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Las Vegas: Home of the Controversial Lawn

by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

If you want to start an argument, ask Las Vegas homeowners about their lawns. One of the fastest-growing cities in the nation, Vegas is plagued with blistering summer heat, coupled with near-drought conditions every year. For many, lawn care in Las Vegas means sneaking the water onto your grass any way you can and hoping the local government doesn't notice. Meanwhile, lush green lawns and gushing fountains thrive all along the casino strip.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority is less interested in lawn water conservation than in paying residents $1 for each lawn foot ripped out and replaced with other landscaping. Now what?

How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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Keeping Your Las Vegas Lawn After All

Many Las Vegas homebuilders are touting the use of native rocks and cacti in place of a lawn, but if you love your lawn and want to keep it, consider this alternative: drought-tolerant native grass.

Most people choose either Kentucky bluegrass or Bermuda grass for their lawns in Nevada. Neither is ideally suited for the climate. Of the approximately 1,400 native grasses in the country, only two are really excellent for Las Vegas lawns: fescue and buffalo grass.

Fescue handles heat well, but it takes a long time to mature and just won't give you the ease of care and tenacity of buffalo grass. In its natural habitat, from Montana into Mexico, buffalo grass thrives just fine without fertilizer or a lot of water. Homeowners who have tried buffalo grass "609" have reported a healthy growth of lawn without fertilizing.

The only maintenance, which can be ongoing, is weeding. But the amount of water you drink while weeding your lawn will be considerably less than what you'd pay to water non-native grasses. You can have a beautiful lawn and still thumb your nose at the Las Vegas Valley Water District office as you drive by.

About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

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