What do afternoon showers bring to our lawns & gardens?

Mowing the lawn
Mowing the lawn (Mark Cacovic/Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Have you ever looked at your yard after a good rain shower and thought the grass looked greener?  I’m here to say your eyes are not playing tricks on you — it is greener.

After a nice shower or a summertime toad strangler, water saturates the soil and the roots of your lawn. As the roots take in the water, they are also taking in nitrogen. Nitrogen, as you may already know, makes your grass greener and it’s also superfood for bamboo.

As new roots grow, old roots die and then break down along with other organic compounds in the soil. While carbon makes up most of the chemical compound, nitrogen is also present and it’s released as the compound breaks down.  Essentially, the decomposition of the roots and other organics acts a natural fertilizer.

As rain falls, it also pulls in small amounts of nitrogen from the air. Here’s a brief science refresher, nitrogen makes up almost 80 percent of our air, while oxygen makes up around 20 percent.  The addition of the nitrogen to the water drops also helps to give the grass a green boost.

Now you know, the next time it rains your lawn will look lush, happy and greener thanks to nitrogen in the air and in the soil. As water washes the roots, they will take up the existing nitrogen in the soil and the water, greening naturally.


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