As anyone who lives in the San Antonio area knows, drought is a frequent problem during the warm season. One way to combat its effect on your lawn is to consider sod replacement. Using a hardier species of grass than currently exists on your property can both reduce your water bill and keep your yard looking good during dry spells.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the basics of drought resistance and tolerance. We’ll also consider what particular types of grass are likely to do well during dry conditions. Armed with this information, the reader will be able to make informed decisions about what is best for their lawn.

Four Aspects of Drought-Resistant Grasses

Plants vary in their ability to survive with little or no water. Here in the southwest, a number of species have developed the ability to endure for many months between periods of rainfall. Of course, only a few of these are suitable for residential lawns.

Those that are good choices for this purpose are discussed in the rest of this article. Their ability to withstand extended dry spells falls under four major categories.

1. Drought tolerance

This refers to the variety’s ability to flourish during periods of low watering. Buffalo, Bahia, and some forms of St. Augustine do well during such times.

2. Dehydration tolerance

This refers to the tendency to stay an acceptable shade of green during times when there is little or no rain. Zoysia, Bermuda, and some types of St. Augustine all enjoy strong root density, structure, and low water needs, making them ideally suited for such conditions.

3. Dehydration recovery

This refers to the ability of grasses to withstand drought conditions by going into a dormant state for extended periods. While they may turn brown during such times, they are in fact alive and will respond readily to watering when the dry spell ends. Buffalo and Bahia grasses are especially adept at doing so.

4. Dehydration quantity

This refers to the level of water a type of grass needs in order to avoid turning brown and slipping into a dormant state. This is the point at which many homeowners are misinformed. They plant a grass that they have been assured is highly resistant to drought, only to become upset when they discover that going dormant is the means by which it resists dry conditions. A brown lawn isn’t high on anyone’s list of desirable characteristics for their yard. Such grasses do have other uses, however, such as when strong erosion control is desired during periods of flash floods.

And the winner is….

While no cultivar is perfect, in most instances, sod replacement with St. Augustine grass is the superior choice for drought-prone regions. It withstands dry spells as least as well as Zoysia, Buffalo, and Bermuda grasses, while retaining more of its desirable green shade. FX-10, Floratam, Palmetto, and Raleigh are particularly good choices for the San Antonio area due to the fact that they can endure well under both drought conditions and periods of heavy rain and flash flooding. These qualities also mean that the homeowner will be able to get by with less supplemental watering, making these grasses economical as well as enduring choices for one’s lawn.

A Comprehensive Approach to Drought Management

Choosing a hardy grass for your property is only one aspect of resisting the affects of south Texas climate patterns. Landscape grading and establishing a drainage system are also important steps. Here at Ultimate Construction, we have the tools and experience to help you keep your grounds looking great, no matter what the weather brings your way. Contact us today.