Over the past month, we’ve brought you articles on selecting the right drought-tolerant plants for the design of your landscape and home: modern, tropical, Spanish and Asian. Over the next month, and in continuing partnership with our friends over at Mooch Exterior Designs, we’re going to look at a more general approach to drought-proofing your outdoor space – converting your lawn! We will look at various methods to approach this challenge, from choosing a lower-water-use variety of sod, alternative drought-tolerant groundcovers and foregoing groundcover and lawn altogether for a more native, ultra-low-water landscape.
Homeowner’s interest in making their lawns more water efficient stem from a number of different reasons:
- The desire for a landscape that requires less maintenance.
- To save on their water bill.
- To help preserve the ecology of their natural climate.
- To reduce water consumption in order to benefit the environment.
- To take advantage of rebate programs.
Many of these reasons have become more pronounced with the current drought situation throughout the Western United States. Additionally, recent increase in state- and city-sponsored rebate programs has encouraged homeowners to act quickly to take advantage of them.
So this week, we’ll look at the simplest step a homeowner can make if they are interested in having a lawn but not interested in the water-guzzling properties of traditional sod.
- St. Augustine Grass is a heat-tolerant grass that also happens to be perform well in the shade. This makes it suited to lawns that fall into the shadow of a house, trees, etc. It is a broad bladed, medium green grass that grows quickly during the summer and becomes dormant during the winter. Ideal for coastal climates and good pest resistance.
- Bermudagrass: This tough-as-nails grass is aggressive and often viewed as a weed in other climates, traits which make it an ideal lawn for difficult areas. It is dense with a low growth habit, dark green with medium to fine-textured leaves. Rapid growth means it establishes quickly and recovers rapidly from damage. Thrives in full sun and heat with minimal water. Hybrid bermudagrasses are available that are green for most of the year.
- No Mow: This grass forms a windswept, mounded meadow look. Also called ‘Mow Free’ it is a blend of California native red fescues and is one of the most drought tolerant available. Long, slender blades give a natural appearance that is popular with our customers. Not ideal for areas with lots of traffic or children, as the dense thatch can hide bees or other hazards. Does very well started from seed.
- Zoysia Grass: This is a fine-textured grass native to coastal areas of Asia. It thrives in full sun and is extremely drought resistant. It is slower-growing than bermudagrass but will also spread to fill in bare spots over time. Can go dormant in cool winters, resulting in a beige-looking lawn.
If you are interested in any of the drought-tolerant grass varieties seen here, please get in touch with us. Need it installed? Head over to our partners at Mooch Exterior Designs. And stay tuned next week for more lawn alternatives!