requires maintenance; but mowing isn’t just for aesthetic effects – it actually prunes the plant, promoting better growth. And studies show that lawn care machines generate less CO2 than the lawn actually absorbs – a net reduction in the atmosphere, turning the lawn into a carbon sink that reduces you personal carbon footprint.
Modern lawn care is about as green as gardening gets. In fact it never was the toxic polluting pastime some have claimed; for example, when the RHS drew up a list of 38 chemicals that were to be banned from domestic garden use, only three of them had been created for lawn care. Today, lawns do perfectly well without them, and now that modern lawn care is becoming better known (you can find out more in my book, Modern Lawn Care), the benefits are spreading.
For example, it has become much easier to find organic fertilizers for our lawns. But I bet some readers haven’t fed their lawn for a long time! Well you should – not just to enjoy a healthier lawn but, as a result, to play your part in maintaining a greener environment in your immediate neighbourhood. You see, there are other green credentials that lawns can boast…
A lawn has a cooling effect in hot summer weather, bringing down the immediate temperature and freshening the air on a stuffy day. A properly-maintained lawn helps in the fight against flooding – it allows rain to percolate through to the soil, draining excess water away and preventing surface pooling (something no tarmac or paving stones can do). A lawn also provides essential conditions for many different creatures that themselves play a vital role in our agriculture and ecobalance.
Even just putting some grass clippings back into the lawn (or as a mulch on the garden) when you mow makes a significant environmental contribution. The cut blade of grass is 70% water, so returning this to the ground in the summer months reduces the need for watering.
Key to all of this is simple, sensible modern lawn care. So, you want to be green? Maintain a happy and healthy lawn and the environment will thank you for it!
About the author of this post:
David Hedges-Gower is the UK’s leading lawn expert and has more than 36 years of lawn and turf experience.Professional grounds people, landscape specialists, commercial property developers and leisure gardeners – have benefited from David’s enthusiasm and knowledge.
David is a National Trust advisor and was formerly advisor to Homebase, he is a regular on BBC Radio and a favourite on the national horticultural lecture circuit.
David’s fantastic new book on Modern Lawn Care extends his love for and knowledge of the topic. This is the first comprehensive and authoritative guide to lawn care for over 40 years! davidhedges-gower.com
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