Letters to the Editor: Don’t just get rid of gas lawn mowers. Plant native gardens too

The stem of a California native sage plant
A California native sage plant grows in a garden in Los Angeles in 2020.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Yes, improving air quality starts out our front door. One can hear and smell gas-powered lawn equipment seven days a week. As your editorial notes, electric equipment is better and does not pollute nearly as much. (“Leaf blowers and lawn mowers are smog machines. It’s time for California regulators to act,” editorial, May 12)

Even better? California native plants. I have not used a gardener since I planted them in 2009. I have much less yard waste, and I keep only the grass I need.

With cleaner air and friendly habitat, planting native gardens is win-win.


Karen K. Suarez, Monrovia


To the editor: Enforcement of rules banning gas-powered gardening tools has been a total bust in West Hollywood — except for the fact that I was cited for my gardener’s use of those devices. The use of battery-operated blowers, mowers and trimmers has been spotty for the reasons noted in your editorial.

But there is another element we must deal with, something that will determine whether gardeners will even survive.

Water management in the time of drought should drive people to have gardens — if at all — comprising drought-resistant, mostly native plants. In these coming times of extreme water shortage, lawns will be a luxury.

As most of our citizens are woefully unprepared for many of the changes wrought by climate change, giving up two-stroke, stinky little engines will not be easy.

Carleton Cronin, West Hollywood


To the editor: In your editorial you mention that there are rebates for commercial users of gas garden equipment.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District is also offering rebates to homeowners who turn in their gas-powered lawnmowers for battery-powered ones. I recently did this and it cut my purchase price in half.

The new mower works better than my old gas one, and it needs a lot less maintenance.

Tom Revak, Diamond Bar


To the editor: Leaf blowers are not only smog machines if they are gas-powered. They also blow away the topsoil where they are used.

Moving to an electric blower is not enough. Gardeners need to use rakes and brooms, not leaf blowers.

Elizabeth Schlaff, Pacific Palisades