The Q&A Archives: Growing grass in red clay hard soil?

Question: I live in Waxhaw, NC (Union County). I just purchased a home and the yard is horrible. I have a mixture of hard dirt/red clay. We have water restrictions to once a week. What type of grass should I try to reestablish? I need a grass that works with sun, Shade, and the water restrictions.

Of course, I am greedy. I want it all. Plush, green, beautiful. Is this going to be possible.

What do I need to do from scratch to finish?


Answer: You may be asking a lot of any turfgrass you plant! Bermuda grass is drought tolerant once established and it may work for you. My first suggestion is that you keep the turfgrass area small and confined to the sunniest spots in your yard, then landscape around your small grassy area with plants that are drought tolerant. North Carolina State University has a terrific publication devoted to drought tolerant landscapes and it describes how to prepare your soil for both grass and flowers. Here's the web address:

You can print this publication for future use.

Best wishes with your landscape!

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