California Residents Seek Drought-Friendly Lawns

September 14, 2014 Updated: September 14, 2014

CAMARILLO, Calif.—More southern Californians are ripping up the grass in their lawns to plant drought-resistant plants, or to keep that green lush look, installing fake grass.

Another alternative to watering that has been gaining popularity is lawn painting.

Kerri McCoy started Lawn Paint Pros a few years ago as a second business. She says the business has taken off in the last few months, and she recently had to hire two more employees.

Lawn Paint Pros charges $275 for an average 1,000-ft front lawn, and the price per square foot goes down the larger the lawn.

In addition to saving her clients money on water bills, McCoy helps her clients get rebates for saving water. She’s working with local water districts, which provide incentives for homeowners and businesses that have found a creative way to preserve water. Lawn painting falls under that category.

A before and after comparison of lawn painting in Camarillo, Calif. on Sept. 12. (Sarah Le/Epoch Times)
A before and after comparison of lawn painting in Camarillo, Calif. on Sept. 12. (Sarah Le/Epoch Times)


Toxic Lawn Paint?

She said they don’t actually use paint.

“It’s a vegetable-based dye,” McCoy said. “So because it’s vegetable-based, it’s not harmful to humans or pets. It will not wash away. Once it’s on there, it takes about an hour to dry, and after that hour it’s on there for about three months.”

The dye is similar to what professional football teams use to paint the white lines and on natural grass fields. 

A base dye is mixed with water and painstakingly sprayed on the grass by hand. The average lawn takes about two hours to finish.

Leonard Lowenschuss, who just had his 6,000 square foot front lawn sprayed on Friday, said his water bill used to be so high, he decided to try this.

He paid $925 for the job and said he would do it again. 

“I’m happy with the color,” he said. “It’s remarkably good.”

Lowenschuss lives in the city of Camarillo, about an hour west of Los Angeles. According to the city’s website, residents use an average of over 75,000 gallons of water a year just watering their lawns. 

Lowenschuss is killing two birds with one stone by lowering that statistic and lowering his water bill.

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