Grass is essentially a sustainable plant. Thanks to its ability to store large quantities of carbon in the soil, it helps to reduce the CO2 levels in the atmosphere. The blending of different types and varieties has led to a varied plant population which can stand up to all kinds of extremities. A lot can be done to ensure the sustainable use and maintenance of grass. To this end, Barenbrug Research has invested in the current global topics of water savings and reducing the need for mowing.
Green Earth label
Barenbrug has concrete requirements for grass mixtures in terms of economic viability and sustainable use and management. Grass seed mixtures which meet these demands are granted the Green Earth label. The quality label indicates that this grass, in comparison to preceding generations, has achieved a higher score for at least one of the following requirements: less use of water, pesticides and fertilisers, and need for mowing. Grass that has been granted this quality label brings immediate benefits to managers of public green spaces:
Water savings is an important global discussion topic. In the last ten years, we have been confronted with more and more extreme weather conditions. Spring and summer seasons seem to suffer more often from either long periods of drought or from extremely heavy rain. Warmth and drought cause grass to need more water just at the time when water is very short. Of course, the most important issue is the global need for clean drinking water. Therefore, the need for water for irrigation does not take first place, but it is necessary for the growth of crops such as grass. The properties of grass are facing tougher challenges because of climate changes and increasing water shortages. Grass with long roots can easily extract more water from the soil, thereby reducing the need for irrigation.
Less need for mowing
One characteristic of sustainable grass management is less need for mowing. As a result of high temperatures and more light, grass can produce a large mass during the growing season. This means that more frequent mowing is necessary, leading in turn to higher costs for labour, fuel and machinery as well as a surge in CO2 emissions. Barenbrug has invested heavily in research into the biomass production of grass. This showed that not only varieties differ from each other, but that growth height and grass production can also vary widely within a single variety. The Green Earth label is granted to varieties that need the lowest mowing frequency, and therefore promote fuel savings and reduce CO2 emissions.
All varieties and mixtures bearing the Green Earth label have been independently tested by national and international research institutes. By setting strict requirements for the sustainability of grass, Barenbrug aims to work along with managers of public green spaces to contribute to a healthy planet.