Keeping a lawn lush and green requires a lot of “anti-green” practices. Spreading fertilizer and pesticides filled with chemicals, running sprinklers that waste water and cutting grass with a mower that pollutes the air are routine for most homeowners.
It’s estimated every weekend, 54 million Americans mow their lawns, using 800 million gallons of fuel each year. One entrepreneur wanted to change that and came up with an eco-friendly grass that is slow-growing, drought resistant and grows easily without toxic chemicals.
Jackson Madnick spent nearly 10 years potting and growing 70 different grasses behind his home in Massachusetts. He was motivated by the death of his cat that he blames on the chemicals used at a nearby golf course. Madnick finally came up with a blend of seven grasses that don’t need chemical fertilizers, use relatively little water and rarely needs to be mowed. He sells the grass seed called “Pearl’s Premium” at Whole Foods and Home Depot stores in the Northeast, small gardening centers and online. Madnick says the eco-friendly secret behind Pearl’s Premium is the foot-long roots grown by the grass blend. The long roots can reach deeper for nutrients and water than the two-inch roots common in bluegrass. The grass is most successful for homeowners in Midwest and Northern states and more difficult to grow the deep South and Southern California.
A researcher with the Environmental Working Group tells CNN the typical lawn is devastating to local waterways. Brett Lorenzen says in California alone, homeowners water 10 million acres of residential grass. That’s enough water to supply the drinking needs of 40 million households. Lorenzen says homeowners put 70 million pounds of pesticides and herbicides on their lawns every year. The chemicals wash into drainage systems and end up in lakes and rivers where it can kill fish and plant life.
Pearl’s Premium and similar grass seeds like No Mow and EcoLawn cost more than traditional seeds. Homeowners also need to reseed their entire lawn and water frequently in the beginning to start a new eco-friendly lawn.
Source: Do Your Part
Also read: 5 Ways to green your lawn and garden care and watch Green choices for lawn and garden (video). Need to exercise and mow in an environmentally friendly way? See Green your lawn with muscle power.
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