Keeping A Drought-Friendly Lawn

Father with three daughters playing outdoors.


You CAN have it all

You may have heard that you need to decide between having green outdoor spaces and doing your part to conserve water during this devastating drought. The truth is, having a lawn or garden has benefits for your health and wellbeing1 and reduces the temperatures around your home.It's possible to maintain your green spaces without wasting water while staying inside regulations.

Being water wise doesn't mean going scorched-earth.

Replacing your entire green space with gravel and dirt is an extreme measure that can have lasting impacts. Turf is excellent for preventing soil erosion, meaning it helps prevent runoff and potential flooding around your home.Grass has also been shown to have the potential to help mitigate climate change effects by trapping greenhouse gases.4

If you've looked into xeriscaping your yard as an option to help reduce your water usage, you've likely seen the desolate rock landscapes that are often passed off as environmentally-friendly. The truth is that xeriscaping is a landscaping technique that uses water-wise plants to create a beautiful, functional space. By definition, xeriscaping is "A landscaping method developed especially for arid and semiarid climates that utilize water-conserving techniques (such as the use of drought-tolerant plants, mulch, and efficient irrigation)." You'll notice it doesn't mention ripping out your turf.

While replacing grass with rocks and gravel can seem like an easy, environmentally-friendly way to reduce your water usage, a thoughtfully planned lawn and garden are better for the environment and can be maintained with minimal watering.   

How to get the best of both worlds:

  • Replace unused lawn with low-water plants.

    We've established that lawns certainly have a place in your yard, giving you recreational space and even providing environmental benefits compared to harsh rock landscaping. However, if you're only using a small portion of your lawn, replace the parts that aren't serving a purpose with trees, shrubs, and flowers that use less water than turf. Planting trees and other shade-providing plants can help keep the surface of your grassy areas cool, reducing the water needed and making the spaces more comfortable to spend time in.

  • Choose grass varieties that are drought tolerant.

    There are more turf grass varieties available than ever. Do some research on which variety provides the best benefits for you. You can also increase the drought tolerance of your chosen grass by cutting it to the ideal length for that variety and ensuring your soil is healthy.

  • Install drip irrigation where possible.

    Drip irrigation is one of the most water-efficient methods of keeping your plants hydrated. Drip systems deliver the water directly to the base of each plant, nearly eliminating evaporation between the pipe and the soil. It's an excellent option for vegetable gardens, shrubs, flowers, and even trees.
  • Use a smart watering device.

  • Most yards receive significantly more water than they need to keep them vibrant. Smart watering devices can become the eco-savvy guardians of your plants. They tap into local weather forecasts and delay watering when it rains. By taking into account your soil type, plant types and other variables, smart watering devices work with Mother Nature to give just the right amount of water to your yard—no more, no less. 

Here's how B-hyve® can help


1. "Spending time in the garden is positively associated with health and wellbeing: Results from a National Survey in England." Landscape and Urban Planning. 2020.

2. "Maryland Turfgrass Survey - 1996: An Economic Value Study" Institute of Applied Agriculture. University of Maryland. 1996.

3. "The Role of Turfgrasses in Environmental Protection and Their Benefits to Humans" Journal of Environmental Quality. 1994.

4."Turfgrass and Climate Change" Agronomy Journal. 2017.