Drought Tolerant Grass Alternatives for California Lawns
It has been bad times for California homeowners as the drought continues its endless streak. With more and more restrictions being set on residential water usage, owning lush green lawns is becoming a distant dream for some homeowners. Well, that isn’t necessarily the case. There is still a bit of hope for lawn owners as there are many great drought tolerant grasses out there that would help maintain a nice textured lawn.
Please keep in mind that although these grasses are known for handling dry conditions, it is still up to the lawn owner to make sure a responsible amount of water is being used. We offer some more tips on saving the amount of water used in the lawn and yard if you are looking to become even more sustainable.
Dymondia Margaretae, also known as the Silver Carpet, is a perennial that is more than capable of handling the drought seasons that California is experiencing today. It is, however, a slow spreading ground cover. Hence, it may take time to develop into the lawn carpet that you desire. During the summer, tiny yellow flowers will bloom within the foliage. The preferred USDA hardiness zone for Dymondia would be around zone 9 to 11.
Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium)
Yarrow is a flowering plant that will help you create a feathery lawn. It is best to have minimal foot traffic on Yarrow lawns since they are not too dense. Yarrow lawns thrive in sandy, loamy soil, and the preferred USDA hardiness zone tends to be between 3 and 9. Without any mowing, you can expect small white flowers to appear among the foliage during the summer. We recommend tools like cordless string trimmers for trimming purposes.
UC Verde Buffalograss
Two schools in California developed the UC Verde Buffalograss, which is a great drought-tolerant grass. The main site claims that using UC Verde Buffalograss can result in up to a 75% reduction in water consumption. That seems like quite a statement but most people who have installed this particular grass indeed have had huge success in reducing overall lawn water usage. March to August is the ideal time to install this particular lawn grass.
Blue Grama (Bouteloua gracilis)
Blue Grama is a warm-season perennial that requires low maintenance. Unlike some of the other drought-tolerant grasses, Blue Grama lawns can be grown in both clay loam and sandy loam soils. Blue Grama will thrive as a lawn as long as it receives full sun and doesn’t get too much foot traffic.
Aside from making your yard beautiful, having drought-tolerant grass in these challenging times is also important for other reasons. For example, having lawn grass will reduce the likelihood of weeds like sand burs from taking over the yard or stops the yard from becoming a huge dust bowl.