Caring for your lawn and keeping it beautiful can be a challenge, especially in the Houston area, where the weather is hot and humid for much of the year. Not all grasses are well suited to the heat, and some are prone to withering and browning after only a few weeks in the hot Texas sun.

The key to success is starting with the right grass type (and a great landscaper, of course). Read on to find out what type of grass suits Houston’s climate and your needs.

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Choosing the Best Grass Types for Your Lawn

There are many factors involved in deciding what grass to use, including yard usage, climate, yard size, maintenance requirements, and landscaping features.

High-traffic lawns

If you entertain a lot, or if your family likes to play in the yard, choose a highly durable grass that can stand to be trampled on. Some grasses are hardier than others when it comes to foot traffic.

Low-maintenance lawns

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time watering, mowing, and fertilizing your lawn, choose a low-maintenance grass type. Some grass can go a while without mowing, and not all of us have time to spend a whole Saturday grooming the yard.

Ask your sod supplier or landscape pro about the recommended mowing height for the specific variety used in your yard and the grass type’s typical growth rate. 

Beautiful, pristine lawns

If you want your lawn to look like a golf course, you’ll probably have to hire a landscaping company to design, plant, and maintain your dream lawn. Luckily, Best Pick Reports has you covered. We’ve researched qualified landscape professionals in your area, and they’re just a call away.

Best Types of Grass for Houston’s Climate

Turf grasses fall into three main categories that indicate the climate they grow best in: warm-season, cold-season, and transition grasses. The types of grass best suited to Houston’s climate are warm-season grasses.

These are the three warm-season grasses that are most likely to thrive in your yard:

St. Augustine grass

Close-up image of bright green St. Augustine grass
  • St. Augustine grass has wide, coarse blades that are light to medium green.
  • This type is tolerant of shade, but does not do well in the cold or in high-traffic areas.
  • It is fairly drought tolerant, but not as tolerant as Bermuda or Zoysia grasses.
  • The best mowing height for this grass type is between two and four inches.

Bermuda grass

Close-up image of green Bermuda grass
  • Bermuda grass blades are dark green with a fine to medium texture.
  • This grass type tolerates heat and drought well, but does not grow well in the shade.
  • Bermuda can withstand and recover from high traffic very well.
  • The ideal mowing height for Bermuda grass ranges from half an inch to an inch and a half.

Zoysia grass

Close-up image of Zoysia japonica, a variety of Zoysia grass
  • Light to medium green in color, Zoysia grass ranges from fine to medium coarse textures.
  • Zoysia tolerates heat and drought well and can grow in partial shade.
  • This type of grass stands up well to heavy traffic, but it does grow back slowly if seriously thinned.
  • The recommended mowing height for Zoysia is half an inch to an inch and a half.

Alternatives to a Traditional Grass Lawn

If you’re not sold on the grass types described above, consider these alternatives to a traditional turf grass lawn:

Synthetic grass or turf

Synthetic grass, also known as turf, offers a beautiful lawn solution for homeowners looking for a very low-maintenance option. Synthetic grass is also a good solution for anyone who has a small yard and doesn’t want to invest in a mower or a lawn maintenance program.

It’s also great for kids and pets. You can trample all over it and then hose it down or even spray it with sanitizer to keep it clean. Nobody will be tracking mud or grass debris into the house anymore, either.

Consider the upfront costs of installing a turf lawn versus the money you would spend on landscaping and lawn maintenance costs. If you’ll be in your home for a while and really dislike spending money on lawn care, synthetic grass may be the solution for you.

Native plants

If you’re looking for a more natural or wild lawn look, consider using native plants for your yard as an alternative to a plain expanse of grass.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has a list of plants native to East Texas that would make lovely additions to any Houston yard.

Native ornamental grasses, flowers, shrubs, and trees attract local pollinators and birds to your yard and can cut down on your yard’s maintenance needs.

Additional Landscaping Considerations

Hardscapes

If you’re always walking across the lawn in a certain spot and trampling your grass, install a hardscaped path there. This way, you’ll avoid crushing your grass and reduce the square footage of grass you need to maintain.

A patio area also cuts down on lawn maintenance and provides a space for entertaining and relaxing. If you’re considering a major overhaul of your yard anyway, now might be the perfect time to create the outdoor space you’ve always dreamed of.

Softscapes

Softscaping with flowers, bushes, shrubs, and other plants besides grass adds colors, textures, and shapes to break up the monotony of a plain grass lawn. Undertaking a big project like replacing your grass would be a great opportunity to add softscape elements.

Choosing the right flowers can be a bit overwhelming due to the wide variety available, but a professional landscaper will help you pick plants that make your yard pop.

Caring for Your Houston Lawn

picture of red lawn mower on green grassCaring for your Houston yard depends on your grass type, yard size, and many other factors, including other softscaping elements like flowers and trees. Ask your landscaper how to properly care for each part of your lawn.

Watering your lawn

According to the US Climate Data website, Houston gets about 45 inches of rain a year spread over about 106 days. If you live in a city that gets rain for about a third of the days in a year, you may be wondering when and how much you should water. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension has you covered. Water My Yard is an online tool that helps you figure out how much and how often to water. 

Mowing your lawn

Mowing is an aspect of yard care that many homeowners dread. If you don’t hire a lawn maintenance company to take this task off your hands, make sure you know when to mow your lawn and how much to cut at once. Mowing can keep your yard looking fresh and promote healthy growth, but only if you’re doing it right.

Lawn drainage

A major factor in caring for your lawn that might be easy to forget about is drainage. Pooling water damages plants and creates the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Ask your landscaper about drainage solutions to keep your lawn from turning into a soggy swamp.

Hiring a Landscaping or Lawn Care Pro

landscape plan drawing with hardscape and softscape elementsHiring a landscaper can be a daunting task, but their expertise will ensure that your grass has a successful start. A professional landscaping company has the tools and experience to make your dreams a reality, and most importantly, they have the time and staff to install everything for you.

If your landscaper handles your lawn maintenance, too, then you’re made in the shade. If you want to handle lawn maintenance yourself, ask your landscaper to explain the maintenance needs of your grass type so you can keep their handiwork looking fresh and healthy.

Call a Best Pick landscaping professional today to get started on your brand-new lawn.

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