Why lightning is great for your lawn

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Lightning in sky. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

If you're a lawn enthusiast, you may want to wish for a thunderstorm this spring.

Lightning, though extremely dangerous (obviously), can actually help your lawn stay healthy. Here's a great explanation from Weingartz.

Nitrogen is the nutrient in the soil that is most responsible for the green in your grass. It’s also a common ingredient in fertilizers. The Earth’s atmosphere is approximately 78% nitrogen. Yet, nitrogen can’t be used by grass as raw nitrogen; it needs to be combined with oxygen to create a nitrate. The blade of grass absorbs the nitrate and it is used to create more chlorophyll and—go green.

During a thunderstorm, every time there is a bolt of lightning, electrical energy breaks the strong nitrogen bonds. The nitrogen then quickly attaches to oxygen, forming nitrogen dioxide. Nitrogen dioxide dissolves easily in water, creating nitric acid, which then easily dissolves to create a magic ingredient: NITRATES. The nitrates fall to the ground in the form of raindrops, seeping into your soil and helping your grass to turn green.

There is some debate as to how much the electricity in lightning affects the greening of grass. Some people will say that not enough nitrates are formed to affect the green and are blown many miles away. Thus, the bright green is an illusion that is created from the wet grass sparkling in the sun’s rays. Either way, your grass will likely appear more green after a lightning storm than after a storm with no lightning.

So, if you don't feel like going to Home Depot, just do a rain dance in your living room.

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