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Tip of the Week: How to change your garden's layout to be more eco-friendly

Keep this tip in mind while you're planning for next spring's garden renovations.

Reducing Lawn Areas to Reduce Water Use

Lawn areas are not good at absorbing heavy rains. The resulting runoff containing fertilizers, pesticides and pet wastes often ends up polluting nearby streams and lakes and ultimately your drinking water.

There are now about 40 million acres of lawn in the U.S. Lawn grasses here are not native, not even Kentucky bluegrass. Lawns are the largest irrigated crop in the country and even surpass corn (maize) acreage. Irrigation of lawns accounts for 40 to 80 percent of water used (wasted) in city and suburban residential areas.

Reducing lawn areas will reduce your long-term maintenance costs and significantly reduce your need for pumping water for irrigation out of the ground. Most lawn grasses are "cool season" grasses and require a great deal of water to maintain them. A one-acre lot uses a whopping 320,000 gallons of water in a sprinkler system over a 12 week period!

Replacing unused lawn areas with desirable vegetation suited to the growing conditions in your zone can significantly reduce water needs and hours of lawn care time.

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