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Turf painting spreads as drought ravages lawns

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Ronnie Sharp, left, and Brandy Birdwell of Imperial Painting, spray turf paint on a drought ravished lawn outside a auto repair shop in Indianapolis. Without cutting the color will last four to six months. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS — Homeowners and businesses tired of brown lawns parched by drought are reaching for paint cans.

Turf painting has long been a common practice in arid climates such as the West and Southwest, but it’s historically been reserved for golf courses and sports fields in well-watered areas such as the Midwest and the East Coast.

That’s changing as a drought covering two-thirds of the nation has forced many communities to ban outdoor watering and left once-lush vegetation looking more like tumbleweeds.

Painting contractors say the non-toxic turf dye can last several months and adds quick curb appeal.

The instant gratification comes at a price. Terry LoPrimo had her 830-square-foot lawn in Staten Island, N.Y., painted for $125. An Indianapolis muffler shop spent about $600 to spruce up its lot.

Source: The Associated Press