The words grass and desert don't exactly go together, but attractive lawns can be grown in arid areas with the proper grass seed and maintenance. The grasses that usually do best in areas of the country such as Western Texas and Arizona are of the warm-weather variety. These grasses can also withstand high heat and periods of drought.
Buffalo grass is a common choice for lawns in desert areas. It is a warm-season grass that produces an attractive lawn with a bluish-green color. It received its name because it was the main source of food for the huge herds of buffalo that once inhabited the American plains. It is able to withstand long droughts and extreme hot temperatures. It spreads itself by surface runners and seed. It has a fine texture and requires little maintenance. Buffalo grass is one of the slower grasses to germinate, usually taking between two weeks and a month.
Bermuda grass is a common choice for desert areas because it can withstand droughts and tolerates salt. This warm-weather grass thrives in the full sun and builds thatch quickly. It requires regular mowing and does best when it receives water and fertilizer. It is a slow-germinating grass compared to some that can be planted from either seed or sprigs. In addition to lawns, it is a frequent choice for golf courses and sports fields. It is found in over 100 countries throughout the warmer areas of the world. Bermuda grass is durable and can withstand a lot of foot traffic.
Kentucky Bluegrass is cool-season grass that thrives in hot areas that receive full sun. It makes an eye-catching lawn because of its deep green color. It is good at repairing itself because of its ability to spread. Kentucky Bluegrass does require some maintenance such as water, fertilizer and reseeding. It usually take two to four weeks to germinate. It blends well when mixed with other grasses, is durable and withstands traffic. Once it takes root, it is good for covering hilly areas with slopes.
Zoysia is a hardy warm-weather grass that will thrive under the full desert sun. Its deep roots allow it to hold up during periods of drought because they draw water from below the ground surface. Zoysia can also withstand high temperatures and is considered durable. People who plant Zoysia should be aware it is quick to overtake other grasses in the area. A common choice in the southern areas of the country, Zoysia is among the first warm-season grasses to turn green in the spring. The various species of Zoysia range from blades with a fine texture to blades that are coarse and stiff. It is commonly used on athletic fields and golf courses.