lawn-less garden
Photo: Karen Bussolini
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Myth: My lawn needs to go

Reality: America's 16 million acres of lawns present some serious eco-challenges, it's true. They demand an outlandish amount of water, and many rely on pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers to stay healthy. But you can mitigate the damage by using native turf grass, which requires less water and is more disease-resistant than non-­natives like, say, Kentucky bluegrass (it hails from Europe). Our best-known native turf is buffalo grass, which is naturally resistant to drought, disease, and pests. It likes plenty of sun, though, so if conditions aren't conducive to growing it, consider at least reducing the size of your lawn. Replace some areas with native groundcover (where it's shady) or native ornamental grasses (where it's sunny). Then cure your lawn's addiction to pesticides and other chemicals by going organic.
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