What is the Best Grass for Lawns in Lubbock?

grassy lawn in front of a house in lubbock

In the heart of the South Plains, homeowners often wonder what is the best grass for Lubbock, Texas. Bermudagrass stands out among the top contenders. 

This isn’t just about having the greenest lawn on the block; it’s a quest for resilience, water efficiency, and beauty that withstands the Hub City’s unique climate. Lubbock’s conditions are challenging, with its windy, dry atmosphere and frequent dust storms that can make lawn care a challenge.

From the searing heat of summer to unexpected cold snaps, the right choice in turf can transform your outdoor space into an inviting oasis year-round. So, let’s delve into the characteristics of each grass type that have proven to be suitable for Lubbock’s tough environment.

Best Grass Types for Lubbock, TX

Bermudagrass

closeup of Bermuda Grass
Bermudagrass
Photo Credit: Matt Lavin / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Bermudagrass is the most popular grass in Lubbock, and it’s easy to see why. This tough-as-nails grass thrives under the relentless Texas sun, demanding little water and standing up to the heat with ease. Bermudagrass can also handle the wear and tear of busy yards.

One of the best things about this grass is its love for sunlight. In a city like Lubbock, where sunny days are more common than not, this grass finds its perfect match. However, Bermuda is not ideal if you have lots of trees casting shade in your yard, and you may need to remove the dust from it from time to time..

  • Classification: Warm-season grass
  • Spreads by: Stolons and rhizomes
  • Shade tolerance: Low; thrives in full sun
  • Drought tolerance: High 
  • Foot traffic tolerance: High 
  • Maintenance needs: Needs frequent mowing due to fast growth rate; develops thatch easily; needs regular fertilization (check out our guide on When to Fertilize Lawns in Texas).
  • Mowing height: Set the mowing height between 0.5 and 1.5 inches for hybrid Bermudagrass cultivars. Mow common Bermudagrass down to 1.5 to 2.5 inches.
  • Potential for disease: Good resistance to disease, although diseases are common; low resistance to insects
  • Soil pH: 6-6.5
  • Soil type: Tolerates most soil types
  • Other notes: This grass can be invasive, so check out our guide on How to Keep Bermudagrass Out of Flower Beds.

Grass Seed Options:

Scotts Turf Builder Bermudagrass (10-lb. bag)
Hancock Seed Co. Bermudagrass (50-lb. bag)

Buffalograss

closeup of buffalo grass
Buffalograss
Photo Credit: Titus Tscharntke / Pixnio / CC0

Buffalograss is one of the lowest-maintenance grasses in Texas. Native to the North American prairies, this grass is no stranger to the Texas heat, thriving even under the blazing sun. Another advantage of buffalograss is that it is a water-wise grass option for Lubbock since it needs very little irrigation once established.

However, this grass doesn’t quite stand up to the hustle and bustle of high foot traffic. If your yard is a frequent playground for your kids, the grass might show signs of wear and tear more quickly. Additionally, weed control will be more common than with other grass types (check out our guide on Weed Control in Lubbock for more information).

  • Classification: Warm-season grass
  • Spreads by: Stolons
  • Shade tolerance: Low
  • Drought tolerance: High 
  • Foot traffic tolerance: Low 
  • Maintenance needs: Low fertilizer and mowing needs. Requires weed control. 
  • Mowing height: Set the mowing height between 2 and 3 inches.
  • Potential for disease: Good tolerance against diseases and insects
  • Soil pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Soil type: Native clay soils, not sandy soils
  • Other notes: Buffalograss needs a lot of water to establish. It becomes water-wise once established.

Grass Seed Options:

Everwilde Farms Buffalograss Seeds (1 lb. of seeds)
Buffalograss seed (primed) (5-lb. bag)

Zoysiagrass

close-up of zoysiagrass
Zoysiagrass
Photo Credit: Forest & Kim Starr / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0 US

Zoysiagrass is like a jewel for Lubbock lawns, bringing beauty and durability with its emerald green hue and dense turf. Unlike Bermuda and buffalograss, Zoysiagrass has the added bonus of having more shade tolerance, making it a great option for yards that receive a mix of sun and shade throughout the day.

However, maintaining a Zoysia lawn comes with its own set of tasks. One notable aspect is the tendency to develop a thatch layer that can stifle healthy growth if left unchecked. In addition, this grass has a slow growth rate, which means that recovery from damage will take longer.

  • Classification: Warm-season grass
  • Spreads by: Stolons and rhizomes
  • Shade tolerance: Moderate
  • Drought tolerance: Moderate to High
  • Foot traffic tolerance: High, but recovers slowly from damage
  • Maintenance needs: Low nitrogen fertilization requirements, although it’s prone to thatch build-up. 
  • Mowing height: Set mowing height between 1 and 2 inches.
  • Potential for disease: Good disease tolerance overall
  • Soil pH: 6-6.5
  • Soil type: Well-draining, some cultivars are more tolerant of a wide range of soils than others
  • Other notes: Varieties like Palisades, JaMur, Crowne, Shadow Turf, and Empire are improved Zoysia sods that are bred specifically for home lawns.

