Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How to Use Lawn Paint

This is an excerpt By Jonathan Bales/The Writers Network  published on  We wanted to share it with you and remind you how easy it is to paint your lawn instead of watering it.
Lawn paint is a perfect option for those with a lawn containing dormant grass, brown spots, discolored turf, or areas that are difficult to water. It is also a tremendous option for those with otherwise healthy lawns who want to take their lawn's look to the next level. Lawn paint can even be used during winter (in moderate climates that do not receive a ton of snow, of course) to obtain a fresh green lawn when everyone in the neighborhood is unable to grow healthy grass.
The paint is harmless, perfectly fine for children and pets and containing no toxic substances. Still, it yields the ability to maintain a tight, clean lawn appearance in a minimal amount of time.
Of course, the specific appearance of a lawn that has been painted depends on the care and effort used by whoever applies the paint. A careless lawn painting effort will lead to a sloppy looking lawn. Conversely, if you put in the time to learn the specifics of lawn painting and implement this knowledge into the application of the paint to your lawn, the results will show. Read on below to discover the most appropriate ways to garner the best results from your lawn paint.
First, make sure the lawn is clear. Thoroughly mow the entire area, as the paint will last until you mow again. Left untouched, the paint will not begin to show signs of fading for at least 12 weeks. After mowing, remove all sticks, grass clippings, leaves and so on. This is a simple but important task, as a failure to do so will result in spotty painting. Also make sure the painting surface is completely dry. Thus, lawn painting in the morning is usually poor because of morning dew.
Next, you need to find a sprayer. The specifics of this product are flexible, but you will want to make sure you find a sprayer that holds at least one gallon of liquid. The larger your lawn, of course, the bigger the sprayer should be. Any local hardware store should work. Read the directions for your particular lawn paint product before placing it in the sprayer. You will probably need to mix it, typically using a combination of concentrate and water.
The last thing to do before actually painting is to secure a shield. It can be metal, wood, or any other substance that you can hold easily and do not mind painting. A shield will allow you to paint very precisely without getting paint on an undesired area, such as near trees, bricks and so on. In the smallest areas, you can cut a small piece of cardboard to use as your shield.
Another trick to minimize unwanted paint is to make those areas wet before painting. Thus, the paint will have a difficult time drying and you can wash it away easier. Otherwise, the paint, if allowed to dry, will stain these areas. If paint does get on an object you did not intend, wash it off immediately. Unlike grass, the bricks or concrete along your walkway will not regenerate, and staining is permanent.
When it is time to begin painting your lawn, perform a test with the sprayer on cardboard. Make sure the sprayer is working properly, dispensing the liquid in an even and controlled manner. Also be sure the paint looks the way you want. If it is too light or too dark for your particular lawn, more concentrate or water may need to be added.
When you spray, make sure there is no wind. Even a small breeze can send the paint all over the place. Waiting an extra day for the perfect lawn is better than painting into the wind and creating a sloppy lawn. Keep the sprayer about seven inches off of the ground, moving it back and forth as you slowly walk. Always paint in a grid pattern so that you paint both sides of each blade of grass. If you paint in just one direction, you will have grass that appears much lighter on one side than the other.
Apply just a light coat at first in a small area. Allow this a few minutes to begin to dry, and assess the result. If it is too light, you can apply another coat. Repeat this process until your lawn is the shade you desire. If you are spraying only specific areas of your lawn, such as brown spots or dormant grass, make sure you do your best to blend the paint with surrounding areas of the lawn.
After use, you will need to thoroughly clean your sprayer. With lawn paint, the sprayer will become clogged if you do not clean it immediately.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Homeowners are fined for not watering their lawns in Arizona...

This is an excerpt from an article by the Earth Justice foundation:

Desperate homeowners paint the grass green
Arizonans anxious to avoid costly fines from homeowner associations for letting their lawns go brown are painting their grass green, reports the New York Times. One homeowner in western Phoenix came up with the idea after he received a citation for neglecting his lawn. In addition, the economic downtown has also played a role in the upsurge in turf painting as realtors look for cheap ways to gussy up properties on the market. The constant struggle to have a perfect yard is even inspiring some to install artificial turf, but all of these pale in comparison (both environmentally and economically speaking) to xeriscaping, which uses a variety of desert landscaping techniques to create a beautiful, environmentally friendly lawn, no plastic or paint required.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lawn Painting article from the New York Times

