Sod and Turf Types Ideal for Los Angeles, CA

April 25, 2024 ● Types of Sod

Chasing the dream of a perfect Los Angeles lawn? The sunny vibes come with a catch. L.A. can get very warm and is prone to drought, so picking the right sod is critical. 

Each type has its perks, from drought toughness to handling foot traffic. Plus, LA’s water rules mean thinking green’s not just an option, but a must.

So, what’s your best bet for a healthy lawn under the SoCal sun? Keep reading to find out.

Key Takeaways

  • Drought tolerance and water conservation are top priorities for Angelenos, leading to a shift towards warm-season turfs like Bermuda and St. Augustine grass for their low water needs and heat resistance.
  • Tall fescue and bluegrass blends are famous for their adaptability and aesthetics, which balance water usage with the visual appeal of lush, green lawns.
  • Warm-season grasses like Bermudagrass and Zoysia are favored for their drought resistance, low maintenance, and ability to thrive in full sun, making them suitable for Los Angeles’s climate.
  • Despite higher water demands, cool-season grasses, including tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass, are appreciated for their lush appearance during cooler months.

Understanding Los Angeles Climates

Situated in Southern California, Los Angeles experiences a Mediterranean climate, marked by:

  • Warm, Dry Summers: Extended periods of warmth with minimal rainfall, emphasizing the need for heat-resistant vegetation.
  • Mild, Wet Winters: Cooler months bring most of the year’s rainfall, providing much-needed hydration to the local ecosystem.

How Does This Impact Your Sod Choice?

The distinct weather patterns of the Mediterranean climate influence Los Angeles sod and turf selection in several key ways:

  • Drought Tolerance: A primary consideration is how well the grass can survive with limited water resources, making drought tolerance a highly sought-after trait.
  • Heat Resistance: The ability of the sod to maintain its vibrancy and health during the high temperatures is crucial.
  • Water Conservation: With an ever-present focus on conserving water, homeowners and landscapers prefer grasses that thrive on minimal irrigation.

Warm-Season Grasses

Los Angeles landscapes often benefit from warm-season grasses that are well-adapted to the region’s climate.

Here’s a list of the best grasses that thrive in full sun, tolerate heat, and can sustain heavy traffic.


bermuda grass

Bermudagrass is often chosen as the best sod for lawns, appreciated for its ability to withstand drought and heat.

Particularly in Los Angeles, where water conservation is essential, Bermudagrass is a practical turf option due to the following reasons:

  • Highly drought-resistant
  • Ideal for sports fields and golf courses
  • Endures heavy foot traffic
  • Low water requirements
  • Maintains a lush green color in full sun

St. Augustine Grass

st.augustine grass

St. Augustine Grass is known for its shade tolerance and lush dark green blades, perfect for residential applications in Los Angeles.

Its care requirements balance the extra water it needs and its lush appearance.

Watering Needs1-2 times per week
SunlightPerforms well in partial shade
Soil TypeAdaptable to most soils
MaintenanceRegular mowing and fertilization

Zoysia Grass


Zoysia Grass boasts excellent drought tolerance and disease resistance. It doesn’t require intensive care, making it a convenient option.

It also adapts well to various soil types in Los Angeles, making it versatile for your new lawn.

  • Durable in diverse soil conditions
  • Drought-tolerant, conserving water
  • Low fertilizer and maintenance needs
  • Resilient against heavy foot traffic
  • Retains a healthy, dark green appearance with minimal care


Buffalo Grass

Buffalograss shines as a native alternative. It thrives with minimal irrigation and offers a low-maintenance grass solution.

If you’re one of the Los Angeles homeowners seeking drought-tolerant grass, you may see it as an ecological and sustainable lawn option.

Watering NeedsEvery 2-4 weeks
SunlightDirect and frequent
Soil TypeAlkaline and clay soil types
MaintenanceLow maintenance

Cool-Season Grasses

In Los Angeles, cool-season grasses are appreciated for maintaining a lush appearance during the year’s cooler months.

Here is a list of green grasses that bring life to lawns with particular growing and care requirements.

Tall Fescue

tall fescue

Tall Fescue grass stands out for its dark green color, drought resistance, and adaptability.

It provides a year-round green look in residential areas with moderate water use.

Here’s how you can care for Tall Fescue:

  • Watering: Deep, infrequent watering to encourage root growth
  • Sunlight: Prefers full sun to partial shade
  • Soil: Adapts to a variety of soils but prefers well-drained types
  • Mowing: Maintain a height of 2-3 inches
  • Fertilization: Feed with a high-nitrogen fertilizer in the fall and spring

Kentucky Bluegrass


Kentucky Bluegrass is a favorite for its blue-green hue and fine texture that can enhance a lawn’s aesthetic.

It thrives in cooler conditions and has higher water demands than other cool-season grasses. Some of its benefits, care requirements, and lawn suitability include:

BenefitsCare RequirementsLawn Suitability
Aesthetic appealFrequent watering neededIdeal for open, sunny areas
Self-repairing capabilitiesRegular feeding with a balanced fertilizerNot suited for shaded or highly trafficked areas
Soft textureMowing to a height of 2.5 inchesBest in cooler climates



Ryegrass is an excellent choice for overseeding, which helps to ensure a green lawn year-round.

Ryegrass supports golf courses and lawns through the season changes because of its quick germination and fine texture.

Steps and care tips for a Ryegrass lawn:

  1. Choose a quality seed mix for the best results in overseeding.
  2. Aerate the lawn before seeding to ensure good seed-to-soil contact.
  3. Sow the seed evenly and lightly rake it into the soil.
  4. Keep the area moist to encourage germination.
  5. Once established, mow to a height of about 2 inches.

Specialized Grass Types and Alternatives

The diverse climate of Los Angeles demands options for the type of grass that balances luxury and sustainability.

As a result, specialized grass types and alternatives provide choices that range from golf course-worthy turfs to native, eco-friendly lawns.

Bentgrass and Tif Varieties

Bentgrass and Tif varieties, notably Tiftuf and Tifway, are favorites for their plush appearance and resilience.

Ideal for golf greens and high-end landscapes, these grasses require specific care. They thrive in well-drained soils and need a consistent watering schedule to maintain their lushness.

See below for a comparison:

TextureFine and softDense and fineMedium to coarse
Maintenance LevelHighModerateModerate
Water EfficiencyModerateHighModerate