A new study by the University of Minnesota has found that letting grass grow longer and cutting it less frequently can lead to healthier soil and increased biodiversity, as well as reducing the need for fertilisers and pesticides. Environmental benefits include increased habitat and food sources for pollinators, growth of wildflowers to provide food and shelter for native wildlife, and reduced water pollution. Taller grass can have significant lawn health benefits, such as longer roots that access more nutrients, staying greener for longer periods, and being more resilient during drought conditions. The method can also reduce lawn care costs.
New Study Shows the Benefits of Letting Grass Grow in Lawns
For decades, the perfect lawn has been perceived to be a well-manicured, green carpet of grass that is cut short and weed-free. However, a new study has shown that allowing grass to grow taller and naturally can have significant benefits for the environment and your lawn’s health.
The study, conducted by the University of Minnesota, found that allowing grass to grow longer and cutting it less frequently can lead to healthier soil, increased biodiversity, and reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides. The researchers used six different mowing treatments on plots of grass and found that the plots with the highest grass had the best soil quality, which can lead to stronger lawn roots and less compaction.
Taller grass can help the environment in several ways. For starters, it can increase the habitat and food sources for pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Biodiversity is crucial to maintaining a healthy environment, and letting grass grow can encourage the growth of wildflowers, which can provide food and shelter for a variety of native wildlife.
Additionally, tall grass can help absorb and filter rainwater, which can help reduce erosion and runoff. As a result, letting grass grow can help minimize the negative impacts of water pollution, which can be a major issue in urban areas.
Lawn Health Benefits
Grass that is allowed to grow taller can have significant benefits for your lawn’s health. Firstly, longer grass has longer roots, which can help the plant access more nutrients and water from the soil. As a result, your grass can stay greener for longer periods and be more resilient during drought conditions.
Secondly, taller grass can shade the soil surface, reducing evaporation and keeping the soil cooler. These conditions can promote beneficial microorganisms in the soil, such as earthworms and microbes, which can enhance soil health and reduce the need for fertilizers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Won’t tall grass attract more pests and rodents?
A: While tall grass can provide habitat for wildlife such as rodents, it is important to keep in mind that these animals are part of the natural environment. Mowing less frequently can help create a balance between the natural environment and the desire for a well-manicured lawn. Additionally, having a wider variety of plant life in your yard can help attract beneficial wildlife such as birds, which can help control pest populations.
Q: Won’t tall grass look messy and unkempt?
A: This is a common concern, especially in neighborhoods with strict rules about lawn maintenance. However, shorter grass is not inherently better than taller grass. Lawn care is subjective, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. If you are interested in allowing your grass to grow taller, you can speak with your homeowner’s association or neighbors to discuss your options. Additionally, you can always use edging or other landscaping techniques to make your lawn look tidy.
Q: Will I save money by letting my grass grow taller?
A: Potentially, yes. Mowing less frequently can reduce the amount of gasoline, oil, and other lawn care costs that you would normally incur. Letting your grass grow taller can also reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides, which can be expensive and harmful to the environment.
The idea that a perfect lawn is short and weed-free is no longer valid. Allowing your grass to grow taller and less frequently trimmed can provide numerous benefits to your lawn, the environment, and your wallet. By embracing a more natural lawn care routine, you can encourage healthier soil, stronger roots, and a more biodiverse ecosystem.