California Drought Fuels Boom in ... Lawn Painting

Dryness is bad for lawns, good for odd business

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 9, 2014 3:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – Just because you're dealing with dry weather doesn't mean your lawn can't be pretty. Companies in California tell the National Journal that the lawn-painting business is booming amid the state's worst recorded drought. Following the lead of golf courses and realtors, the businesses spread dye they say is nontoxic over a customer's grass. "People think it sounds ridiculous when they first hear about it," says a manager for a grass-paint maker. "But they try it, and instantly they're hooked." He says his company's sales this year are more than twice last year's.

Companies match the color of the paint to parts of the grass that remain green, CBS San Francisco reports. Parts of the grass stay alive, and when rain eventually comes, the natural color returns. Customers pay between 25 and 35 cents per square foot of grass, the Journal notes. One lawn-coloring boss who's also an environmentalist has mixed feelings, even as his sales have jumped 75% to 100% in the drought: "When you notice that so many people want to have this done, you start to ask, 'What's going on here?'" (If you're not into dyed grass, you could always just surround your place with sand.)

Joseph Perazzo, owner of Grass is Greener Lawn Painting, demonstrates how he sprays lawns in this file photo.
Joseph Perazzo, owner of Grass is Greener Lawn Painting, demonstrates how he sprays lawns in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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