Growing Grass in a Desert Climate

Stuart Wellbert
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Does the Type of Grass Matter?

The general rule of thumb is that warm-season grasses grow quickly, stay green all year, and are the most common. Cool-season grasses grow more slowly, go dormant in summer, and are a bit hardier in colder winter weather. However, if you're worried about how well a warm-season grass will be able to survive in your climate, there are a few things about your growing climate that you need to consider as well.

If you're starting from a relatively bare patch, it might be worth it to either purchase a mix of a cool- and warm-season grass, or two separate types of warm-season grass to get your lawn started off right. The importance of choosing a variety of species is found in how each grass acts and reacts to the amount of rainfall each year can have. Drought-tolerant cool-season grasses can help keep your yard from turning into dirt. Warm-season grasses can withstand heat and cold, so the ability to choose a variety of grasses gives you the most flexibility when it comes to your individual needs.

Grass Species That Thrive in a Desert Climate

You can still create a lush and vibrant yard with tons of green grass in a desert climate, but it isn’t as easy as you may think. The most important thing to remember is to choose a proper grass species that suits the dry climate. A few grass species that are a great fit for your backyard are:

Perennial Ryegrass

Perennial ryegrass is a drought-tolerant grass suited for low maintenance and for regions with large rainfall differences. This species does need regular watering when first planted. It has an aggressive growth habit and produces a beautiful-quality turf during years of adequate water and food.

Fescue Grass

Fescue grasses make a healthy and durable lawn in regions where summers are hot and the soil is dry. Fescue is fairly disease-resistant, but needs to be mowed regularly and watered adequately.

Bermuda Grass