Welcome to my zone 9a habitat garden near Houston, Texas.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What some people won't do for a green lawn!

As I may have mentioned here before, my lawn (if one can even call it that) is certainly nothing to write home about - or even to write a blog post about. It is part Bermuda grass, part St. Augustine grass, part broadleaf weeds, with a lot of bare patches of dirt thrown in. Not a particularly lovely sight and much of the reason for that is that it gets practically no care. It gets mowed. That's about it.

I'm not really willing to foot the bill for what it would take to deliver water to the lawn part of my half-acre lot and so, right about now, after several months of virtually non-existent rainfall, my lawn looks pretty crispy brown. I'm fortunate, I guess, in that I live in an old subdivision that was built before Homeowners Associations became de rigeur in this area, so I don't have to worry about getting nasty citations in my mail for failing to keep a green look to my yard.

In many places in the country, though, including the Houston area, HOAs are powerful organizations that can dictate what you can and cannot do with your yard. So, what if you lived in a desert and your HOA insisted that you have a green lawn? Well, the ever-resourceful citizens of Phoenix, Arizona have come up with a unique answer to that question: They paint their grass!

Lawn painting services have sprung up all over the town. They use a vegetable-based dye to color the brown grass and a typical lawn-painting job costs around $200. The paint lasts pretty much for the whole season and doesn't fade, thus it is a fairly economical option if you've just got to have green.

Some HOAs in Phoenix actually recognize the reality that their city is located in the middle of a desert and they allow an option for desert landscaping (xeriscaping), but for those that require grass, it has got to be green or else. No crispy brown or bare spots allowed, so the lawn painting services are doing a thriving business.

If our drought continues, some of those lawn painting businesses may be opening branches in Houston.


  1. Wow that is news to me on the lawn painting. I really think with the water waste and folks using chemical fertilizers and such...that lawns should be re-defined, especially in Houston where west Texas seems to be coming east. Thanks for sharing!

  2. i read about that. yuck! go brown!

  3. I agree, Pammy. I think xeriscaping, effective use of rainwater (when there is any!) and reuse of gray water are the more commonsense solutions to the problem of drought, which seems to be a more or less permanent feature of our life.

  4. Brown would certainly be preferable to a dyed lawn for me, LD.