Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
Blog: Survey reflects how families use lawns, care for them
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By Lisa Schaumann, Professional Landcare Network
July 23, 2013 2 p.m.

It is the season once again when people are excited to get out into their yards. According to recent surveys conducted by Harris Interactive, Americans with a yard will be looking forward to three activities this year: relaxing, planting, and spending time with family.
The first study, conducted in December 2012 among more than 2,800 U.S. adults on behalf of PLANET, the national trade association of landscape industry professionals, finds that yard ownership is highly prevalent (88 percent) among Americans. In fact, 81 percent of those with a yard/landscape say the upkeep of their yard/landscape is important to the look of their home.
When asked what the yard is commonly used for, most say relaxing (26 percent), followed by planting flowers/vegetables (17 percent) and spending time with family (14 percent). Not surprisingly, those with children under 18 in the household are more likely to view the yard as a place where the whole family can interact, and where kids can play.
"We're glad to see that Americans are taking pride in their well-kept landscapes and find them important areas for relaxation and quality time with family," says PLANET CEO, Sabeena Hickman, CAE, CMP.
Taking care of the yard doesn't just mean mowing and weeding. The second Harris Interactive study, completed in February 2013, shows that consumers are planning to increase spending on hardscapes (outdoor kitchens, patios, decks, water features, and walkways) and other specialized services (irrigation and lighting).
And, it is the younger adults, ages 18 to 34, who are most likely to have hired professionals for the building of outdoor living spaces, patios, and walkways over the past year.
"Eighteen to 34 year olds might be more digitally connected than their parents, but they are still putting a high priority on outdoor entertainment areas. They are looking to landscape professionals to take on work that is not only time-consuming, but also requires a high degree of expertise to be done well," adds Hickman.
While some of people enjoy a bit of exercise taking care of the yard, many hire a professional for lawn and landscape services. The study shows that the top reasons to hire help are that people: don't have 'the knowledge, skills or physical ability;' and don't have 'the right equipment' to do the landscape work themselves. Interestingly, younger adults (18 to 34) were more likely than their older counterparts to say that they 'don't have the patience' as a reason to hire a professional.
To see the full landscape study or discover some tips on landscape care, visit www.loveyourlandscape.com.

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