Drought-Proof Your Lawn with These Top Grass Varieties

Team McFly Sep 08, 2023
5 People Read
lawn and gardens
Table of Contents
  1. Best Drought Tolerant Grasses For Your Lawn
    1. Introduction
    2. Blue Gramma
    3. Buffalo Grass
    4. Hybrid Bermuda Grass
    5. Bahia Grass
    6. Zoysia Grass

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  

Best Drought Tolerant Grasses For Your Lawn

Introduction

No matter where you reside or why the drought may strike, there are grass varieties that will help your lawn remain beautiful during times of low water usage.

Cool-season grasses tend to be better at withstanding drought. These plant varieties thrive in Mediterranean climates where long periods of hot and dry summer weather force them into dormancy for up to two years.

Best Drought Tolerant Grasses

Blue Gramma

Blue Gramma, more commonly known as Swardgrass, is an evergreen perennial grass with deep-seated roots that can reach 2 meters deep - an excellent option for gardens or yards that need drought resistance. This versatile plant grows well on different topographies, from sand to clay surfaces, while remaining drought-resistant.

Turfgrass is one of the easiest lawn upgrades to care for and maintain. A sprinkler system will ensure it looks its best all year round.

These products are ideal for landscaping and erosion control, saving time and money. When choosing this, consult local professionals to use your new lawn best.

Remembering that each plant requires individual care will bring you greener, happier, and more efficient spaces in no time!

Buffalo Grass

Buffalo Grass

Buffalo grass is ideal for lawns, meadows, and other low-maintenance landscaping projects, particularly in warm, dry climates and drought conditions. One attribute that sets it apart from other grass species is its resilience in such conditions; even without regular irrigation, it remains healthy and green with proper care.

This hardy native grass can be found throughout North America, from the Great Plains to northern Mexico and Texas, from lawns to informal meadow areas, or by stabilizing heavy soil conditions.

As well as being an attractive and durable grass species, Bermuda grass makes an excellent wildlife habitat. Due to its low fertility requirements and attractive appearance, only minimal fertilizer must be applied annually for optimal results.

Advantages of this type of lawn include not requiring frequent mowing; rather, it can reach 2"-3" for easy weed competition and dense looks.

Start your buffalo grass lawn from seed, sod, or plugs. Before spreading seed or sod, preparing the soil and providing enough water is crucial. Seed should ideally be planted in late spring/early summer when temperatures are moderated and soil moisture levels have lowered enough; it also gives time for any potential weed growth to take hold.

Like any grass, buffalo lawns require regular weed control practices to look their best. While you can try handpicking away any unwanted weeds that arise, the herbicide is more efficient. It should only be used on lawns that contain this grass species.

Hybrid Bermuda Grass

Hybrid Bermuda Grass

Hybrid Bermuda Grass is one of the best drought-tolerant grass varieties for your lawn, needing less water than other varieties and making it suitable for areas with hot summers.

Hybrid Bermuda grasses can be planted from plugs, sod, or sprigs. Before planting, loosen the soil until it's 4 inches deep before applying fertilizer based on your soil test report results.

For optimal growth of Bermuda grass seedlings, soil temperatures must remain above 55oF throughout most days for several weeks before planting them. Furthermore, dormant weeds or new sprouts of other grasses mustn't appear.

Plant Bermuda grass at least 90 days before the year's first frost to avoid late-season reseeding issues and full lawn coverage within ten weeks of establishing.

Regular grass mowing should be conducted as part of a healthy maintenance regime during the growing season to achieve an ideal height and limit weed growth. Common Bermuda grass should be cut at or under 1 inch, while hybrid varieties require between 0.5-1. inch for cutting.

Due to Bermuda's rapid growth rate, adhering to a regular mowing schedule for your lawn is essential. Failing to take action to remove at least a third of leaf blades each time can significantly slow its development into new grass growth.

Mowing height should be kept as low as possible to prevent damage to the soil below. Mowing should occur at least weekly; more frequently is preferable during hotter seasons when your lawn needs more hydration.

Bermuda grass is an ideal weed-free lawn alternative that provides a stunning and well-kept aesthetic for your yard. Tough, durable, and long-lived, it grows well in wetter and dry soils while resistant to many diseases and insects.

Bahia Grass

Bahia Grass

Bahia grass is ideal for homeowners who prefer a low-maintenance lawn that's drought-resistant due to its extensive root system. It makes it more resistant to drying out in hotter environments than other warm-season grasses.

Bahia grass is not only drought tolerant, but its maintenance requirements are extremely minimal as well. It requires only minimal amounts of water and fertilizer to flourish, even in sandy soil conditions that other turf grass varieties find challenging to establish themselves.

Bahia grass requires little care to stay healthy. Its dense mat of green foliage prevents pest infestation and disease outbreaks, resisting dollar spot and other fungus diseases and making it the ideal option for homeowners with limited time and resources for lawn maintenance.

Bahia grass should be fertilized two to four times annually beginning in spring with a 16-4-8 NPK fertilizer for optimal results. Follow all package directions when purchasing such a product for best results.

Fertilizing Bahia grass can help thicken and strengthen it over time and prevent its gradual thinning out.

If your Bahia grass has an issue with weeds, use an effective weed killer and then aerate the lawn to improve water and nutrient absorption.

An essential step to successfully growing Bahia grass is getting the soil tested. Alkaline or neutral soil conditions won't support its survival; to thrive properly, it requires iron.

To successfully cultivate Bahia grass, homeowners need a pH range between 5.5 and 6.5, sandy soil free from clay, and rich, deep root systems in their grasses.

Bahia grass makes an outstanding lawn and can be utilized for erosion control, hay production, and as part of a "sod-based rotation" sequence to combat pest issues in crops like peanuts.

Zoysia Grass

Zoysia Grass

Zoysia grass is an ideal option for homeowners searching for drought-tolerant lawns, available as seeds or sod and easily grown throughout most regions. However, warmer climates will produce optimal results.

Zoysia turf can also provide effective weed control as its thick and hardy roots help prevent weeds from appearing in your yard. However, depending on your soil and climate conditions, you may need to apply weed killer at least annually.

Before planting a new lawn, be sure to conduct a soil test. This will identify which nutrients your soil lacks and how much is required for healthy grass growth.

Providing your new lawn with sufficient moisture is important as part of the planting process. Doing this will allow its roots to establish deeper so it won't wilt as quickly during dry spells.

Before watering your lawn in the morning hours when temperatures are more suited for irrigation and less likely to cause fungal or disease issues, particularly if your area features ample shade or the weather is particularly hot and dry.

Zoysia grass requires regular fertilization throughout the year to remain green and vibrant. An ideal time and application date is spring after the grass has emerged from dormancy and reached 50 percent green coverage.

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Table of Contents
  1. Best Drought Tolerant Grasses For Your Lawn
    1. Introduction
    2. Blue Gramma
    3. Buffalo Grass
    4. Hybrid Bermuda Grass
    5. Bahia Grass
    6. Zoysia Grass

Disclosure:  Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.