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How much do you spend on landscaping and your lawn?

Taking stock of the investment we make in our little patches of green can be a reality check. Here are some statistics that you can press up against your personal landscaping, gardening and lawncare choices. If your choices seem extreme, you might want to consider setting a goal to move closer to what you would like to contribute to our healthful environment.

Economics (time, $$ spent) of lawns and landscaping

  • The typical consumers of lawn and garden products are men, 35-44 years of age or 55 and older, college graduates, married 2-person households, with annual incomes over $75,000. [REF 20] Eighty percent (80%) of all U.S. households had private lawns in 1990. [REF 1] The average homeowner spends 40 hours a year simply mowing. [REF 2]
  • 85 million households participated in one or more types of do-it-yourself indoor and outdoor garden activities in 2002. 49 million households (47% of all U.S. households) engage in do-it-yourself lawn care; 40 million engage in flower gardening; 26 million in shrub care; 23 million in landscaping. This is the highest level of participation seen in the past 5 years. [REF 3]
  • Consumers spent $39.6 billion on their lawns and gardens, an average of $466 per household, in 2002. Over the past 5 years, total lawn and garden sales have increased at a compound annual growth rate of 8%. [REF 20] Annual turf and lawn maintenance altogether is a $30 billion industry. [REF 3]
  • Total value of do-it-yourself gardening and landscaping business in US: $33.5 billion. [REF 3]
  • Annual retail sales of residential lawn care products and equipment was $8.5 billion. [REF 8B] Average annual amount spent per household on gardening supplies: $532. [REF 3]
  • In 1999, $1.98 billion was spent on home and garden pesticides (do-it-yourself applications; not commercial applicators). [REF 4]

[1] Templeton, S.R., Zilberman, D., & Yoo, S.J. (1998). An economic perspective on outdoor residential pesticide use. Environmental Science & Technology, 2, 416A – 423A.

[2] Barth, C. (200). Toward a low input lawn. In T.R. Schueler & H.K. Holland (Eds.), The practice of watershed protection (Article 130). Ellicott City, MD: Center for Watershed Protection.

[3] National Gardening Association. (200). 1998 – 1999 National gardening survey. National Gardening Association: South Burlington, Vermont: [survey available only for purchase ($395.00); [8A] data as reported by marketing firm TeamTotal at their web site:

[4] Donaldson, D., Kiely, T., & Grube, A. (2002). Pesticides industry sales and usage: 1998 and 1999 market estimates. Washington, DC: United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances.

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