Real lawns clean the air, keep us cool in summer and help to prevent flooding, unlike artificial turf, says Johnsons Lawn Seed

Johnsons Lawn Seed is throwing the spotlight on key benefits that real lawns bring to the nation’s towns, cities and suburbs – as UK gardeners seek ways to make their plots more environmentally friendly.

The company, established in 1820 and the oldest lawn seed brand in the UK, said lawns play a vital role in cleaning the air that we breathe, reducing temperatures and preventing flooding in urban environments.

The call to embrace real turf and shun artificial lawns comes at a time when cutting the use of plastics in horticulture is high on gardeners’ agendas. Fake turf, sold by DIY chains and online retailers, may offer convenience but it comes at a cost to the planet, Johnsons warns.

Ever since Sir David Attenborough’s landmark Blue Planet II series, which highlighted the devastating effect that plastic waste is having on ocean wildlife, there has been a public backlash against unnecessary use of plastic. And TV gardener Monty Don has been inspiring the nation’s gardeners to make plots more environmentally friendly by showcasing alternatives to plastic on BBC Two’s flagship series Gardeners’ World.

Johnsons Lawn Seed’s Guy Jenkins said: “The installation of an artificial lawn sees a huge amount of plastic going into the environment, which is entirely avoidable. Many plastic lawns are not recyclable at the end of their life and can end up being dumped in landfill. Far from being maintenance-free, artificial lawns in shady areas are prone to moss, and after a few years, many suffer from weed infestations.


“Owners with pets will need to clean pet mess and fur from artificial turf, while plastic grass can become very hot in summer and be quite uncomfortable to walk or relax on. That’s why you rarely see plastic grass in warmer climates. Real lawns, on the other hand, require no dependency on plastics, have remarkable air-cleaning qualities, remain cool on hot summer days and play a key role in reducing flooding – a major issue in urban areas that has been caused by a rise in the paving of front gardens for off-street parking,” Guy explained.


To showcase the amazing ways that lawns benefit the environment and our wellbeing, Johnsons is highlighting five key benefits of real grass over artificial turf and paving:


1) Lawns are the ultimate oxygen generators

The deteriorating quality of air in our towns and cities is becoming a major cause for concern. Whether it’s a toxic cocktail of fumes from cars, industrial emissions or pollution pumped out by wood-burning stoves, concern is rising about the harmful impact of filthy air on human health. One by-product of burning fossil fuels, carbon dioxide, is naturally reduced by lawns. Grass plays a key role in the ecosystem, helping to absorb carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. In fact, approximately 235m2 of grass releases enough oxygen for a family of four, every day. Real lawns are nature’s natural air conditioner!


2) Real grass helps to alleviate flooding

A lawn’s ability to absorb rainfall cannot be underestimated. Real grass plays a key role in reducing the risk of flash flooding, a major problem during storms when drainage systems in built-up areas can become overwhelmed. With 80% of a grass plant being root, rainwater passes easily through the surface of a lawn and is absorbed into the root zone, replenishing groundwater resources – a process that cannot take place in artificial lawns or paved gardens. Where lawns are established on sloping land, the root structure can help to knit the soil surface together, resisting erosion. The risk of flash flooding has increased due to the number of front gardens paved to create off-street parking. According to the Royal Horticultural Society’s Greening Grey Britain report, three times as many front gardens are now paved compared to a decade ago – a total increase of 15 square miles. The need for real lawns to absorb rainwater has never been greater.


3) Lawns keep us cool when temperatures soar

Climate change experts predict a rise in weather extremes, and with summer 2018 being the joint hottest along with 2006, 2003 and 1976, concerns are growing over the frequency of heatwaves. According to the RHS, the UK is an urbanised society, with more than 85 per cent of the population living in towns and cities. Watch any weather forecast and chances are that temperatures will be highest in urban areas. Paved spaces and artificial lawns can become uncomfortably hot, but excess heat it dissipated by real grass, which will remain significantly cooler than man-made surfaces, helping to keep temperatures down, and making life more bearable when the mercury soars.


4) Maintaining real lawns is easy

Mowing is a breeze thanks to a new generation of lawnmowers that are powered by clean, green rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. These wonder machines do away with the chore of untangling power cables and plugging into circuit breakers, making it easy to care for lawns in awkward areas or far away from the house. In addition, sales of robotic lawnmowers are rising year-on-year, and as robotic technology becomes mainstream, prices are tipped to fall. Mowing using these clever devices is greener than petrol-powered mowers of yesteryear and, depending on your energy supplier, can be eco-friendly if your home is powered by renewable resources.


It’s also easy for the UK’s growing band of organic gardeners to maintain lawns without using chemicals. Johnsons’ new Super Smart Lawn Feed, for example, is 100% organic, using beneficial bacteria, soluble mycorrhizae and seaweed extract to feed lawns, enhance natural green colour and strengthen roots.


5) Lawns reduce the impact of noise pollution

Noise pollution blights towns and cities, whether it’s the roar of traffic or the wail of sirens, it can be difficult to get a bit of peace and quiet. The racket of city life is amplified as noise echoes from buildings and hard standings, but as soft surfaces, real lawns naturally absorb the din. While a patch of grass won’t silence a blaring radio or next door’s barking dog, lawns play a role in softening unwanted noise. Plus, the relaxing effect of a lush lawn is known to help our wellbeing and help us unwind from the stresses of everyday life.


Find out more

To find out more about Johnsons Lawn Seed products please visit




Words: 1032


For more information, interviews or images please contact:

Kimberley Hornby       Tel: 07851610573       Email:

Marc Rosenberg          Tel: 07931645170       Email: