Much of Arizona’s landscape consists of dry, desert terrain where towards the center and southern parts of the state you will mostly find lawns with warm-season grasses well established.
However a good portion of Arizona, north of Phoenix, can be quite high in elevation creating cooler temperatures where many cool-season grasses are better suited.
Below are the most common grasses planted in Arizona. (Click on grasses for specific planting information).
Southern and Low Deserts: (Phoenix, Tucson, Yuma)
- St. Augustine Grass
- Perennial Rye Grass (very commonly used to over-seed bermuda during winter months)
- Seashore Paspalum (high maintenance grass, more appropriate for golf courses)
- Salt Grass (Extremely drought and salt tolerant, low maintenance turf)
- Tall Fescue (not common but under good maintenance will survive)
Northern Cooler Regions: (Flagstaff, Prescott)
Warm-Season Grasses like bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, and St. Augustine, are best established when planted in late spring to early summer. Bermuda grass is probably your most common warm-season grass found in Arizona. It’s incredibly heat, drought, traffic, and salt tolerant making it an excellent choice for most of the mid interior regions and just about all of southern Arizona’s lower deserts. Most warm-season grass will go dormant and turn brown in the fall but bermuda grass can be easily over-seeded in the fall with perennial rye grass producing a continuous green lawn throughout the winter.
Cool-Season Grasses will grow best in the northern cooler climates and mountainous areas of Arizona and should be planted between September 5th and October 10th. All varieties can be planted by themselves but are often planted in grass seed blends. For example, Kentucky bluegrassand perennial rye grass are both fine textured grasses and complement each other nicely producing an attractive turf grass surface. Tall fescue should never be blended with Kentucky bluegrass but Tall fescue is the most heat tolerant cool-season grass and can thrive in some of the warmer mid regions of Arizona if grown in a lawn with a water irrigation system.
Click on one of the grasses for planting details and then visit the Planting Grass Seed page for detailed instructions on how to correctly prepare your soil and plant your grass seed for your lawn.