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Consumer Reports: Even slackers can have great lawns

Posted Friday, April 6, 2012

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Six tips that can save consumers up to 60 hours on lawn care; nearly one in five adults prefer the dentist over yard work

Yonkers, NY — Americans love their lawns but not the work needed to keep them lush. In fact, just 7 percent of adults prefer working on their lawn to other chores and activities, according to a Consumer Reports survey. Sixty-two percent said they’d rather cook, one third said they rather visit their in-laws, while nearly one in five (17%) said they’d rather go to the dentist. A new report in the May 2012 issue of Consumer Reports outlines several ways in which homeowners can reduce up to 60 hours of yard care per year and still have an attractive lawn.

The full article can be found in the May 2012 issue of Consumer Reports and online at www.ConsumerReports.org.

“Many people think that more is better, when it comes to lawn care: The more frequently they fertilize their lawn, the more often they water, mow it and etc., the healthier their grass will look,” says Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman, Consumer Reports Deputy Home & Yard Editor. “Actually you can have a green, healthy lawn – and spend more time enjoying it – with far less maintenance than you think.”

Among the time-saving tips in the Consumer Reports article is to let the lawn go brown during dry spells. Although consumers might naturally be inclined to water a browning plant, color change in grass is merely an indication that the plant is entering a natural state of dormancy designed to conserve nutrients. Doug Soldat, turf scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says that most grasses can survive for a month without water. If brown spots are too unsightly, the best time to water is when consumers can see footprints in the lawn after walking on it. But they should avoid the mistake of doing a light daily watering during dry spell, as it does more harm than good. Instead, one 30-minute long soak should be sufficient to last a whole month. All told, this one tip will save consumers up to 12 hours annually.

What would folks rather do than maintain their lawn?

Consumer Reports asked 1,000 adults nationwide how lawn care compares with other chores. Here is a list of things people said they’d rather do (in order of preference):



  • Cook (62%)


  • Grocery shop (49%)


  • Do laundry (41%)


  • Go to work (38%)


  • Clean the house (38%)


  • Visit the in-laws (33%)


  • See the dentist (17%)

Inside the May 2012 issue of Consumer Reports

The May 2012 issue of Consumer Reports includes Ratings of more than 100 mowers and tractors, and also string trimmers. Dozens of top picks are revealed along with buying advice and tips on important features.

Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

 
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