Lawns add value, lifestyle and environmental benefits

Aussie lawns aren’t just a pretty face, according to a poll by garden and lawn experts, Victa.

Lawns add value, lifestyle and environmental benefits

Indeed, most Australians believe that a blanket of green adds value to their home. Not only that, but many of us understand that lawns 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. And the survey provided some interesting insights.

“Lawns are an integral part of Australia’s fabric,” says Laura Clarke, Victa marketing communications manager.

“It’s great to see them still being used by families to play on, with two thirds responding that it provides a play area for kids and pets. And around
42 per cent use it for sports and games such as backyard cricket. Plus one third of those surveyed saying it’s 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.

“Well maintained turfed areas and attractive landscaping are major attractions when people – particularly families – are viewing houses,” says PRDnationwide’s
National Research Manager Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo.

“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.”

Dr Mardiasmo cites a recent example where a four bedroom, three bathroom property with a double car park in Sydney’s Lane Cove with an area of 459.4 sqm
sold for $1.1 million. This compares with a second house in the same suburb with a similar profile but a much larger 929.9 sqm in size, which fetched
$2.375 million.

“A larger land size lends itself to increased use of turf for aesthetic appeal. In this example we can note that double the land size has more than doubled
the property value,” Dr Mardiasmo adds.

Beyond its monetary and lifestyle value, a lawn also provides major environmental benefits.

“Besides looking great, a lush lawn is an efficient ‘carbon-sink’,” says garden guru and horticulturalist Adam Woodhams.

“It’s estimated your lawn absorbs around four times as much carbon as your mower generates, so you can mow away guilt-free knowing you’re well and truly
carbon neutral.

“Your lawn is also a brilliant dust and nutrient trap. Think of it like a giant doormat and filter, stopping potential pollutants from getting into local
creeks and streams. Additionally, lawns can trap many airborne pollutants such as dust and other potential irritants reducing the likelihood of them
becoming a health nuisance.”

The environmental benefits of lawns include:

  • Cooling effect: Lawn is 10 degrees or more cooler underfoot than bare soil – and 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. (The average home has an air conditioner with just a three or four tonne capacity)
  • Oxygen production: 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 which help clean and filter our water supplies
  • Water conservation and quality: A healthy 200m2 lawn can absorb around 5,000 litres or 25mm of rain without runoff, reducing erosion, keeping
    water in the ground where your lawn and garden needs it and cutting down demands 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
  • Pollutant absorption: Lawns act like a gigantic sponge. Pollutants such as carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide are absorbed by turf grasses, 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, lessening glare. Plus good turf can absorb sound better than heavy
    carpeting
  • Fire retardation: Grass around buildings can help retard the spread of fire

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