Lawn & Garden

Reduce Turf

Spend less time mowing, more time enjoying.

Grass is great to play on and nice to look at, but lawns are not the best thing for the environment or your pocketbook. Mowers and fertilizer are major sources of pollution, and lawns can drink shocking quantities of water.

By reducing lawn to less than 40% of your landscape, you’ll save significant time and money on equipment, gas, fertilizer and maintenance. Replace that grass with native plants, which are adapted to the climate and maintain their appearance all summer, and your yard will look great and be a haven for butterflies, birds, and other wildlife.


Mowing the grass with a pushmower

Image credit: marekuliasz/Shutterstock


Lose the lawn incentives:

  • Each year, Americans spend countless hours tending to over 30 million acres of grass on their lawns.
  • Millions of pounds of pesticides and millions of tons of fertilizer are applied annually.
  • Lawn mowers use a quart of gasoline each hour and emit as much as 10 times the amount of hydrocarbons as a typical car.
  • Thousands of gallons of water are used to water a single yard during one summer.
  • On the East Coast, an estimated 30 percent of residents’ total water use is for lawn irrigation. Traditional lawn and garden care takes time and uses non-renewable resources.

What if there was a way to reduce these practices while maintaining a healthy, aesthetically pleasing landscape?


Financial Incentives

The Montgomery County RainScapes program offers rebates up to $2,500 for residential property owners and $10,000 for businesses, multi-family properties, HOAs and non-profit organizations. Converting grass to conservation landscaping is a common RainScapes project.

Montgomery County “Leaves for Neighborhoods” $40 coupon towards the purchase of a tree costing $75 or more.

$25 coupon from the State of Maryland for planting a tree

If you live in Rockville, get $1-2 for every square foot of conservation landscaping installed up to $1,200 through the RainScapes Rewards program.

If you live in Rockville, you may be eligible for a $150 rebate per tree through the RainScapes Tree Canopy Rebate Program. Maximum reward per property is $600.

Have a question? Send it to us and we’ll try to find an answer and post it here.

(2) Comments

  1. jason lange Nov 06, 2014

    choosing the appropriate species can save you up to 13 mows per year and also significantly reduce water use and green waste – send me an email if you would like to know more about our lawn training programs here in Australia. Great site!

  2. John Hudson Dec 06, 2014

    Rain barrels can only be used to help water the lawn in the summer. The don’t protect the streams in the winter? Rain gardens work all the time.

    Where can I buy rain garden sand and rain garden mixture.

    Many invasive plants grow in our area as well as native plants. I think that it should be emphasized that native plants support the local wildlife. Doug Tallamy said that if a bird flies across the Chesapeake Bay and flies to a house with grass lawn and all plants that are not native then there is nothing there for the bird to eat. An common elderberry bush feeds 48 species of birds.

    Above it says, “Replace that grass with native plants” and later it says, “and your yard will look great and be a haven for butterflies, birds, and other wildlife.” It says nothing about adding organic material to the soil to help the soil tp absorb the water. Not all native plants attract butterflies, birds.

    Does anyone have the native plants listed by area code?

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