NALP releases lawn care research

Americans still value lawns as an important household feature, study finds.

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FAIRFAX, Va. –The National Association of Landscape Professionals is kicking off National Lawn Care Month by unveiling new research which finds that Americans still find lawns are an important feature when buying or renting a home.

The survey, conducted by the Engine Group on behalf of NALP, found that 81 percent of all Americans have a lawn, and a vast majority – 79 percent – say that a lawn is an important feature when renting or buying a home. When asked to prioritize home features, respondents ranked a nice size yard second, falling only behind a renovated kitchen.

The research found that younger generations of Americans place an even higher value on lawns than their parents and grandparents. When ranking home features, a nice size lawn was the number one priority among millennials, beating out even an updated kitchen. Eighty-two percent of millennials report that having a lawn is important when renting or buying a home (compared to 81 percent in Generation X and 77 percent of baby boomers).

“While some may assume that trends toward urbanization or the increase use of electronics and technology have resulted in a decreased interest in lawns among younger Americans, the results of our research found just the opposite,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NALP. “Overall, the results confirm what professionals in the lawn care and landscape industry have long known – Americans have a great appreciation for the value that healthy lawns bring to their lives.”

The survey found that beyond valuing lawns, Americans are indeed making regular use of their yards. Forty-seven percent of Americans say they entertain in their yards at least once a month, while 57 percent use their yards for recreation at least monthly. Above all, the results suggest that yards are seen as a respite for Americans. Seventy-seven percent of respondents report relaxing in their yards at least once a month, and about one in three Americans (32 percent) garden in their yards multiple times a week.

Americans are also enjoying grass and green spaces beyond their doorsteps. The research found that Americans visit public parks and playgrounds more often than movie theaters, pools and beaches, bowling alleys and museums.

“Lawns and public green spaces provide a backdrop for Americans’ memory-making moments while offering tremendous benefits for our communities and environment,” says Henriksen. “The research supports the important work that lawn care professionals do to create and maintain healthy lawns across the country.”

To create a healthy lawn, NALP recommends the following best practices:

Consider grass cycling. Allowing grass clippings to remain on the lawn helps return nitrogen and nutrients to the soil.

Water wisely. Provide your lawn a deep watering every few days, not daily. Watering your lawn too frequently often leads to shallow root growth.

Control weeds. April is the ideal time to apply pre-emergent weed control. Weeds can dominate lawns, so taking proper care now will help keep weeds under control.

Maintain your mower. It is important to keep your mower blades sharp. When left dull, blades are ineffective and can damage your lawn.

Fertilize your lawn. Adequate fertilizer provides proper nutrients that are critical for a healthy lawn. It is best to work with a lawn care professional to select the best product for your lawn.