may have asked yourself this question at one time or another. It's like
curious child's question that goes something like: Daddy, why is the
Daddy, what is the wind? or Daddy, why do Democrats hate Republicans?
grow grass for one reason: we can mow it. Grass is one of the few
can survive a good mowing, it even thrives on being mown. Ah, a
of sorts. Any other plant, even most other grasses would die
being cut by a third every week. There are over 10,000 species of
yet only about 50 of those grasses are suitable for use in a lawn.
are what are called turf grasses.
can a turf grass be regularly mown without dying and still maintain a
and attractive appearance? Unlike most plants, turf grasses grow
the base of the plant, down there just above the soil level at place
the crown. The growing zone is well below the sharpened rotating lawn
blade. Other plants grow at the tips and don't respond well to being
process of mowing actually reduces the plants total leaf surface and
in turn reduces its ability to use photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is
process that takes carbon dioxide from the air (the stuff we exhale
breathe) and turns it into carbohydrates that the plant uses for food.
food is the used to create more plant cells that go into either the
the root system. When the plant looses some of this ability use
it overcompensates by producing additional leaves or by
out additional roots that in some turf grasses, will send up a new
plant. The result: an even thicker, denser lawn.
the answer to the question "why grow grass?" is: because it's the one
that adapts best for the environment we've created for ourselves. Now
those Democrats and Republicans...
Merrill is editor of Landscape-America.com and American-Lawns.com
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