Choosing a Resist Drought Grass Seed
Switching to a resist drought grass seed is an excellent long term solution for extremely dry areas.
Drought tolerant grasses usually have long roots, which help reach any available soil moisture. The following seeds are specific to either cool or warm season climates.
Cool Season: Tall Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass, Zoysiagrass, or Wheatgrass
Warm Season: Common Bermudagrass, Improved Bermudagrass, Zoysiagrass, or Buffalograss
Cool Season - Resist Drought Grass Seed
- If appearance is a priority, choose a mixture containing a high percentage of Tall Fescue and/or Kentucky Bluegrass. You get the benefit of two or more cool season grasses by buying a mixture. I prefer the Turf Type Tall Fescue.
- Zoysiagrass has been gaining popularity in northern climates for its hardiness. It has excellent drought tolerance, withstands moderate foot traffic, and has high pest resistance. However, I’m not a fan of its lighter green color and the fact that it turns brown at first frost, making the lawn appear dead for half the year.
- Wheatgrass does not look as good as other grasses, but it is very hardy. It has traditionally been used for pasture grass and grown for hay. It is sometimes used in Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Central Canada.
Warm Season - Resist Drought Grass Seed
- Warm-season grasses are seldom planted in mixtures because they lack compatibility and just don’t look right when planted together.
Tips on Dealing with Drought Prone Lawns
- Fertilize less and don’t use pesticides.
- Mow less often. Newly cut blades loss water through their open ends.
- Raise the mower blades. Higher grass provides shade from the drying effects of the sun.
- Leave grass clippings on lawn. This recycles the water in the grass back to the soil.
- Control thatch. Too much thatch prevents water from reaching the roots. Some thatch is good because it helps retain moisture in the soil and shades the roots from the blaring sun.
- Improve the soil. Add compost to help retain water.
- Aerate. This encourages deeper roots to make use of the small amount of water it does receive.
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