Lawns of grass arose in 16th and 17th England and were found on great estates. Grass grows nicely in a northern European climate. It’s quite a bit tougher to have a nicely quaffed lawn in much of the U.S. as grass is not native to most of our country. Here are some interesting facts that demonstrate our cultural obsession with lawns.
- While lawns existed prior to WWII in the U.S., most working class people did not spend time and money on their lawns. Instead, they were more likely to have a garden or animals in their lawn than grass.
- Suburbanization following WWII led to the ubiquity of grass lawns in the U.S.
- Americans spend $60 Billion a year on their lawns.
- Lawns occuby 40.5 million acres of turf. That is bigger than the state of Iowa. Grass along highways and roadways is an additional 17 million acres.
- We use 20 Trillion gallons of water each year to water our lawns. Compare that to the 30 Trillion gallons used each year for agricultural irrigation.
- Every square foot of turf grass in California uses between 28 and 37 gallons of water per year.
Source: Freakanomics Radio