Spraying to Make Yards Green ... but With Paint, Not Water

Joshua Lott for The New York Times
Some homeowners are exploring other ways to make their grass green, including a fresh coat of paint and artificial turf.
PHOENIX — There used to be two kinds of homeowners in this scorching city, those with dazzling green lawns irrigated by sprinklers and those with more natural backyard expanses of rocks, cactuses and desert flora, which required no watering at all.
Joshua Lott for The New York Times
Many homeowners' associations in Arizona require either desert landscaping or green grass, which requires extensive watering.
Now, though, the grass may be greener next door simply because of a fresh coat of paint.
Homeowners’ associations in this arid region typically have rules requiring residents to maintain either desert landscaping or green grass, with brown lawns not an option.
This is the time of year, with summer approaching and the winter grass dying out, when letters typically go out to homeowners reminding them of the rules and making it clear that violators could face fines or even legal action should their lawns take on an unsatisfactory hue.
The pressure to keep grass green has prompted some residents to try money-saving shortcuts, the most innovative of which is to dye the grass green.
The grass spraying business took off here as the housing crisis escalated and real estate brokers were looking to quickly increase the curb appeal of abandoned properties on the cheap. A lawn painting, using a vegetable-based dye, can cost about $200. Vigorous homeowners’ associations, which can fine owners thousands of dollars if a dispute drags on, have also been good for business, said Klaus Lehmann of Turf-Painters Enterprise.
Doug McGraw, who lives in the Dreaming Summit subdivision in western Phoenix, has been cited for neglecting his lawn. Like many homeowners here, Mr. McGraw saw his finances in turmoil of couple of years back and had no extra money to spend on the lawn. “I just let it go one year, and it went to brown,” he said.
A citation letter arrived from the homeowners’ association.
That is when his wife, tongue in cheek, remarked that if food could be dyed, why not lawns? Mr.  McGraw began researching the issue and discovered that those who operate athletic fields and golf courses do indeed use lawn dye to keep their grass green year-round.
Unsure whether this would be allowed by his association, and somewhat embarrassed to be taking the easy way out, he dyed his lawn one night in the spring of 2009 without telling a soul in the neighborhood.
By the end of 2009, when the grass needed a touchup, he painted it by day and even offered to do the same for his neighbors, for a fee. Only one person took him up on the offer, but nobody objected to his quick fix either.
Michael Hague, a neighbor, has a different solution, artificial turf, which has been a compromise choice in some Arizona neighborhoods for a while now. He says it helps him save time, money and confrontations with the homeowners’ association.
“It’s easier to have fake grass,” Mr. Hague said, looking over his deep green, perfectly trimmed yard. “You don’t have to worry about it. It doesn’t fade.”
So realistic is his turf, he said proudly, that a neighbor once mentioned to someone else on the street how green the Hague lawn was, not realizing it was made in a factory.
But “plastic grass,” as Ed Cunningham, a firefighter who lives nearby, calls the artificial stuff, gets too hot on bare feet in the Arizona sun. He hires a landscaper to handle the painstaking process of planting Bermuda grass, which eventually goes dormant in the winter and is supplemented with rye grass, which dies out in the spring. Keeping the lawn irrigated means his water bill is higher than some of his neighbors’, but the look and feel of the real thing is worth the expense, he said.
 But do not get devotees of xeriscaped yards, as desert landscaping is known, started about the deleterious effects of all that grass planted around the desert, wastefully sapping water, a valuable and scarce commodity here.
One of the ways water reaches Phoenix is through the system of aqueducts, tunnels, pumping plants and pipelines that make up the Central Arizona Project, which brings it from the Colorado River. Candidates for the board of directors of the project are quizzed about their personal water-use habits by The Arizona Republic at election time.
 “Seven years ago, my wife and I moved from a  home with turf grass, front and back, swimming pool and land sprinkling system to a home with total desert landscaping and no swimming pool,” Timothy Bray, a water resource consultant,  responded to the newspaper last fall, citing his conservation credentials.
 But Frank Fairbanks, a retired public administrator, had to sheepishly acknowledge that he had grass. “Unfortunately, like many of our central Phoenix neighbors, we have a green lawn which consumes more water than xeriscape,” he told the paper. (Both were elected.)
Costs of the various approaches vary widely. Desert landscaping saves substantially on water and maintenance, and can be installed on a bare-bones budget or a high-end one, especially if towering saguaro cactuses are involved. Lawn paint lasts about three months before turning an odd shade of blue and costs only a couple of hundred dollars for a modest lawn, although the grass still needs to be watered so that it will not die out entirely.
Plastic grass, probably the costliest option at the outset, still varies in price depending on how close to natural it looks and feels. Watering and trimming costs disappear, though occasional sweeping may be necessary.
 The great divide between grass people and desert people can sometimes even divide an Arizona family.
“We’re seeing a trend away from grass,” said Rodney Glassman, who got his Ph.D. in arid land resource sciences at the University of Arizona. He introduced legislation while serving on the Tucson City Council requiring new commercial buildings to collect and reuse rainwater and promoting the reuse of some water in new homes.
Mr. Glassman said he prefers desert landscaping but his wife, Sasha, prefers grass, so they did what married couples do and compromised with a bit of both at their Tucson home. At the residence they are renting in the Phoenix area, where his wife recently got a job, he said, “there’s a patch of grass in the back, but it’s a small patch.”
Marty Campisi, who runs Desert Oasis Landscape Design and Concepts in Phoenix, has desert in his backyard and promotes the natural approach, reminding customers that many municipalities offer financial incentives to those who convert from grass. “The ones who want lawns are mostly the ones with kids,” he said. “I tell them that children can play in a desert landscape, as long as you stay away from anything with thorns.”
As for painting the grass, Mr. Campisi does not even bring that up. “It’s crazy,” he said. “It’s putting a Band-Aid on the situation.”
Salvador Rodriguez contributed reporting.

