Photo credit: wili hybrid
Fresh green lawns has been the standard for many American homes for decades. Mowing the lawn every Saturday morning, fertilizing, and watering (or turning on the sprinklers) is one of those thankless tasks that many have obliged themselves to do. Having the best looking lawn on the block, complying with strict HOA (homeowners association) requirements or having a soft place for children to play is one of many reasons why its done. Is this just another harmless practice?
Since push mowers are not longer in vogue unless you absolutely choose to own one, many people use gas more electric mowers which wastes energy and spews pollution.
To maintain that award winning lawn, fertilizers are used to “feed” the grass. Unfortunately elements in fertilizers such as nitrogen and phosphorus can get washed into our surface waters and cause algae blooms and excess plant growth. This can reduce fish population. These elements are also a health concern when they leach into the ground and drinking water supply.
A 2500 square foot yard generally requires 1558 gallons of water per session (or day). Multiply that by all of the non rainy or overcast days you may have and that can add up to several hundred thousand gallons of water per year.
Unless you absolutely love to do it and/or have the time, maintaining a lawn can eat up a lot of your time.
Of course, fertilizers, electricity, gas and water costs money!
One of the best ways to save time, money and help preserve the environment is to fill your yards with native plants. Native plants require very little maintenance because they are able to thrive in their natural environments. They have evolved to grow in local conditions therefore needing very little cutting and trimming. Watering is also unnecessary in many cases.
If you have yards how are they landscaped (or not) and maintained? We rent so we have very little say, but our landlord has landscaped (or naturescaped) with drought resistant plants that doesnt require much water which is a must for California at this time.