Colorado: Green Grass Is In


Barefoot Farms Inc. highly recommends that you plant these grasses on well prepared soil, being watered by an automatic lawn sprinkler system.


Native grass that is non-irrigated will take some time to establish and once established will be considered sparse when compared to irrigated turf stands.



Barefoot Farms Inc. offers many seed varieties and mixes for the many applications that exist along the front range. Here are a few of the conditions used when selecting your grass choice:

  • water availability and cost

  • water use intent (personal)

  • surface grade, such as slope

  • orientation (north, south, east, west)

  • prevailing winds

  • soil type and condition (compaction)

  • intended soil preparation

  • mowing frequency

  • turf use (heavy play, sports, pets)

About Turf Grass Choices

One must consider many factors when selecting a specific or variety to be used alone or how a selection might be used with others in a seed mix or blend.

Bunch or Sod

A sod forming grass will spread via stolons or rhizomes after initial seed establishment. A bunch grass is more lumpy and spreads very little from the initial seed establishment. Sod formers ‘heal’ themselves from dog scratching and divots caused from athletic activities and children playing. Clump grasses do not spread to recover from injury. Either type can be ‘overseeded’ to correct damage or thicken the original stand. In a good seed mix, a person might mix the two types considering other strong characteristics.

More Water/Less Water

Kentucky Bluegrass often receives a bad rap for being a water guzzler. The fact of the matter is that Bluegrass can be a pretty efficient water user if it is installed on a well prepared seed bed. Often times sod is laid right over ‘builders’ soil that is mostly clay and densely compacted. This results in a very shallow root system that often requires daily watering. When Kentucky Bluegrass enters into a drought situation, it typically goes dormant. This dormancy will be broken when adequate moisture returns. Even if they turf endures some loss, the restorative power of the rhizomes will typically allow re-establishment.
On the other hand, using tall fescue as an example, will endure the drought longer from the standpoint of appearance. Fescue grass develops a deep root system. At a point that the drought exhaust moisture levels to a greater depth the fescue might actually die or if growth does re-establish any damage will be un-reversible due to the bunch type characteristics. Here again a mix might be advantageous.

Warm Season/Cool Season

Buffalo Grass and Blue Grama Grass are the most common warm season grasses for our area. They green up later in the springtime and go dormant earlier in the fall. They are extremely hard, as they are the grasses that make up the high plains prairie. They require little additional watering to maintain an attractive turf. Bluegrass is certainly the most familiar cool season grass, greening up early and staying attractive well into the fall. The warm season grasses are often incorporated into seed mixes for the drought characteristics.