Arizona is #1 in sales for Always Green Lawn Paint

Great article on about Lawn Paint

Greener lawns can include green paint
Apr 11, 2011 2:00 PM
Homeowners in arid Arizona have resorted to coloring their grass as a cheaper alternative to constant watering or installation of expensive synthetic turf. Lawn painting became a popular alternative when the recession hit, and can also keep homeowners’ associations happy.
Using vegetable-based dyes, lawn painting can cost about $200, depending on how much lawn you have. It will last about three months, and the grass will still need watering, but not nearly as much as a truly green lawn would require, according to a recent New York Times article. Desert landscaping (replacing grass with low-water and heat-tolerant plants) can also save water and needs less upkeep than real grass. Yet while some municipalities are offering cash-for-grass incentives to install low-water-use gardens, others require synthetic turf, which can be expensive, and in certain climates can also get too hot for bare feet. Lead in some artificial turf fields also raises concerns.
Our recent nationwide lawn-care poll, How Americans really feel about mowing, found that many would like to trade at least part of their stretch of real grass for something else.
Here are some of our poll results.
When asked if they could make just one lawn change, respondents said the following:

  • 33% would replace part of it with a rock garden, flowers, or ground cover.

  • 18% would reduce lawn with a deck, patio, or porch.

  • 12% would replace all or part with synthetic turf.
    Only 5 percent of our respondents said they'd enlarge their lawn. But a sizable 31 percent said it was fine as it was.
    In other lawn updates: Fourteen states have implemented or are considering bans or limits on fertilizers that contain phosphorus. The element can quickly turn your lawn green, but can also cause harmful plant and algae blooms in waterways. Here is some advice on getting your lawn green without it. An easy way to slice watering and fertilizing needs by roughly one-third: Mulch clippings instead of bagging them. That also saves what you’d spend on the bags while preventing added waste in our landfills.
    Also see our new mower Ratings to learn more about features like mulching modes that make for easier cutting and healthy lawns. And check out our lawn planting tips to help choose and apply seed and sod. The May issue of Consumer Reports magazine has a full rundown of more than 450 best and worst home and yard products.
    Spraying to make yards green…but with paint, not water [New York Times]

  • —Maggie Shader

    Hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did!
    View our website at

    A few things about lawn paint...

    Grass paint is the ideal solution for any brown spot or dormant/dead grass.  It saves the user water, time and money by not having to water or mow.  Grass painting is a growing business to help improve the curb appeal of a home or business. If you've never heard of grass paint, we'd like to let you know a few things about it.  It’s sprayed on the lawn with a regular lawn sprayer to change the color of the brown and dormant grass back to a lush green. Always Green Lawn Paint is a non toxic green dye, that is safe for kids and pets to play on.  Grass paint has been used for professional sport teams and golf courses for years, and is now being used on residential lawns and commercial properties to give them more curb appeal.  Always Green Lawn Paint is best solution to get rid of brown dormant grass and dead spots and a perfect method of bring a lawn back to life instantly. The down real estate market has also increased the demand for lawn paint to provide curb appeal to vacant properties.  It is very easy to apply and environmentally safe.