Document Type


Publication Date



home lawns, drought stress

Extension Number

ExEx 6036


Although cool-season turfgrasses in South Dakota typically suffer from summer stress during July and August, many lawns in the state experience stress earlier than normal during drought. You can make cultural modifications in lawn management to reduce injury or loss of turf and to conserve water resources. The majority of South Dakota lawns are a composite of one or more cool-season turfgrasses plus a number of assorted plant species considered weeds. Although Kentucky bluegrass is generally the major component in turfgrass seed mixtures purchased by homeowners, perennial ryegrass and fineleaf fescues are often included. Fineleaf fescues, such as hard fescue, chewings fescue, creeping red fescue, and sheep fescue, typically tolerate moderate drought conditions fairly well. Perennial ryegrass drought tolerance tends to be relatively poorer. Several options are available that will reduce watering costs and conserve water resources.