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Turf Wars

OPB | April 5, 2010 9 a.m. | Updated: Sept. 10, 2013 9:20 p.m.

The arrival of spring means one thing for many homeowners: yard work. For some people, those precious rays of spring sunshine offer the opportunity to trim and tend ornamental plants just waking up from a long winter’s nap, while others spend sunny days raking dirt and furiously sowing vegetable seeds. The big question is: what to do with the lawn? Do you grow (and mow) grass or something else? Many new homeowners who scrambled to purchase before the tax credit expires at the end of this month are facing these decisions for the first time, but the debate has been building for years.

One Oregon-based author advocates replacing the front (or back) lawn with a vegetable garden. But grass seed is the state’s third largest crop and farmers are concerned about a recent decline in domestic sales.

Do you have a lawn? How do you decide what to do with it? Have you replaced your grass with mulch, rocks, perennials, ground cover or something else? Why did you do it? If you’re a renter, what kind of say do you have in the landscaping where you live?

Lawns have long been seen as an indicator of a homeowner’s aesthetic priorities. How do you feel about your neighbors’ lawn care choices?

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