I live in Tucson, AZ. Is there any kind of grass seed that will grow all
year long? I don't want a seasonal grass. Not sure though if it's possible
in this hot weather to keep grass alive even with frequent waterings. Any
suggestions? Thanks in advance.
Trying to grow a grass lawn and an English garden in the desert is a fool's
folly. It requires huge amounts of water and has been one of the major
reasons for water rationing and air pollution in that area.
My advice is to grow xerophytic and succulent plants far more suitable for
your area. Contact you local botanical gardens for which plants are best for
When my son relocated from the East Coast to Los Alamos, NM, he tried
valiantly to grow a lawn but he gave up - plus city water had to be
purchased from the Navajos, who had the water rights. Grow native plants.
And the entire climate of Arizona changes, like sand through the hour glass.
Anyway, no, there is no grass which will live all year. You do not have the
water to support any other than buffalo grass, which is beautiful in a xeric
landscape. No mowing, either.
Need a good, cheap, knowledge expanding present for a friend?
I second all of the above. I lived in Tempe for a while and it was
miserable trying to keep grass green. Go xeriscapic! You'll be a lot
happier meditating on the beauty of cacti vs brown lawn. :) Also, one
thing I found objectionable about living there was that everyone's
attempts to make their yards look like California and all the swiming
pools really contribute big time to the humidity problem in the city.
Along with the 100+ temps, that's HOT!
You might want to check out Southwest Plants in Santa Fe NM for some
ideas. They have a good selection of xeri plant and native grass
stock. Sorry I don't have their web address handy, but you can
probably find it easily by just typing their name into the search bar.
This reminds me of Nixon cranking up the air-conditioning so he could
enjoy a fire in the fireplace in summer.
1st suggestion: look into xeriscaping.
2nd suggestion: call a local golf course and see what they use. You
also might inquire about their water use/bill.
Yeah, that Nixon was one tricky dick.
Typical Republican logic.
Of course, he did that in the Whitehouse at tax payer's expense.
Nowadays, we have people driving gas guzzling SUVs in the middle of a
The irony is that Arizone was originally settled because it had enough grass
to support cattle - but overgrazing quickly depleted it and it could not
regenerate quickly enough on the average of 12 inches of rain a year that
the state gets. Of course, we're talking about native grasses - probably
bunch grass types -which most people would not think of planting in their
Southwestern Idaho is high desert land and supposedly had grass that
was between horse belly to back high until they pushed cattle and
sheep through that chewed the grass down to the roots and killed them.
Of course cheat grass moved in and native grasses are pretty much
gone, and we have range fires every 3 or 4 years that burns most of
the ground down to and sometimes beneath the perceived surface of the
soil and burns the crowns of any bunch grass.
Sadly there doesn't seem to be a lot of places being reseeded to bunch
grass. Some areas.. yeah, but not enough. There are going to be some
fires here this year due to a wet and cool summer growing conditions..
cheat grass got pretty tall.
lawns and go for Xeriscape. But there is really no need to get your plants
by mail order. Most local garden centers now have native and exotic desert
plants. Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum State Park near Superior AZ
and the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix each have two plant sales each
year (spring and fall) with great selections with many natives. Tucson
Botanical Gardens on Alvernon is smaller than the others but has a good
selection of what grows well in Tucson. Web sites:
(Arid plant list for Pima County)
As to your original question, most lawns are either common or hybrid
Bermudagrass oversown with ryegrass in the fall. There is no all-season
grass suitable for a lawn but some of the more vigorous Bermuda hybrids will
stay green later in the fall and green up a bit earlier in the spring. Most
landscapers get their grass from Western Sod Company
See: http://www.westernsod.com /
You can grow both annual and perennial winter rye grasses from seed. Hybrid
Bermuda needs to be sodded or plugged. Common Bermuda also grows from seed
but most cities now have ordinances (not enforced) against allowing common
Bermuda to go to seed (allergens). The biggest violators of these
ordinances are the cities. The golf courses (there are dozens in the Sun
Cities) use different varieties of grasses on the greens and fairways and
also change the sod several times each year. Their practices would not be
suitable for home owners.
Tucson is a pretty unsuitable place for keeping a lawn. There are many
attractive things you can do with xeriscaping.
But if you must have a lawn, here's a whole chapter from the UA Ag.
Extension's "Arizona Master Gardener" on lawn grasses that grow fairly
well around Tucson:
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