Soil as a natural resource
Did you know that topsoil is a natural resource that needs protecting? Topsoil is formed from rocks that get eroded into smaller and smaller particles that are colonized by plants. Plants are essential to topsoil because they incorporate organic matter, transforming dirt & minerals into soil.
Soil is an important home for microbes that break down the chemicals and toxins around us, and because soils “breath” they actively purify both air and water that cycle through the soil.
Healthy soils store carbon extracted through the air, and maintaining your soil with good practices is helping to slow the climate crisis, albeit a small home lawn makes a corresponding small impact.
During heavy rainfall, soils absorb a huge amount of water compared to baren, dry soil. This is important to municipal water treatment facilities that can be overwhelmed by a summer storm. When these treatment plants get overwhelmed they have to dump sewage into natural ecosystems that severely disrupt the ecosystem. This also happens during spring with the melting of the snow.
Your lawn is a heavy breather, this is because grass grows at an extraordinary rate, and requires a significant amount of CO2 for energy production to build roots and shoots. About 90% of plant tissue is made of just carbon and oxygen, imagine that the next time you look at your lawn, 90% of it came from thin air.
Green space and happiness
Concrete jungles are stunning when you consider the ingenuity of the humans that built them but nothing compares to natural greenspace. Why do you think we work all year to spend a week’s vacation in the tropics surrounded by nature? And it’s not a coincidence that cities plant as many trees and build as many parks as they can, humans need nature, your lawn is your piece of nature, and taking care of nature generates happiness, lawn care included.
You don’t have to think of watering your lawn as a waste of water. Your lawn needs water to survive and so does every microorganism in your soil. The need to water the grass during hot summers is because of the high temperatures, lack of rainfall, and relatively shallow roots. This is when water is evaporating faster than it leaches down through the soil. When water evaporates it cools the surface it evaporates from and this means that all the water you are supplying to your lawn is producing a cooling effect on your property, translating into money saved on air conditioning this summer.
Just consider the next time you water your lawn, you are actually using that water to cool your home and clean the air. Take care of your lawn and you will benefit from the natural ecosystem at your feet and protect the black gold your lawn grows best in. Use only organic products in your lawn care, otherwise, you will undermine the benefits we talked about with petroleum-based synthetic fertilizer.