Turf wars: Which grass is best for the Texas summer?

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by JASON WHEELER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwheelertv

WFAA

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 11:03 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 28 at 11:37 PM

DALLAS -- You want the perfect turf; the kind that makes your neighbors green with envy.

The problem is, "We have a shortage of water resources in Texas," said Patrick Dickinson, who coordinates the urban water program at Texas A&M Agrilife Research Center in North Dallas.

The center includes a model home that shows environmentally-friendly landscaping ideas. Just as they recommend you do, they ripped out two-thirds of the grass at the model home and replaced it with less thirsty alternatives.

"More natives and plants that are blooming," Dickinson said.

And where there is grass, you won’t find a single blade of St. Augustine.

"St. Augustine has a reputation as a water hog, and it is," Dickinson said.

In fact, he said in the summer, St. Augustine drinks more than double what Zoysia or Bermuda grass varieties do. Buffalo grass drinks even less than those varieties.

Homeowner David Wysinger is re-sodding with Bermuda.

“It's Texas, and it's going to get hot," said homeowner David Wysinger.

He's resodding with Bermuda, but he admits, he thought about St. Augustine.

"I considered it," he said. "My parents have St. Augustine. But it's high-maintenance.”

Wysinger’s lawn has suffered through the drought in recent years. "Bald spots and dead areas," he said. And he was limited in what he could do about it. Because of strict watering restrictions, he quit trying.

Wysinger hopes this year he can abide by strict water restrictions, and that somehow his new grass will be greener on the other side of the next few months.

Tip: Experts say if you don’t have a sprinkler or rainwater measuring device, you can put an empty tuna can in your yard when you water.  When it fills up, they say that is as much water as your lawn should use in an entire week.

E-mail jwheeler@wfaa.com

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