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Lawn Replacement

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Traditional American landscaping focuses on maintaining a manicured green lawn that too often requires regular maintenance, a lot of water, and chemical fertilizers to look its best. 

Replacing a lawn with a balanced garden ecosystem that provides a diversity of plants and uses much less water is a an alternative that is acquiring mainstream acceptance in communities across the nation.

Did you know:

  • Southern California residents use an average of 60-70% of residential water for lawns and outdoor landscaping (VC Star). Over 67 million pounds of synthetic pesticides and herbicides are used on U.S. lawns annually. (EPA)
  • A gas-powered push mower emits as much hourly pollution as 11 cars and when combined with other gas-powered garden equipment contributes significantly to green-house gas emissions and municipal solidwaste disposal (NWF).
  • More than 300 million gallons of gas are used to fuel lawn mowers every year. Californians spill 17 million gallons of that while gassing up outdoor gardening equipment. (VC Star)
  • Areas of lawn that include only one type of plant such as a lawn offer little habitat value for birds, butterflies, beneficial insects, and other local wildlife that contribute to a balanced ecosystem.


Reasons to reduce your lawn:

  • Save time and money that you would normally spend on regular maintenance and fertilizing grass.
  • Provide habitat and food for local wildlife such as birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects.
  • Conserve water.
  • Reduce lawn mower, edger, and blower pollution and resulting green house gases.
  • Decrease water run-off that pollutes our oceans with fertilizers and pesticides.


Alternatives to lawns include:

  • Use native plant grass species or alternative ground covers instead of grass.
  • Install native and/or Mediterranean trees and shrubs that provide habitat value.
  • Create a rock garden or xeriscape as a drought-tolerant alternative.
  • Provide a garden containing colorful, climate-appropriate plants for local birds, butterflies and beneficial insects.
  • Plant an edible or vegetable garden.
  • Create a garden retreat with pathways and seating areas.
  • Create a water garden or pond that benefits local birds and provides a beautiful garden retreat element. 


© Lisa Burton • Nature by Design 2016