Grass is the most prolific plant on the planet. There are a ton of types to choose from, and selecting the wrong type can leave your grass brown and make it very hard to manage. On the other hand, choose the right type for your climate, usage, and maintenance needs, and you’ll have a lawn that hardly needs any inputs. In Southern California, choosing the right grass can be especially painful because it needs to be able to handle full sun and drought conditions. So we thought we’d help you out and tell you about our favorites. Here are the four best kinds of grass for Southern California.
1. Zoysia Grass
Zoysia grass is the perfect place to start looking for a grass if you’re in Southern California because it is the most heat-tolerant of all grass species. It will do remarkably well in fun sun and dry conditions. However, Zoysia grass does have some downsides. It has very slow growth, which is why it thrives in such intense sun, but that means it cannot take a lot of traffic. It is not an ideal grass for a soccer field or even for a backyard where you expect to be entertaining every weekend. If you have pets or kids, Zoysia grass may not be able to handle them either.
However, for lawns that won’t see much traffic, Zoysia grass is perfect. It’s dark green, or medium texture, and can be cut very low, which minimizes how often you need to mow it.
Zoysia grass varieties you might be interested in include:
- Zoysia matrella
- Emerald Zoysia
- Zoysia japanonica
2. Bahia Grass
If your lawn has full sun, poor soil, and is constantly in drought conditions, Bahia grass may be best for you. It creates very deep roots, which gives it access to water and nutrients that other grass varieties can’t reach. It can also prevent erosion, making it even more valuable on the coast.
Bahia grass varieties that might be useful for you include:
- Pensacola Bahia
- Common Bahia
3. Bermuda Grass
Bermuda grasses perform well in drought and full-sun. Unlike the other grasses on this list, there’s a Bermuda variety well-suited to your soil, no matter what kind of soil it is. Some will perform best with regular fertilizer; others actually prefer poor soil. Plus, many Bermuda grass varieties can handle a ton of foot traffic without dying out, which makes them very useful for those who love to use their green spaces.
Here are some of the most useful Bermuda grass varieties:
- Common Bermuda
- Grimes EXP
4. St. Augustine
Salt, like the salt in the ocean air, is a challenge for plants that didn’t evolve to handle it. While grass is not native to directly coastal regions, the St. Augustine variety can handle the salt air much better than most. Plus, it’s an attractive blue-green color and grows it leaves thickly, making for a great texture for your lawn.
St. Augustine is also used in part-shade conditions, as it thrives in the shade better than most other warm-season grasses. However, it cannot take heavy traffic. It’s not the best grass for a public park, but it will perform well on a lawn.