Save Water - Plant Drought-Resistant Grass
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Green lawns are beautiful. But they come at a price: Water--lots of water. According to a NASA-funded study on lawns the U.S. has about 50,000 square miles (that's about the size of New York state) of lawns. To keep all these lawns well watered it takes about 200 gallons of water per person, per day. A separate study by the EPA found that almost one-third of all residential water use goes toward watering grass and other yard landscaping plants. The solution? You can pull up the grass altogether as some residents of California are doing (see Treehugger.com article about the "go dry" movement in California). Or you can plant drought-resistant types of grass, which require less water and stay green during those hot, dry summer months: Bermuda Grass Great for sunny areas--but keep in mind it grows fast and needs a lot of mowing. Most Bermuda grass varieties are drought-tolerant. This type of grass grows best in the southern portion of the U.S. Bahia Grass A perfect choice for poor soils. Plant in full sun. This is a coarse grass, but covers well. Buffalo Grass Plant in full sun, but beware that it doesn't hold up well to heavy traffic. It's a slow-growth grass that is considered "warm season" but does tolerate cold. It is native to the Midwest prairie. Fescues The choice for northern climates. All varieties require little water so they are ideal when it comes to lawn care . St. Augustine Grass The most drought-tolerant variety of St. Augustine grass is Floratam, which does not like full sun. Plant in partial shade. Zoysia Grass For sun or shade. Slow growing and tolerates high traffic. Best varieties for dry weather: El Toro, Empire, Jamur, and Palisades.