Last Updated on November 13, 2023 by Brian Beck
Synergy defined is the benefit of one or more things working together to achieve a greater outcome than would be experienced if they were not. I have learned a lot over the past 5 years and I have concluded that the practice of turf management by large is being conducted in the most inefficient method possible and this is of great concern to me, as well, you know, that’s what I do. That aside, let me elaborate on what I have discovered.
Our soil is very poor from a geological standpoint, which is not very conducive to growing plants efficiently and to further add insult to injury, we are using synthetic fertilizers which do two things, they kill off microbial life in the soil and they advance the loss of carbon, which is both the energy source of the microbiology and helps to hold water in the soil. The microbiology is what would naturally, if present, cycle nutrients into the plant, provide an immune system against pathogens and break down organic material into the soil which contributes to the whole chain of life, all of which are denied when one uses synthetic chemicals. When inorganic chemistry is used, the plant becomes dependent on the application and subsequent chemical reaction rather than a natural biological reaction. In essence, your lawn has become a drug addict, and there are side effects that you are routinely paying for and don’t even realize it.
Soil hydration is a poorly understood concept. One often confuses a high water bill with the notion that the water is getting to where it needs to go. This is far from the truth. In between shallow watering, which causes water loss from evaporation as well as shallow root structures, which cause root stress from summer heat and compounds the ineffectiveness of nutrients from getting into the plant which is hindered by an array of roadblocks such as thatch, compaction and pH, all a result of a lack of biology. The purpose of water is to move nutrients into the plant and if it never reaches its destination it cannot perform its function. Also, the mistaken notion that the lawn will be alright if it is not watered during the off-season is one of the driving forces for needless waste in the whole process. Actually not watering your lawn will cause you to expend more water once you realize the impact of dehydration and eventual hydrophobia. Most people are playing catchup for the first half of the year when they should hitting the ground running by the end of April. Much is lost on this concept.
The final piece in the puzzle is the act of mowing the lawn. Grass grows and must be mowed. There are two fundamental problems with the act of mowing the lawn. Mowing the lawn once a week is really not that great for the grass and it is incredibly inefficient. Let me explain. Mowers became widely available after World War II, trading in the reel mower that their grandfather had for the new spread in suburbia. Dad’s new toy, a serious machine, was only touched by Dad and Dad only had time to mow on the weekend, setting the paradigm of the once per week cut. This task was soon passed off to the teenage sons, back when you could get teenage sons to work and the rest is, shall we say history. Anyone who knows anything about grass knows that the more often you cut a lawn, the healthier it will become as stress is lessened in the turf. The other massive issue is that lawn mowers have large engines to cut lawns that have been growing for a week and require you to be behind the mower, right? A grass blade does not require 20, 10 or even 1HP to effectively cut a blade of grass. 1 HP is about 750 watts and low and behold, a blade of grass can be cut with less than 100 Watts of energy. The cracks in the equation should be obvious by now. You are wasting energy and time mowing your lawn and it isn’t getting any better. Enter Automated Robotic Mowing. Say what? You heard me, robotic mowing, a technology that has been in existence since 1995 and you have not heard of it. That’s right, little mowers that operate at night or while you are away on vacation, 7 days a week, mowing the lawn every-single-day. Pretty cool huh? More about this later…
Now what if I told you that if you tied these three elements together and created synergy in the lawn you could realize a lawn that uses 20-50% less energy. That means 20-50% less money with a healthier lawn that takes less resources, is healthier and puts less toxic substances onto your property. Efficiency, Productivity, Health, Appearance, etc. Get the idea? When you maximize these three elements you can unlock the true potential of you lawn and escape the high cost of traditional lawn care.