sixtyandme logo
We are community supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more

The Best Grass for Low-Maintenance Lawns

By Kevin Jefferson January 25, 2022 Lifestyle

Although many older adults don’t mind taking care of their lawns, it’s always nice to consider your options, especially if you’re looking to lower your costs. Your best step would be to invest in a nice, low-maintenance grass that you don’t have to mow that often. Ideally, you wouldn’t have to fire up the lawn mower at all.

Here are some of the best types of grass for low-maintenance lawns.

Some Things You Should Consider First

Before you start creating the lawn that looks nice but doesn’t need as much care, there are some things that you should consider.

Local Climate

If you live in the north, pick a cold climate type of grass. Conversely, if you live in the south, opt for a kind of grass that prospers in a warmer climate.


Next, consider how much sunlight your lawn gets during the year. Some types of grass only thrive in the shade, while others demand constant sunlight. If there is a mix of different conditions on your lot, you should most likely get a mixed blend.


The type of soil you have is the next thing to consider. If your soil is rich in clay, you should get the kind of grass with long and strong roots that can absorb as many nutrients from its surroundings as possible. On the other hand, sandy soil tends to drain much faster, so it needs a kind of grass that is more resistant to drought.

Water Frequency

Finally, consider how much rainfall there is in your area. Take this into consideration when picking the ideal low-maintenance lawn for your home. Of course, things are much easier if you have an irrigation system set up.

With that said, let’s consider some grass options.

Zoysia Japonica

Zoysia is a slow-growing type of grass that prefers a warmer climate. Even though it is highly drought-resistant, it will prosper in a more humid surrounding. It is naturally lush and dense.

This quality can be both a blessing and a curse – its density makes this kind of grass naturally weed-resistant. But this also means that it tends to gather in a small mound-like structure if left unattended.

However, the lumps won’t appear if there is a lot of foot traffic and if the lawn is subject to plenty of active use. Zoysia goes dormant during winter but returns in the spring with a nice full coat since it is one of the most cold-resistant types of grass meant for warmer climates.

Zoysia demands a lot of sunlight as it can get patchy in shady areas. However, when it comes to soil types, it can grow almost anywhere.

Buffalo Grass

This type of grass is ideal for you if you live in a hot and dry area. Buffalo grass needs a mere inch of water per month to survive.

If you do not mow your lawn, it can grow up to one foot tall with floral spikes. You can find this type of grass almost anywhere in the Great Plains since this is the kind of grass that is native to the US and Canada.

Buffalo grass prefers clay, but it can grow on almost any kind of soil.

St. Augustine Grass

Of all the different breeds presented in this article, St. Augustine grass is perhaps the most versatile.

This type of grass can withstand both drought and partial sunlight, making it suitable for warmer climates where there is not too much sunlight. It can also resist the salty rainfall that is occurring near the seaside.

The one potential downside is that St. Augustine grass has been introduced only reasonably recently, so seeds can be hard to find. As a result, most people resort to planting sod or plugs.

St. Augustine grass doesn’t care about pH value – it will grow just fine in acidic and alkaline soil. However, it will not prosper in waterlogged or compacted soil.

Tall Fescue

If you live in a cool climate that gets a few heat waves throughout the year, then tall fescue is the right choice for you.

This perennial has a firm root that penetrates deep into the ground, making it nearly indestructible once it gets set up. As a result, it handles heat and drought very well and doesn’t require much water.

Tall fescue will grow just fine in any soil type, but it will fully prosper if the ground is neutral or slightly acidic.

Red Fescue

Unlike its cousin mentioned above, the red fescue prefers moderate climates and shadier areas of the northeast.

Since it grows dense and lush, this is the perfect type of grass for those who do not want to use the lawnmower.

Its delicate leaves that look like needles make it an ideal choice for ornamental grass in gardens. It also works nicely as ground cover under shade trees or in orchards.

Red Fescue is a bit more demanding regarding the type of soil it needs. It will grow almost anywhere but plant it in a shady area and the rich and highly acidic ground to get the most of it.

Western Wheatgrass

Here is one more option for those who are not too fond of handling a lawnmower.

Truth be told, the western wheatgrass can grow to be two feet tall, but that rarely happens. More often than not, its growth stops at around the one-foot mark.

It handles many changes in climate, including such severe weather as floods or cold snaps and even summer heat or partial shade. However, these qualities make it a poor candidate for a more timid climate.

When it comes to the ground, this kind of grass adores well-drained soils.

Sheep Fescue

The final representative of this family on this list, sheep fescue, is its kin’s most heat resistant. This makes it a perfect candidate for places with climates that considerably fluctuate during the seasons.

It doesn’t require much water or fertilizer or even overall care. But it grows in clumps that make it less than the ideal walking surface. Despite that, it is the closest to “plant it and forget it” that you can get.

Sheep fescue even prefers poor and well-drained soil that is rich in minerals. It can even grow on shallow and gravelly soil.

Do you have a lawn? Who takes care of it? How much maintenance does it require? Are you looking for a low-maintenance grass? Which option would you go for based on your lot?

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The Author

Kevin has gone through an extensive home renovation with his son. He has both thoroughly enjoyed the process and dreaded every morning. He is now the proud owner of half his dream house (the other half has been waiting for spring). You can read more of Kevin’s work on

You Might Also Like