History of Lawn Care

Written by Katie Casaday
on July 13, 2020

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In 2005, NASA researchers found that grass covers 49,000 square miles of terrain in the United States, making it the nation’s largest irrigated crop by area. BBC America estimates that grasslands cover 25% of all land on earth. Grass is a significant part of our planet’s landscape. The tools and reasons for lawn care have changed dramatically throughout history.

500 AD – Animals Rule the World (of Lawn Care At Least)

goat grazing

Before modern times, grazing animals were the tool that kept grasslands short.  Long grasses were a safety concern in certain areas because it prevented the people from spotting approaching danger.

As animals took on the extensive work of keeping the grass short, they kept themselves full and didn't need to be fed elsewhere. Lawn care had more benefits than just making the landscape look pretty.

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1700 – Lawns Become a Luxury

shears and scythes

Animals ruled lawn care until the scythe and shears came along. These became popular tools for maintaining lawns or crops for both the rich and poor. Expansive lawns were a status symbol for royalty and the nobles (think: the Garden of Versailles). Laborers were hired to walk in rows, swinging their scythe to cut down the grass. Lawns served little purpose other than allowing the rich to show off their money. 

While lawn care was a luxury for the rich, the poor used scythes and shears to harvest their crops. Without proper lawn care, they went hungry.

1830 – The First Lawnmower

cylindrical mower

The first lawnmower was born. Edwin Budding invented the cylindrical lawnmower. It had blades around a cylinder that rotated and cut the grass as it was pushed from behind. The machine was so heavy that it often required one person to push and another to pull the mower along. This cylindrical mower was the first tool that could get a close cut on the grass, allowing field sports to become popular.

Cylindrical mowers are surprisingly similar to modern-day lawnmowers. The design hasn’t drastically changed for the most part. Today, some people choose to use a cylindrical mower because it can get a clean, close cut.

1890 – A Horse-Drawn Lawnmower

steam lawn mower

The industrial revolution called for new technological advances in all machines. People wanted a tool that operated with less human power. The steam-powered lawnmower became the new standard as the user could put forth less effort. Horses often pulled the steam mowers, so it was less labor-intensive than any lawnmower that preceded it. 

Larger steam mowers cut the grass on sports fields in a more efficient way. Lawn care paved the way for sports to be accessible to all. People could now easily run across large, soft, grassy areas.

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1914Lawnmowers for Everybody

gas lawn mower

Steam-powered lawnmowers took a long time to get started, so the next advancement was a gas-powered lawnmower. These mowers could run all day and cut the grass in parks, golf courses, and cemeteries. For the first time, lawnmowers were mass-produced (people were dying to get their hands on them).

1938 – Luscious Lawns Become an American Staple

statue of liberty

As the 20th century progressed, people spent more time caring for their lawns. A 1938 legislation solidified a 40-hour workweek. Previously, most Americans had worked Monday through Friday with a half-day on Saturday, but now they could spend their whole weekend at home. Many people used that free time to look after and enjoy their yards.

During World War II, all homeowners were asked to take care of their lawns as a sign of strength and solidarity. Lawn care had become a staple for the United States. After the war ended, Americans carried on the tradition of lawn care.

1970 – The Emergence of AstroTurf

astroturf

To get the appearance of a well-manicured lawn without the hassle of maintenance, artificial turf (also known as AstroTurf), was born. It rose in popularity after being installed in the Astrodome, a multi-purpose sports stadium in Houston, made famous by the Houston Astros. Grass became less desirable for sports because it can’t always withstand the heavy use of players trampling it. Artificial turf is durable and doesn’t require trimming or watering. 

Trivia! What year was AstroTurf installed in the Astrodome? Answer at the bottom of this post. 

1990 – Limitless Lawn Care Options

robotic lawnmower

Having a fake lawn was nice in theory, but it just couldn’t compare to real grass. By 1990, every Saturday was filled with the roar of lawnmowers.

The lawn care industry continued to grow with new lawnmower styles for every situation. Riding, gas, and robotic mowers were all invented so people in every situation could take care of their lawns. Fertilizer had also become mainstream so that the lawn grew strong, and upkeep was easier to handle.

People of all ages found new uses for their lawns. Lawns provided entertainment and were the perfect setting for family and friends to gather together. Many lawn activities had already been popular but became more accessible as more families owned homes with lawns.

2010 – Services Go Digital

phone apps gig economy

New lawnmower technology has slowed down while people have turned their attention to easy and automated service. While lawn care has always been a manual task, anybody can now contract it to someone else. The gig economy, such as the likes of Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, and Doordash, has made everything easier and accessible as more people transition to freelance work. Almost every industry has a company that has combined products or services and your mobile device to make your life clickable.

2013 – Lawn Care at the Click of a Button

backyard satellite technology

Introducing lawn care at the click of a button, TaskEasy was born to combat the challenges that come with lawn care. It completely disrupted the lawn care industry.

TaskEasy became the first platform that allowed homeowners and property managers to order lawn care completely online. TaskEasy offers an instant quote using satellite image technology based on actual yard square footage. There is no price haggling with multiple landscapers that other platforms might offer. TaskEasy saves you time and stress from the hassle of dealing with individual landscaping companies.

Today – TaskEasy Reaches 12,000+ Cities Across the Country

usa map

TaskEasy continues the work of simplifying lawn care, attending to hundreds of thousands of households annually. TaskEasy is continually updating their technology so homeowners and renters can get the easiest (and best) lawn care service in the industry.

Homeowners can get their yard serviced with the click of a button. Local landscapers are assigned jobs instantly. TaskEasy has simplified the lawn care industry, saving you time to do what really matters.

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Answer: AstroTurf was installed in the Astrodome at the start of the 1966 season. It was originally put on the infield and foul territory, and the outfield AstroTurf was installed later in the season.




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