Painting the lawn has adverse effects on photosynthesis

Painting the lawn or the playing field could have some adverse effects on the grass itself:

Yep, the September-October issue of Crop Science highlights a study out of North Carolina State University that shows conclusively — brace yourself — that “grasses coated with latex paints show a notable reduction in photosynthesis.” They’re talking about playing fields, of course, and the lines, stripes and logos regularly affixed atop them.

That’s all well and good, but it completely ignores an aspect of turf painting that has nothing to do with lines or logos. Sports, it seems, has a long tradition of painting grass simply to make it look more like grass.

  • When the clear panels in the roof of the Astrodome had to be painted over in 1965 because the resulting glare was blinding fielders, the turf beneath them died, and was subsequently painted green…
  • Groundskeepers at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium didn’t even bother with grass — for many years they painted the dirt green. (Pat Summerall wrote that when he played for the New York Giants, the Yankee Stadium Grounds crew took to painting the dirt, as well.)…

The practice even carries over to movies, where they painted the stadium grass twice for Bull Durham, yet it still, said writer/director Ron Shelton, “looks yellow on film.”

Painting the grass and using artificial turf has a long history in sports. A number of teams and facilities have gone to the field turf primarily for monetary reasons as it is cheaper to maintain.

This brings me to an idea: how long until homeowners go for artificial turf? I’m not talking about the Astroturf featured in the Brady Bunch yard but field turf that looks and feels more like grass. Perhaps the rubberized turf could even be sold as safer for children. For builders and developers, putting down good turf may be more expensive upfront than laying down sod but perhaps the costs could be passed along to homebuyers, particularly if it were guaranteed for a number of years.

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