Last year, we had received more sunshine than we’re used to, and especially more than our fields and garden spaces expected. The scorched grass up and down the country has led to old buildings and complex garden designs from the 17th century to be unearthed, along with a rush of sales for artificial lawns.
But despite the sight of dried up brown lawn that might look disheartening to UK gardeners, and the evergreen nature of artificial turf seeming tempting, would swapping natural turf for this alternative be worth it? Experts in the field have been quick to assure British gardeners that, although it may make for a sorry sight, brown grass isn’t dead grass. In fact, it’s a good sign; your lawn is going into a defensive mode to keep itself alive. The green leaves have faded to brown as grass grows from the base, not the tip. So long as the roots are alive, your lawn can bounce back from pretty much anything; nothing a little mulch and TLC can’t fix.
Compared to fake lawn, you can’t beat the strong nature of a natural lawn. We’re here with Compost Direct to explore the perks of keeping natural grass, even if it means a little downtime in heatwaves!
One of the most obvious benefits should truly be considered, natural green grass is a plant and like all plants, they can improve the air quality in your area. According to Lawn & Landscape, a natural lawn can help to trap pollutants such as dust and dirt, which helps support the atmosphere. Furthermore, these trapped particles are drawn down into the soil by water and dew, where they are dealt with by microbes in the soil.
By its very purpose, artificial lawn cannot contribute towards our on-going battle against pollution. Being synthetic, they offer nothing by the means of improving air quality, nor for capturing the dust and dirt particles that also pose a problem. Plus, as Gardenista observes, it is a plastic product. Its manufacture inevitably creates pollution and waste, and by the end of its life, the entire product is waste, which will need to be disposed of, either through recycling or sticking it on a landfill.
Benefits for local wildlife
By keeping a natural lawn, you’ll contribute to the welfare of the local wildlife. A natural lawn brings critters that small birds feed on, whereas a plastic grass won’t bring much to the table.
Do you take care of pets? You’re not-so-wild animals will also enjoy the positives of a real lawn — natural grass will be cooler on a sunny day than artificial turf. In fact, artificial lawns can retain heat and become very hot during the summer. You’ll not want to do much sunbathing lying on a scalding hot plastic turf, and your pet’s sensitive paws won’t like it either.
A natural garden can also bring benefits to your own health. There’s been numerous studies that suggest green spaces are beneficial to our health, as well as an increased interest in the popular Japanese practice of “forest-bathing”. This sees people come away from technology and the rush of life to simply embrace nature with a walk through a forest or woodland.
Other studies suggest that walking bare-footed through grass is good for you. walking barefoot through grass is good for you. The Washington Post reported on research into barefoot walking through greenery, commenting how it can potentially reduce stress and pain, as well as improving sleep. If you’ve ever walked barefoot on grass, you’ll probably know how the sensation is strangely comforting, especially on a nice sunny day.
There’s even data to suggest that direct contact with the Earth (also known as “grounding”), such as aiding in the healing of injuries by reducing swelling and inflammation. The study by James Oschman, Gaétan Chevalier, and Richard Brown shows an instance of an 84-year-old diabetic woman suffering from an open wound that had not healed properly in eight months. The study claims that after half an hour of grounding, the woman reported less pain. After two weeks of grounding treatments, the patient claimed to be free of pain.
So, before being swayed by the always-green appeal of artificial lawns, be sure to consider the many benefits of staying all-natural. The wildlife will thank you, you’ll be doing your bit for the environment, and you might even find yourself happier and healthier for it!