What Kind of Grass to Plant?

“I just bought a house in Tucson, Arizona. The previous owners had a southwest lawn that was all gravel. I want to replace it with grass. What type of grass seed should I get for a lawn that will get really hot during the summer?”

Hi Susan,

Congratulations on your new house! I have some good news for you. There are several grass seeds that can withstand our hot Arizona summers – Palmetto St. Augustine, Bermuda grass, Zoysia grass, and Buffalo grass.

Palmetto St. Augustine grass is a hardy bright green semi-dwarf grass that thrives in hot, full sunlight desert areas, and is an excellent choice for Phoenix residences. It has a dense root system and is resistant to chinch bugs. Perhaps best of all, it withstands drought conditions better than all other varieties of St. Augustine grass. It will grow robustly during hot weather.

Bermuda grass is chosen by many Arizonans to grow in both Spring and Summer and then overseed in Mid-October with a rye grass. Rye grass will keep your lawn green from late Fall through the Winter season, then die out in mid-April when your Bermuda grass will spring back to life.

Zoysia grass has a fine texture, and strong, rigid stems and leaves. It is drought and heat tolerant and will grow well in the hot Summer months. This low-maintenance turf grass can be established either through seeds or vegetative parts. The major disadvantage of growing Zoysia grass is that it is a slow growth turf grass and has a very long dormant season that can make it difficult to establish.

Buffalo grass is a native warm season grass that is related to Bermuda grass. In Arizona, it has been known to go for two weeks without water, if you have good soil moisture. This grass holds its color and takes a longer time to wilt than Bermuda grass, and the seeds are generally more expensive.

Thanks very much to Mark Hall from https://www.yardcaregurus.com/

for his help in answering this question.