Drought Forces Cities to Conserve Water – Grass is First to Go!

Recent droughts have led big cities to consider drastic measures to conserve water – and grass is first to go! The state of Nevada, for example, recently took a bold step towards combatting drought: Las Vegas municipalities must remove decorative and “ornamental grass” to conserve water. This, combined with the recent tree and plant shortage of 2021, has made artificial turf an increasingly popular alternative!

What is Ornamental Grass?

Ornamental grass (decorative grass) is grass that isn’t ever used or walked on. It is real, living grass that requires the usual mowing and watering, but it is rarely (if ever) actually tread upon. These are common features of street medians, office parks, housing developments, and many hotels and casinos in the area.

Who is Banned From Using Ornamental Grass?

The ban doesn’t apply to individuals, but the state has made incredible progress by offering rebates to aid conservation:

Single-family homes, parks, and golf courses are excluded but homeowners have been urged and incentivized with rebates of up to $3 per square foot to rip up turf in their front yards

Las Vegas Bans Decorative Grass to Combat Drought

Larger businesses, regions, and associations are being encouraged to replace their grass with desert landscaping, or artificial turf. For those that are accustomed to the vivid green of a natural lawn, artificial (fabricated) grass and turf is a perfect alternative.

What is Artificial Turf?

Artificial turf is fabricated greenery and grass that can form lawns, hedges, art pieces, and green walls. It is made to emulate real living turf, without the need for water or daily maintenance. Using artificial grass in place of decorative grass is an excellent way to conserve water and ensure consistent beauty for years to come.

What are the Advantages of Artificial Ornamental Grass?

There’s a clear aesthetic advantage of using artificial grass to replace banned ornamental grass – in a desert area, it’s especially pleasing to see a lush expanse of vibrant grass. Las Vegas is a city all about abundance, luck, and joy, and the current decorative grasses reflect that.

Additionally, many people are hesitant to change their landscaping design to accommodate plants that match the region’s weather. Desert plantings are uniquely beautiful, but their colors and textures don’t fit with every design.

The two biggest advantages of artificial turf, though, are that they require minimal maintenance and zero water. There’s no need to mow, fertilize, or water fabricated grass. Faux grass lawns will always look like bright, healthy, hydrated grass, but without any of the effort.

They also don’t attract bugs or rodents or require the use of potentially toxic herbicides and pesticides. Plus, there’s no concern about allergens with these grass alternatives!

Artificial turf from TreeScapes & PlantWorks is constructed with our unique Ultraviolet-Inhibiting UltraLeaf-X® Foliage, which is tested and proven to withstand fading and sun damage.

How Will This Help to Conserve Water?

Some are questioning if this big ban will actually make enough of a difference to be worthwhile. Early estimates show it could have a tremendous impact:

The water district estimates that the law will lead to the removal of about 5,000 acres of decorative grass and save more than 10% of the state’s Colorado River water allocation… Las Vegas water officials estimate they save 73 gallons per year for every square foot of grass removed.

What Else Can I Do With Artificial Grass?

Artificial ornamental grass isn’t just limited to ground cover – it’s versatile and can transform spaces in many ways. If you don’t have ground space, but still want a rich green space, consider green walls instead. Green walls are both functional and fashionable, working well as area dividers, selfie walls, and purely artistic pieces. They can be accented with faux florals, succulents, and mosses to become a one-of-a-kind custom piece.

Faux greenery works particularly well for horticultural art displays, too. It can be used to create bushes, hedges, and topiaries, or used as a base for sculptures and murals. TreeScapes & PlantWorks have decades of experience with artificial turf, plants, and trees, with thousands of local Las Vegas clients.

If you’re looking to replace your decorative grass – either to comply with the ban, or to enjoy the incentives offered – consider artificial turf landscaping. Contact us today for a custom quote!