In the Texas Panhandle, weather like wind, drought, and snow can take a toll on growing a lush lawn. Whether it’s the warm season or the cold season, choosing the correct grass type can be crucial in maintaining a healthy lawn year long. Below is a list of various kinds of grasses that can survive that West Texas climate!
For the warm season in the Panhandle, grasses like Bermudagrass, Zoysiagrass, and Buffalograss are adapted well to the climate. All of these grasses will require less maintenance like needing less water and being more heat tolerant than the cold season grasses. Warm-season grasses tend to thrive in the middle of summer and are best planted in mid-May.
This type of warm-season turfgrass maintains high heat and drought tolerance while also having a good cold and wear tolerance. Even with this, Bermudagrass needs at least seven hours of direct sunlight and has poor shade tolerance. For this grass type, there are two main types: common types and hybrid/vegetative. Generally, all common type grasses will require less maintenance.
Common type: Sahara, Sultan, Yukon, and Riviera
Hybrid/Vegetative: Tifway, Tifton 10, TifSport, Midiron, and Midlawn
If this grass is adequately maintained, it can produce one of the densest lush lawns you can achieve in the South. Zoysiagrass has excellent drought tolerance, good cold tolerance, good wear tolerance, and excellent shade tolerance. An older type of Zoysiagrass, Meyer, has an excellent cold tolerance but poor drought tolerance. The improved varieties like Crowne, Shadow Turf, and Empire have to be planted by plugs or sod.
Grasses: Palisades, Meyer, Crowne, Shadow Turf, Empire
This grass requires the least amount of fertilizer and water of all of the turf varieties. It is also a native grass and adapted to the Panhandle. Buffalograss has excellent drought and cold tolerance. However, it does have poor shade tolerance. Both seeded and vegetative type Buffalograss should be planted in late spring and early summer.
Seeded type: Topgun, Cody, Bison
Vegetative: Prairie, Density, Prestige, Turfallo
The cool-season grasses are less tolerant of heat and need more maintenance and water than the warm-season grasses. Cool-season grasses also grow best in the early fall months and late spring. These types of grasses are Tall Fescues, Kentucky Bluegrass, and Hybrid Bluegrass.
This cool-season grass can provide nearly year-round green lawns. Tall Fescue type grass can thicken during the fall season with nitrogen fertilizer. This type of grass has the best drought tolerance of all of the cool-season grasses as it can become deep-rooted in deep soil. Tall Fescues also have good shade tolerance and good cold tolerance. Around the fall time is the best time to plant Tall Fescue from seed or sod.
Grasses: Frontier, Millennium, Shenadoah, Jaquar 3, Rebel 4, Olympic
This grass can also provide a green lawn almost year-round in the Panhandle. Kentucky Bluegrass has fair drought tolerance, excellent cold tolerance, and fair shade tolerance. Kentucky Bluegrass also requires more water than Tall Fescue, specifically in the summer months. This type of grass is also best to seed in September.
Grasses: Triple Crown, Bristol, Glade, Nugget, Touchdown, Victa, Baron
This type of grass was created by crossing Kentucky Bluegrass and Texas Bluegrass. Texas Bluegrass is native to the west and southwest Texas and has good drought and heat tolerance. By combining these two types of grasses, Hybrid Bluegrass has improved drought tolerance and can provide a dark green lawn. At the moment, there is a limited amount of Hybrid Bluegrasses available.
Hybrid: Reveille, Thermal Blue, Dura Blue, Longhorn