New Mexico is the land of enchantment. The blue- grass state is Kentucky. People love our sunny skies and low humidity; bluegrass does not. How much thirsty lawn is appropriate here? Kentucky bluegrass is a cool season grass that requires a minimum of 40 inches of rainfall a year to stay lush and green. Many cities in New Mexico average 8 inches or less precipi- tation annually. That’s why we have to water bluegrass so much here in the high desert.

If we’re going to be serious about saving water, we have to rethink our lawns. The greatest value of cool season turf is its resilience as a play surface. Com- munities maintain public parks and playing fields with taxpayer dollars, and these cool amenities serve the citizens well. Homeowners generally don’t need a soccer field of turf in their backyards, and no one needs a huge expanse of water-guzzling turf in their front yard where its main use is outdoor carpeting.

There are hundreds of plants recommended for their medium and low water use in this guide including native grasses that can create a lush-looking green cover or gorgeous tapestry of color with less than half the water it takes to maintain a lawn.