MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - If you notice the grass looks greener after it rains, your eyes are not deceiving you.
There are many reasons why rain helps lawns look greener, but one of the main reasons is nitrogen.
After it rains, there is more water available in the soil for plants. When plants take in that water, they are also taking in nitrogen from the organic matter that’s in the soil.
When plants grow, their smaller roots will die and new roots will sprout up. The dead roots will decay during this process.
The roots are composed of chemical compounds consisting mainly of carbon, but some nitrogen too. Carbon and nitrogen can cause the dead roots to decompose. When this occurs, a part of the nitrogen is released back into the soil.
Ultimately, nitrogen causes growth and helps make things green. As rain falls, nitrogen is pulled out of the atmosphere and in a way this fertilizes the grass.
When rain saturates the soil, this can allow more nitrogen to be released. The fresh fallen rain can be a benefit to the grass because the water helps to flush the roots which may allow the roots to take up this fresh nitrogen and tap into the nitrogen that was already present.
Another reason is the way that water travels through light which can make things seem a deeper color.