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City of Hays, KS > Public Announcements > Environmental > Water Conservation2 > NewSeedLawn >

Benefits of converting your yard to a warm-season grass

Warm-season turf grasses like buffalo grass and bermudagrass offer many benefits over their cool-season counterparts. They are much more drought tolerant and require much less, and in some cases no, supplemental water to keep them lush and healthy. They also boast less mowing and fertilizer needs than cool-season turf grasses. Warm-season grasses thrive in full-sun. Areas of your yard that receive 8 or more hours of sunlight per day are perfect for a warm-season turfgrass.

Lawn Watering Permits

In accordance with state and local laws, outdoor watering is prohibited between the hours of 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. from June 1st to September 30th. The City of Hays enforces these laws within the City limits. A permit may be obtained at City Hall that, for a period of 10 days, will allow outdoor watering inside of the restricted hours for newly seeded, sodded, plugged, or sprigged lawns. Do note that establishing grass is a water-intensive project and you may reach the 2nd conversation tier of the City's water rate structure. Any usage in excess of 1,000 cubic feet over your January, February, and March average is subject to this rate. Also, it is unlawful for water to escape from your property.

For warm-season Buffalograss plantings:

Permit may be obtained for newly seeded, sodded, or plugged buffalograss lawns. If seeding, the permit requires pre-soaking seed methods. The K-State/Ellis County Research and Extension website has great information on this method and can be found here: http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/mf658.pdf. Permit may be obtained between June 1st and August 1st. A 10 day extension may be obtained if warranted by on-site inspection by City staff.

For warm-season Bermudagrass plantings:

Permit may be obtained for newly seeded, sodded, plugged or sprigged bermudagrass lawns between June 1st and August 1st. A 10 day extension may be obtained if warranted by an on-site inspection by City staff

For cool-season plantings:

Summer is not the proper time to seed cool-season lawns. Therefore, the City will only issue watering permits for newly seeded cool-season grass between Aug. 25th – Sept. 30th. Fall is the ideal time to lay cool-season sod. Spring sodding can be accomplished but should be completed before May 20th, therefore not requiring a permit. 

Rules for plantings at new construction:

Plantings at new construction must have 2 cubic yards of compost added and incorporated into the existing soil via mechanical means per 1,000 square feet of landscape installation or the permit is subject to revocation.

Posting Requirements:

Permitted party is required to post the permit in the front of their property for the duration of the permit. A weather-proof sign with the expiration date will be given by the Finance Office with the issuance of the permit.


There will be a $100 fee for cool-season permits. No fee for warm-season permits. Permit valid for the above-mentioned grass species only or your permit will be subject to revocation. You must specify the grass type you intend to plant when applying for the permit.



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Last Modified 05/18/15 


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