Freshly mown lawns can smell incredibly good. However, this distinctive scent has a specific function. We explain what the cut lawn actually means.

Spring also begins the high season for lawnmowers. The hum of engines fills the air during the day, while at the same time the intoxicating scent of freshly mown grass spreads. Sometimes you can even smell it as soon as you step on the lawn. Particularly long grass that has withstood cutting for a long time releases a lot of fragrances.

So it’s not surprising that the smell of freshly mown grass is one of the most popular smells in spring in surveys. But this scent is not only associated with positive memories, but also conveys a hidden message.

The essential oils that the grass releases during or after mowing are responsible for the intoxicating scent. These leaf fragrances are composed of various volatile organic compounds that are responsible for the distinctive aroma. These fragrances serve as a protective mechanism and means of communication for the grass. They contain substances that are unpleasant or even toxic to certain insects and pests. This is to prevent natural enemies from causing further damage to the grass. This works on insects, but not on lawnmowers.

Additionally, the release of these oils increases the metabolic activity of the lawn. This allows the lawn to grow faster as long as there is enough sun and water available. Additionally, these oils have antibacterial and antimicrobial effects that can help fight grass diseases and promote regeneration

But why do we love this scent so much, even though it is actually nature’s cry for help? Research shows that the smell of freshly cut grass can have a positive effect on our mood. A 2010 study found that this scent leads to an increase in alpha waves in the brain, indicating a relaxing effect. Participants also reported improved mood and a reduction in stress symptoms.

Another study from 2015 examined the effects of natural scents on well-being. Researchers found that the smell of freshly mown grass is one of the most frequently mentioned positive smells and has a calming effect.

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However, it is important to note that, although the use of robotic lawnmowers is an incredible relief and results in a lawn that is always well-groomed, it can also lead to us noticing the scent of the freshly mown grass less and less. Due to frequent but superficial mowing, the blades of grass are not subjected to enough stress to release the fragrances in significant concentrations.

Because a robot cuts the blades of grass much more often and only by a few millimeters. As a result, the grass only secretes the fragrance in very low concentrations that we hardly notice. If you let the lawn grow and mow it less frequently, more of the grass oil would be produced and released. When mowing the unmistakable smell would arise again.

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