More homeowners giving up grassy lawns in favor of native plants

Trick question: What is the largest irrigated crop in the United States? Answer: Your yard, and all the rest of them. Lawns cover 40 million acres of the US, which is more than the 11 largest national parks combined and three times the acreage of corn crops. About 10% of Ohio is in lawn.

People dump billions of gallons of water on the ground daily to keep the turfgrass emerald-green. Can’t have “weeds” encroaching or unwanted insects attacking the grass, so over 100 million pounds of herbicides and pesticides drench lawns annually. These toxic chemicals make their way into waterways and cause various environmental and human health issues.

Jim McCormack

I won’t even go into the gas use and pollution generated by lawn mowers, and that noisy scourge of suburbia, the gas-powered leaf blower.

Lawn management is a multi-billion dollar industry, so there is plenty of seductive spin aimed at convincing people that a manicured lawn is good and healthy. Don’t want the Joneses to leave you behind! The truth is that all of this non-native grass and its attendant management has laid waste to native plants and wildlife.

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