Cutting the Lawn

Pink Muhly Grass

Constant mowing and fertilizing can make lawns a chore to maintain, and keeping your lawn looking green may get expensive. Some people have kept a lawn simply because they don’t know what else to do. There are plenty of options, including reducing the size of your lawn, choosing native grasses and other water-smart plants, or adding hardscape. 

Here are some alternative grasses that use less water and require less maintenance:

  • Deer grass grows to 4 feet tall with low to moderate water use.
  • Common blue fescue grows up to 1 foot with moderate water use.
  • Blue oat grass grows to 3 feet tall with moderate water use.
  • Purple three-awn grows up to 2 ½ feet tall with low water use.
  • Pink muhly grass (shown) grows to 3 feet tall with low to moderate water use.

If you still want to maintain a lawn, here are suggestions for making it more water efficient:

Replace cool-season turf with a warm-season variety, which uses about 20 percent less water. One variety to consider is seashore paspalum, which is used in many golf courses and stadiums in Southern California.

Reduce water waste and overspray by creating a 3- to 6-foot border with groundcover, perennials and succulents between your lawn and hardscape.

Michele Shumate, Water Conservation Specialist
San Diego County Water Authority

For more plant ideas, design tips and tools, visit, where you’ll find information on incentives to replace your lawn with a more efficient landscape. Qualifying residents with approved projects could receive up to $3,000 in rebates for plants and irrigation.  

Categories: Gardening