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Old 06-28-2009, 09:00 AM
 
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I live in Austin where the summer is very hot and dry. What type of grass is best suitable for this weather? My lot is not shaded so it doesn't have to be shade-resistant. My goal is finding a type that doesn't take much watering - water bills are rather high in this region. I'd appreciate any help.
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:14 AM
 
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Bermuda is likely the most common grass in your area. Beware it is very high maintenance though.
You might also look at zoysia and buffalograss. There's also st augustine but that grass needs water.
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Old 06-28-2009, 01:21 PM
 
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Zoysia is good for sun. It needs watering to get the plugs started. After that it should be OK with occasional watering. It grows slow, but makes a nice thick carpet of grass.
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Old 06-28-2009, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Do they growe centipede there? It spreads like bermuda. Any new grass will need lots of water to get really established the first year.
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Old 06-30-2009, 07:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagbark Hickory View Post
Bermuda is likely the most common grass in your area. Beware it is very high maintenance though.
You might also look at zoysia and buffalograss. There's also st augustine but that grass needs water.
St Augustine is what I have now. I bought a house and the previous owner spent a lot of money to put down sods on 1/3 acre land. But the grass is dying because I can't keep up with watering demands. I live in water restricted area and I just can't water lawn of that size everyday, which is apparently what the new sods need. Much of the lawn has dried brown by now. Does that mean the grass is dead for good?

I like the idea of Bermuda grass growing everywhere but it seems to get so much negative reviews. What's wrong with grass that never dies? I don't mind mowing but I don't want to water everyday. Any thoughts? Thanks.
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Fly-over country.
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I would suggest some shade trees local to your area that are drought tolerant.

It may take a while, but you can pretty much eliminate the lawn (or much of it) in favor of trees.

Some seedling trees coupled with border trees/shrubs could grow from to a respectable height in 5 years or so and be an alternative to dumping water and nitrogen on the grass.
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:11 PM
 
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Everything Caution just said.

The goal should be eventual shade like established neighborhoods.
Lawn is the most misused feature of the landscape.
Unless you're having soccer matches in your backyard, you dont need that much turf.

I'm not suggesting bermuda. I'm merely saying it is likely the most popular.
I HATE it. :-)

Your underlying problem is watering restrictions. Bermuda is not a miracle grass it too needs water to look good. It may survive extended droughts once established but it does need water to some extent to remain green.

As for your St. Frankenstein grass.... it is not as drought tolerant and in long periods of hot dry weather it may go dormant and you may even lose some but that grass should fill in fairly quick once water returns. It's a creeping grass so it will self repair.
The nice thing about St. Frankenstein is that it isn't quite as high maintenance. It doesn't need to be mowed as frequently or as low as bermuda. IT doesn't need near as much fertilizer and many people with it are on an organic fertilizer program. And it's a native plant to the united states not an exotic pest plant. It still can get into your landscape beds and whatnot but it's not nearly as difficult to manage as bermuda and zoysia. The biggest problems with St Frankenstein aside from the irrigation bit is diseases and some pests like chinch bugs. But the diseases are probably more of an issue in humid climates where overwatering and damp muggy nights contribute to that.

I'm not familiar with the climate of austin. If it's a dry climate with an extended warm period, I'd probably go for buffalograss, personally.
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Old 07-04-2009, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Bradenton, Florida
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The oddest lawn I've ever seen contained NO grass. The whole yard was covered in crushed stone.
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Old 07-05-2009, 09:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TKramar View Post
The oddest lawn I've ever seen contained NO grass. The whole yard was covered in crushed stone.
That may seem unusual in Florida but in places in the southwest like Tucson, AZ, grass is the exception rather than the rule. Very few homes have turf.

And many homes in Europe and the UK don't have lawns either. People basically have a driveway for a front yard.

And even here in Georgia, where some people have wooded lots and their yards are too shady for turf they will often just have pinestraw, mulch or tree litter as a ground cover.

It is possible to live without a lawn people.
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Old 07-05-2009, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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It has been my experience as a seasoned landscape designer that beginners and new home buyers are the ones who insist on lots of grass. Kinda like a status symbol or else a mind set that good green grass equals "ARRIVAL". I always used to lean my clients towards putting their money in good specimen trees and large "beds" which they could either plant perennials or shrubs or just put down mulch like the pine straw so abundant and affordable in the Atlanta area.
Here in NC I don't see much pine straw at all as it is very costly. Hardwood mulch seems to be the preferred mulch. People---please don't put down white rocks for mulch. You will still have to use gallons of roundup, it is very unattractive, not at all natural and is a bear to remove (rock by rock) if you ever change your mind.
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