Ninety-degree weather is typical in Missouri during the summer, and during the height of summer, temperatures can soar as high as a hundred degrees. Besides that, the sweltering weather can stretch to October.
That being said, lawns can get exceptionally stressed during the hottest season of the year. Therefore, it’s important to pay closer attention to lawn care St. Peters, Missouri, professional gardeners advise.
Aside from lawn care, if you live in an arid area of the state and don’t get much rain throughout the year, it would help to consider replacing your turf with grass species that are more tolerant of the heat.
Heat and drought-tolerant grass can make lawn care so much easier for you, especially if you want a lush year-round appearance for your property’s landscaping. St. Charles, Missouri landscapers say drought-tolerant grass can thrive with very little maintenance. It doesn’t require much watering and fertilizing.
So, what are the drought-tolerant grass species to consider for a low-maintenance lawn? Rounded up below are five of them.
1. Bahia Grass
Bahia grass may not be the best-looking turf because its blades are rather coarse. However, when it grows thick and full, it somehow loses its rough appearance and looks like a soft green carpet.
This species of grass can stand heat impressively well. In fact, it is the recommended grass variety of areas where common turf options refuse to grow. Apart from being drought-tolerant, it is also tolerant of heavy foot traffic. Thus, if your family enjoys playing in the yard, this is the turf type that’s perfect for you.
2. Buffalo Grass
This particular species of grass is deemed the most resilient among all turf types and is tolerant enough for hot Missouri summers. Under the umbrella of buffalo grasses, choose sapphire and Matilda, palmetto, or Sir Walter because these are the most drought-tolerant buffalo grasses.
Buffalo grass can withstand the full sun, but it can likewise thrive in the shade. It is an easy option because, aside from not requiring too much care, it grows slower than other grass species, and it also looks better if allowed to grow to its full height.
However, buffalo grass doesn’t tolerate foot traffic well. Therefore, if you and your family like to hang out in your yard, it may be best to install a walkway.
3. Couch Grass
What you will love the most about couch grass is it’s an evergreen grass. This means couch grass maintains its healthy green hue for an extended period – even without regular watering because its roots grow deep.
Long, dry and hot summers will not be a problem for a lawn covered with couch grass. And if you feel like it’s not looking as healthy as you want it to, you only have to water it to revive its lush appearance quickly.
4. St. Augustine Grass
This specific turf type is the best performer on this list when it comes to drought tolerance, even if it’s a grass species that can grow well in full sun and shady areas. Plus, it’s tolerant of foot traffic.
St. Augustine grass, however, is high maintenance. It requires regular lawn care. Therefore, during the spring, make sure to spread a layer of a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium-rich tonic throughout your lawn and wet it down for full absorption. With proper pre-summer lawn care, this grass will look great and will keep weeds under control.
It’s essential also to mention that St. Augustine grass spreads quickly. Basically, this means that it can easily grow beyond your lawn and cover concrete areas. Thus, you will need to stay on top of lawn mowing and trimming the edges of your yard for that lovely manicured appearance.
5. Zoysia Grass
This popular lawn grass is a lot like couch grass. It is low maintenance and will keep its green and healthy appearance even in scorching weather conditions and limited water supply.
What’s more, Zoysia grass is known to recover quickly after a long cold season. So, come spring, you’ll see a lot of sprouts, and by summer, you can enjoy a lush, green lawn. This is all because of Zoysia’s underground runners that reach deep into the soil for moisture and nutrients.
It’s crucial to note that unlike St. Augustine, Zoysia is not an aggressive type of grass. Thus, it is so much easier to care for during the warm months. It doesn’t normally spread beyond where it’s planted, and it doesn’t grow too tall quickly.
So there you go, the best grass types for drought-tolerant lawns. To make them even more tolerant of the extreme conditions of summer, remember to allow them to grow tall — up to four inches high. Taller grass doesn’t get stressed easily, plus, it can keep the soil better insulated, as well as prevent the quick evaporation of water.
It’s worth noting, too, that if grass proves too challenging to cultivate during the hot and dry season, you can mix it up with a few alternatives. Here’s a short list of turf alternatives that are also drought tolerant.
Succulent lawn covers are quite popular these days, and they don’t require much watering and care. There are so many types to choose from, and they make for quite a pretty outdoor space.
However, covering your lawn with succulents means it will only be lovely to look at. You can’t play in the yard because the succulents are meaty or bulky and not walking-friendly at all.
Moss typically grows where there’s a lot of moisture, but there are species like the Syntrichia caninervis that thrive even in arid locations. Such types of moss are perfect to use for the bare spots on your lawn.
3. Creeping Jenny
This evergreen perennial plant with small heart-shaped leaves and yellow flowers is perfect for rock gardens because it spreads horizontally and vertically. It also doesn’t require much maintenance and is known to grow quite well where it’s quite sunny.
With all the turf species and alternatives discussed here, maintaining a beautiful outdoor space for your property will be a breeze even in the hottest summer.