Jim Schild and Gary Stone, Extension Educators, Scotts Bluff County
The single biggest use of water in the average western Nebraska household is irrigating the Kentucky bluegrass lawn.
But there are two alternative turfs that allow homeowners to manage water more efficiently: tall fescue, a cool-season grass, and buffalograss, a warm-season grass. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
Tall fescue can use more water than bluegrass, but its advantage is a deep, extensive root system, which can extend as deep as 2 ½ to 3 feet in western Nebraska soils. The effective rooting depth for Kentucky bluegrass is 6 to 8 inches.