Grass Plug and Seed Options:

Zoysia Plugs (50 Large Grass Plugs)
EZPlug Zoysia Plugs (50 Full & Lush Grass Plugs)
Zoysia Plugs (100 Plugs)
Zenith Zoysia Grass Seeds (1/8 lb. of seeds)

Tall Fescue

person touching tall fescue grass
Tall Fescue
Photo Credit: Aaron J. Patton, Ph.D. / Turfgrass Extension Specialist at Purdue University

Tall fescue stands out in the Lubbock landscape as a cool-season grass, unlike the other grass types in this list, which are warm-season grasses. This grass thrives in the cooler temperatures of spring and fall while taking a step back to go dormant in the intense summer heat.

For homeowners who appreciate the resilience of Bermuda but have areas that are less sun-drenched, tall fescue provides an excellent complement, which is why it is often found in seed mixes with Bermuda in the region. However, during the hot months, this grass may require additional watering to stay healthy.

Tall fescue is also used in seed mixes with other cool-season grasses, specifically Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass. These mixes offer a robust blend that enhances fescue’s aesthetic appeal. 

  • Classification: Cool-season grass
  • Spreads by: Produces short rhizomes but has a bunch-type growth habit
  • Shade tolerance: Moderate
  • Drought tolerance: Moderate to High
  • Foot traffic tolerance: Moderate
  • Maintenance needs: Frequent mowing. Does not produce significant thatch. 
  • Mowing height: Set the mowing height to 2 inches when the grass reaches 3 inches tall.
  • Potential for disease: Tolerant of most diseases when properly maintained. 
  • Soil pH: 5.5-6.5
  • Soil type: Adapted to a wide range of soil conditions, but prefers fertile clay soils with good drainage. 
  • Other notes: This grass has a slower recovery rate, so it might take a while to bounce back from damage. Overseeding is usually needed.

Grass Seed Options:

Triple-Play Tall Fescue Grass Seed Blend (5000 sq ft)
Eretz Kentucky 31 K31 Tall Fescue Grass Seed (choose your size)
Pennington The Rebels Tall Fescue Grass Seed Mix (7 lb.)

How to Choose the Best Grass Type for Your Lubbock Lawn

Choosing the right grass for your Lubbock lawn is about balancing the local climate’s demands with your personal lifestyle and preferences. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing the best grass for your Texas lawn:

Shade Tolerance

If your yard features pergolas, awnings, or is dotted with numerous trees, these elements will create shaded areas where some grasses won’t thrive. Choose grass types that can withstand the level of shade in your yard.

  • Low shade tolerance: Bermudagrass, buffalograss
  • Moderate shade tolerance: Zoysiagrass, tall fescue

Foot Traffic Tolerance

Define how you plan to use your lawn. If your lawn is primarily for aesthetic purposes, then delicate grass types with lower traffic tolerance will suffice. However, if your yard is going to be a hub of activity, where pets play, children run around, or where you frequently entertain guests, opt for a more resilient turf.

  • Low traffic tolerance: Buffalograss
  • Moderate traffic tolerance: Tall fescue
  • High traffic tolerance: Bermudagrass, Zoysiagrass

Maintenance Needs

The maintenance requirements of each grass type should align with your gardening expertise and the time you’re willing to spend in lawn care. If you lack a green thumb, go for a low-maintenance option. But, if you find lawn maintenance therapeutic and don’t mind dedicating time to it, opt for a grass type that demands more attention.

But remember, efficient watering will always be essential for Lubbock’s lawns. The city’s dry climate, which receives little rain, means you’ll have to apply water deeply and infrequently to keep your grass healthy.

Additionally, Lubbock’s dust storms often leave a layer of dust that can smother grass blades and block sunlight, hindering growth. After these storms, or whenever necessary, you may need to use a leaf blower to clear away the dust from your lawn, regardless of your grass type’s maintenance needs.

  • Low maintenance needs: Buffalograss
  • Moderate maintenance needs: Zoysiagrass, tall fescue
  • High maintenance needs: Bermudagrass

When to Call a Pro

Whether you lean towards the sun-loving Bermudagrass, the low-maintenance buffalograss, the shade-friendly Zoysia, or the cool-season tall fescue, each grass type offers benefits and challenges. However, maintaining a beautiful lawn requires more than just selecting the right grass type; it involves ongoing care and attention.

If the thought of dedicating weekends to lawn maintenance seems daunting, or if you’d rather spend your free time enjoying your backyard oasis rather than tending to it, consider calling a lawn care pro near you. After all, in Buddy Holly’s city, your time might be better spent enjoying the tunes rather than caring for your lawn.

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Main Image Credit: Warren and Myrta Bacon House / Michael Barera / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Maria Isabela Reis

Maria Isabela Reis

Maria Isabela Reis is a writer, psychologist, and plant enthusiast. She is currently doing a PhD in Social Psychology and can't help but play with every dog she sees walking down the street.