The Southern Californian climate is getting increasingly hotter and drier each year. To prevent having a dried-out, brown lawn, you can account for this by planning your landscaping by planting drought-tolerant grasses. Grasses with low water needs are becoming increasingly popular as homeowners switch to help their lawns look fresher year round, save on bills, and be environmentally friendly. This article sums up everything you need to know about the best drought-tolerant grass for Southern California.
Best Drought Tolerant Grass for Southern California
You need drought-tolerant grass, but which kind is best for you? Read on for our top five recommendations for the best drought-tolerant grass for Southern California!
1. Native California Bentgrass
California Bentgrass is a naturally water-smart grass because it is native to this region – it requires about half the water of other typical varieties. It is resilient to heavy foot traffic, making it a perfect addition to your backyard kids’ play area. When properly mowed and adequately watered, this grass will stay green year-round in Southern California.
2. Fescue Bluegrass Blend
Fescue Bluegrass Blend incorporates a variety of different grasses. It was made to thrive in Southern California’s specific climate and soil composition. Its dark green color is highly drought-tolerant and disease resistant, meaning you will have lovely grass year-round! It is very wear-resistant but does not like the shade. The two most popular varieties are Marathon Grass and Elite Plus.
3. TifTuf Bermuda
TifTuf Bermuda is one of the most wear-resistant grasses in Southern California. This is ideal for families with children, non-residential properties, or rental homes. Additionally, Bermuda is the most common choice for golf courses, parks, and athletic fields but requires weekly mowing so the blades don’t grow taller than two inches. TifTuf, Tifway, and Tifgreen Bermuda grass are the three most popular types.
4. Dune Sedge
Dune Sedge is another west coast native grass. Dune Sedge is one of the most drought-resilient grasses requiring 50-70 percent less water than traditional grasses. However, it doesn’t tolerate foot traffic as well. Its primary requirement is soil with good drainage, as its true origins were out in the sandy soil of beaches and dunes. It is a clumping, non-sod grass that can go weeks without water but needs a deep soaking now and then to thrive.
5. Dwarf Wooly Yarrow
Dwarf Yarrow is a drought-tolerant flowering grass, needing only half the water of a typical grass. This grass provides an ornamental look and is stunning groundcover. It is best used harmoniously with hardscapes such as gravel, stone, or brick footpaths. This non-traditional groundcover comes in many color options, from yellow, pink, silver, to orange! Yarrow is typically best for homes without children and heavy foot traffic, as its resiliency is low.
What is the Best Grass to Grow in Southern California?
One of the best types of grass to grow in Southern California hails from Southeast Asia! Zoysia grass is ideal for coastal California as it is an extremely drought and salt-tolerant grass. Zoysia is a perennial whose deep roots help it stay healthy without heavy watering. It thrives in direct sunlight and is more likely to recover from extreme drought without replacement.
What Grass Requires the Least Amount of Water?
Water is a hot commodity in Southern California. Constantly watering your grass or running a sprinkler system can cause your bills to skyrocket. A University of California study recently showed that a hybrid Bermuda grass is the most drought-tolerant variety. It is closely followed by Zoysia, Common Bermuda, Seashore Paspalum, and St. Augustine varieties.
What is the Easiest Grass to Grow in California?
Southern California is a challenging climate for growing grass. Your grass needs to survive drought, extreme heat, and a lot of sunshine. When it comes to keeping it easy, Fescue grass is the most popular choice in Southern California. It has a deep-green color throughout wintertime and goes dormant in the summer. It is a low-maintenance option that requires the most watering, weeding, and fertilizing during wintertime.
Is Bermuda grass good for Southern California?
Bermuda grass is great for Southern California. It is the most drought-resistant variety in this area. Its tropical origins mean it thrives in the heat, an obvious must for Southern California. Plus, it is perfect for high-traffic areas and is drought-tolerant.
On the other hand, while Bermuda grass stays light green all summer, it does turn yellow in winter. Another drawback to this variety is the high mowing requirements.
Which grass stays green all year in California?
First, remember that no lawn will look its best every day of the year. The best grasses for a year-round green look are cool-season grasses. The most popular evergreen lawns in Southern California are a blend of 90 percent fescue and 10 percent bluegrass seed. Mixing these two varieties helps your yard stay lush while being drought-resistant.
What grass is native to Southern California?
There have always been grasses growing in Southern California’s arid, hot climate. Some of these native grasses are dune sedge, California bentgrass, dwarf wooly yarrow, deer grass, giant wild rye, purple three-awn, and Berkeley sedge. Planting native grasses will save you immensely on water, as they are accustomed to the dry climate!
How Design Scapes Can Help
Are you looking for grass for your Southern California lawn? At Design Scapes, we have become experts in hundreds of grass varieties in our years of landscaping experience in the dry California climate. We assess which grass types are suited to your lawn size, shade, foot traffic, desired aesthetic, and budget. Call or visit our website today for more information and to get started on your way to a green lawn!