New Research Finds Majority of Americans Lack Lawn Care Knowledge

National Association of Landscape Professionals releases results of latest consumer survey in recognition of National Lawn Care Month in April

HERNDON, Va. (March 28, 2016) – The National Association of Landscape Professionals is kicking off National Lawn Care Month this April by releasing the results of a new consumer survey that takes the pulse of Americans’ lawn care knowledge. The results of the survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of NALP in February among over 2,000 US adults, suggest the majority of Americans lack basic knowledge about how to properly care for and maintain their lawns. 

The survey confirmed that America’s affinity for lawns is still going strong, as 78 percent of U.S. adults report having a home with a lawn and/or landscaping. The vast majority of that group (94 percent) say lawn and landscaping services were performed at their home in the past year – with 81 percent saying they or someone else in their household performed any services themselves and 44 percent reporting they hired a professional to perform any services.

Although 74 percent of Americans who have a lawn/landscape say they know how to care for their lawn each season and 68 percent of Americans report feeling confident in their lawn care knowledge, data from the survey tells a different story. According to the findings, many Americans actually lack basic lawn care knowledge. When quizzed:

  • 64 percent of Americans falsely believe all grass needs to be fertilized in the spring.
  • 57 percent of Americans mistakenly believe if a lawn is not green, it is not healthy.
  • Nearly one in three Americans (32 percent) admit they aren’t sure how often a lawn should be watered.
  • 31 percent of Americans who have a lawn/landscape say they don’t know how to grow a healthy/lush lawn.

Even more telling, nearly seven in 10 of Americans who have a lawn/landscape (69 percent) admit their lawn could use improvement, despite their reported knowledge and confidence. 

“The findings from NALP’s latest consumer research suggest that despite the popularity of lawns and the widespread effort homeowners put into caring for them, many people are inadequately maintaining their own yards,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NALP. “This speaks to the important role lawn care professionals play in responsibly managing and maintaining yards to ensure their maximum health and environmental benefits for communities and the people who live, work, and play within them. Professionals have the training and knowledge to ensure lawns are healthy enough to ward off disease carrying pests, protect against debilitating weed-induced allergies and provide oxygen, air purification and other environmental benefits so families have healthy outdoor spaces to enjoy.”

NALP recommends the following tips for a healthy lawn

  • Water properly. Watering in the early morning is best because less water evaporates, allowing it to penetrate into the soil. Water more deeply and less frequently – one deep watering every three days is better than daily, light watering.
  • Mow correctly. Many people mow their grass too low to the ground. By keeping the lawn at a longer, finished cut height the lawn will need less water, be more resistant to weeds, and will have a deeper, greener color.
  • Make sure your soil is healthy. Talk with your landscape or lawn care professional about testing your soil to ensure it has the correct pH balance.
  • Aerate your grass. Aeration allows air, water and nutrients to penetrate grass roots, helping them to grow deeply and produce stronger, more vigorous lawns.
  • Fertilize smartly. Different species of grass prefer different nutrients at different times of the year. It’s important to use the correct fertilizer and apply it at the right rate, in the right place, and at the right time.
  • Keep in mind that a lawn doesn’t necessarily need to be green to be healthy. Under extreme heat or drought conditions, a lawn goes into a dormant state. Grass that has entered this state may be brown, but that doesn’t mean it is dead. It can stay in this dormant state for quite some time, until it receives rain or irrigation returns it to a green color. Monitor your lawn and water when necessary to keep your grass alive, but remember it’s okay to embrace a few weeks of brown grass in the summer.

For more information on how to care for your lawn and landscape, or to find a qualified landscape professional in your area, visit

About NALP

The National Association of Landscape Professionals represents an industry that employs nearly 1 million landscape, lawn care, irrigation and tree care professionals who create and maintain healthy green spaces for the benefit of society and the environment. For more information, visit

About Harris Poll

Over the last five decades, Harris Polls have become media staples. With comprehensive experience and precise technique in public opinion polling, along with a proven track record of uncovering consumers’ motivations and behaviors, Harris Poll has gained strong brand recognition around the world. Contact us for more information.

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Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of the National Association of Landscape Professionals from February 3-5, 2016 among 2,178 adults ages 18 and older, among which 1,695 say they have a lawn/landscape. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Kaitlin Moyer at

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