If you are looking to establish a healthy lawn in South Dakota, you will likely have the most success by planting a cool-season grass. Such grasses are tolerant of the cold temperatures experienced in that part of the United States. Finding a grass seed or seed blend that is resistant to drought as well as cold will give you the best chance of having a healthy and thriving lawn.
A variety of fescue seeds fall under the heading of fine fescues. These include red, sheep and hard fescue. All of these seeds are tolerant to both cold and drought, with sheep fescue being the most hardy. Fescue is a low-maintenance grass that should be mowed to approximately 2 inches in height. It grows well in most soil conditions in South Dakota.
Kentucky bluegrass is one of the most commonly used grass seeds in the Midwest due to its resistance to cold and its quick establishment. Although it goes into a dormant state when conditions are dry, it will quickly return to a healthy green color once it is watered. Ryegrass and fescue are good varieties to blend with Kentucky bluegrass.
Buffalograss is a warm-season grass that grows well in South Dakota. Unlike most of the seed varieties commonly used in the United States, buffalograss is native to the Plains region. Because it is a warm-season grass, the growing season for this variety will be shorter in South Dakota than in warmer climates. This makes it a less common choice for some homeowners. Other homeowners may feel that planting a native grass is worth the longer dormancy periods. If you are looking for a low-maintenance grass, buffalograss is a slow-growing variety that rarely exceeds 6 inches if it is not mowed.