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New report makes surprising prediction about the future of lawn care: 'It can seem daunting'

"There are simple but meaningful steps homeowners can take to get started."

Yardzen, lawn care

Photo Credit: iStock

The data is in, and grass lawns are out.

According to the 2023 Trend Report from online landscaping consulting company Yardzen, people are really starting to catch on to the fact that sod lawns are bad for the environment and one of the least fun and interesting ways to organize the space around your home.

Yardzen saw a 13% increase in people asking to have their lawns removed entirely over the past year and a 40% increase in people asking for more of a balance between lawns and plantings.

Grass lawns require a lot to maintain, including water, fertilizer, and gas-powered leaf blowers and mowers. In return, they offer few benefits to pollinators or the surrounding habitat.

"It's encouraging to see many homeowners investing in more sustainable yard practices like lawn reduction, drought-tolerant planting, and creating more naturalistic, biodiverse habitats that support local pollinators," Yardzen CEO Allison Messner told The Cool Down. "The boon to many of these practices is that they can actually be lower maintenance (less water, upkeep, and fertilizer) and easier on the wallet over the long run. While it can seem daunting, there are simple but meaningful steps homeowners can take to get started."

Once you've made the decision to move beyond a sod lawn, the possibilities become endless. Yardzen saw a 17% increase in requests for flowers and blooming plants, an 18% increase in requests for designs with "full and lush" plantings, and a huge increase in people wanting to grow their own vegetables — requests for raised garden beds and greenhouses went up 30% and 43% respectively.

"This year, there's been a move towards more naturalistic and untamed planting styles, which our designers are fully embracing. We particularly love the meadow garden style, which has really taken off this past year and is one of our most requested," Messner said. "We love this style because it's natural and unfussy but still gives you that beautiful visual impact. To get the look, consider textural ornamental grasses like Silvergrass, Lomandra, and Blue Fescue, which require very little in the way of water and upkeep.

"It looks like sod grass lawns are truly on the way out — as long as HOAs don't ruin everything — and good riddance.

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