A survey by garden and lawn expert Victa Lawn reveals interesting insights from Australian homeowners about lawns.
Most Australians believe that a blanket of green adds value to their home with many aware that lawns also have major environmental benefits.
The Victa Lawn Care Survey asked Aussies all about their lawns – what they use their lawns for, what the best thing is about their lawn, what they know about lawns, and how they maintain them.
According to Laura Clarke, Victa marketing communications manager, lawns are an integral part of Australia’s fabric and are still being used by families for diverse purposes. While two thirds responded that it provided a play area for kids and pets, around 42 per cent use it for sports and games such as backyard cricket. A third of those surveyed said it was a key part of their outdoor dining/entertaining areas.
A key finding from the survey was that a resounding 95 per cent of people believe a well maintained lawn increases the value of their home.
PRD nationwide’s National Research Manager Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo explains that well maintained turfed areas and attractive landscaping are major attractions when people, particularly families are viewing houses.
From a research perspective, there is empirical evidence that if the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, car parks and the zoning area remain constant and increase in the area of land used, suggesting a larger grassed area, it also attracts an increase in price.
Beyond its monetary and lifestyle value, a lawn also provides major environmental benefits.Garden guru and horticulturalist Adam Woodhams observes that a lush lawn is an efficient ‘carbon-sink’; it is estimated a lawn absorbs around four times as much carbon as the mower generates, turning mowing into a guilt-free and truly carbon neutral task. Additionally, the lawn is also a brilliant dust and nutrient trap, preventing potential pollutants from getting into local creeks and streams, and also helping to maintain a healthier environment.
Environmental benefits of lawns
A lawn is 10 degrees or more cooler underfoot than bare soil; as it breathes, it works like a natural air-conditioner, cleaning and cooling the air. It’s estimated that eight healthy front lawns have the cooling effect of 70 tonnes of air conditioning, which is sufficient for 16 average homes.
A healthy 15m x 15m lawn produces enough oxygen for a family of four every day.
Cleaning and filtering
Lawns are a living biological system that helps clean and filter water supplies.
Water conservation and quality
A healthy 200m² lawn can absorb around 5000 litres or 25mm of rain without runoff, reducing erosion, keeping water in the ground where the lawn and garden needs it and cutting down demand on drainage systems. Studies show healthy lawns absorb rainfall four to six times more effectively than pastures, plus lawns slow water movement allowing it to return to the water table.
Lawns act like a gigantic sponge with turf grass absorbing pollutants such as carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide, thereby rendering the air fit to breathe. Turf grass thatch acts as a barrier, deterring chemicals from entering the soil.
Glare and noise reduction
Lawns help to soften and reduce reflected light, lowering glare. Good turf can absorb sound better than heavy carpeting.
Grass around buildings can help retard the spread of fire.