How you and your neighbours take care of your lawns matters. It's up to you whether or not that land is used to enhance our environment. It means being aware that small acts — such as not washing grass clippings into the street or down sewer drains — can have a big impact on our streams and lakes. Healthy lawns provide many benefits:
Lower air conditioning bills. Moisture evaporating from grass leaves helps keep air temperatures cooler.
Less pollution. Lawns can help filter pollutants out of the air and reduce noise pollution, especially when used with physical barriers.
Higher property values. Attractive lawns contribute to the overall appearance of a community's landscape.
A place to play. Grasses are the only plants that can stand up to repeated recreational use.
Better water quality. The thick sod* formed by grasses helps water soak into the ground. This helps reduce or eliminate runoff* that can carry soil or other contaminants into waterways.
You can reap most of these benefits without spending much money or taking more time than you’re likely spending already on maintaining your lawn. To help you better understand your lawn, there are three questions you should ask yourself. First, what kind of climate is your lawn growing in? Second, what kind of soil (ground) do you have? And third, what kind of grass that grows well (in your particular climate and in the type of soil you have) do you want to have? The answers to all three of these questions can have a dramatic influence on your lawn. For this reason, it is necessary to understand each of these areas before you proceed to the other areas.
The first thing you’ll want to assess is the climate in which you live. Are you in an arid desert region with sandy soil where only a few hardy types of grass will survive?
Or do you live in a lush tropical area with rich soil, where the biggest problem might be narrowing down the choices of grass and keeping out weeds? Maybe you live in a temperate climate like Scott and Bud do, with soil that could be either acidic or alkaline, and you have your pick of a fair assortment of grasses for a lawn. Next...