Your best bet for a successful, thriving and durable lawn is to plant the right variety under the conditions of your soil, sun, weather and site conditions. Great choices are Buffalo grass, a North American native, that requires as little as 8 in. of rain per year.
* Know Your Footprint
Classic Kentucky bluegrass may be great in Kentucky, but it takes a lot of water and chemicals to keep it healthy in drier, hotter parts of the country. For those in arid regions who are ready to forgo a lawn, there are myriad flowering plants, ground-cover standbys, shrubs and tall prairie grasses such as switchgrass and big bluestem ready to take center stage. For people who do want a more conventional lawn, here are some water-thrifty alternatives.
• Variable Climates
Western fescue (Festuca occidentalis), crested wheat grass (Agropyron cristatum).
• Hot Climates
Blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides).
By Alex Hutchinson
Published in Popular Mechanics Magazine – the September 2007 issue.
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