New Mexico Grass Types

Looking for the optimal grass varieties for lawns in New Mexico? Below is a comparison table and accompanying data that will give you information about what grasses are best suited for New Mexico and its inner counties.

Note: Cold, heat, drought, and saturation tolerance are measured on a score of 0-5 with 0 being the least tolerant and 5 being the most.

Tall Fescue

Most suitable grass (on average)

Zoysia Grass

2nd most suitable (on average)

Kentucky Bluegrass

Great for areas with heavy rainfall

Buffalo Grass

Optimal for colder areas

Annual Ryegrass

5th most suitable (on average)

Bermuda Grass

Ideal for drought-prone areas

Lawn Visual
Seasonal Type Cool Warm Cool Warm Cool Warm
Cold Tolerance 4.0 2.5 4.0 3.5 4.0 1.0
Heat Tolerance 3.5 4.0 2.5 4.0 2.0 5.0
Drought Tolerance 3.5 3.5 3.0 5.0 2.5 4.5
Saturation Tolerance 3.0 2.0 3.0 2.0 4.0 1.0
USDA Zone(s) 5-8 6-13 1-7 5-9 1-7 8-13
Sun Exposure Mostly Sun, Deep Shade Full Sun, Partial Shade Mostly Sun, Partial Shade Full Sun, Deep Shade Mostly Sun, Deep Shade Full Sun, Light Shade
Moderate, Moderate Moderate, Moderate Moderate, Moderate Low, Slow Moderate, Rapid High, Rapid
Weekly, 1-1.5 inches Weekly, 1 inch Weekly, 1-1.5 inches Bi-weekly, 0.5 inches Weekly, 1-1.5 inches Weekly, 1-1.25 inches
Every 5-7 days, 2-3.5 inches Every 7-10 days, 0.5-1.5 inches Every 5-7 days, 2.5-3.5 inches Every 10-14 days, 2-3 inches Every 5-7 days, 1.5-2.5 inches Every 5-7 days, 0.5-1.5 inches
Soil Adaptable
pH: 5.5-7.5
Well-drained, Loamy
pH: 6.0-7.0
Well-drained, Loamy
pH: 6.0-7.0
Well-drained, Loamy to Sandy
pH: 6.0-7.5
pH: 5.5-7.5
Sandy, Well-drained
pH: 5.8-7.0
Texture Coarse Fine to Medium Fine to Medium Fine Fine Fine to Medium
Color Dark Green Light Green Rich Green Blue-Green Bright Green Dark Green

New Mexico Zones

The interactive map below shows the USDA plant hardiness zones specific to New Mexico. Each zone in the map represents a certain temperature range that is critical for plant survival and growth, divided based on the average annual minimum winter temperature. Click on the map to see the optimial grass types for each county.

Zone No. 5 6 7 8
Map Color
Lowest Avg. Winter Temperature -20° to -10°F -10° to 0°F 0° to 10°F 10° to 20°F

The chart and table below shows the average monthly precipitation and minimum/maximum temperatures in New Mexico over the last 5 years.

Month Min Temp (°F) Max Temp (°F) Prep (in)
Jan21.48 °F50.74 °F0.41"
Feb23.28 °F52.82 °F0.57"
Mar30.92 °F61.16 °F0.71"
Apr37.78 °F70.86 °F0.32"
May46.32 °F80.18 °F0.59"
Jun56.26 °F88.48 °F1.27"
Jul60.94 °F89.78 °F2.33"
Aug59.36 °F88.06 °F2.01"
Sep52.44 °F82.5 °F1.29"
Oct39.52 °F69.4 °F1.49"
Nov28.94 °F59.12 °F0.55"
Dec23.72 °F51.1 °F0.64"

The chart below shows the optimal months for seeding or sodding new grass in New Mexico. Suitability for each month is based on the average monthly temperature in New Mexico.

May, June, August and September are the most optimal months for planting cool-season grasses in New Mexico.

June and July are the most optimal months for planting warm-season grasses in New Mexico.

Grass Types by County in New Mexico

Below is a list of counties in New Mexico. Click on any county to get a more detailed analysis.

Data source and citation

Raw data for the grass characteristics was sourced from the USDA's PLANTS Database.

Data for climate zones in New Mexico was gathered from the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map as well as GIS datasets from the Oregon State University PRISM Climate Group.

Average monthly temperatures and precipitation data for New Mexico was sourced from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental information.

Please use the citation tool below to reference any information found on this page.

  • "New Mexico Grass Types". Accessed on July 20, 2024.

  • "New Mexico Grass Types"., Accessed July 20, 2024

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