Bermuda Grass vs Tall Fescue Grass: How to Choose One for Your Lawn?
If you are a homeowner with a lawn, we are sure you desire a lawn that has a smooth, thick grass cover, and looks beautiful. This place can serve as an ideal spot to spend time with family, play around with pets, and be closer to nature. In order to achieve such a lawn, you can choose from a variety of grass varieties available out there.
Today’s post is about two of such varieties – Bermuda grass and tall fescue Grass. If you tend them properly, both of these different grass varieties look equally nice. However, if you have to choose among the two, there are various characteristics that you need to consider. This Bermuda Grass vs Tall Fescue Grass is about the same.
Let us get started and find out how to choose between these two grass varieties for a picturesque lawn!
Bermuda Grass vs Tall Fescue Grass: Advantages
If your internet searches are filled with queries like – “Which out of Bermuda grass vs tall fescue Grass grows quickly,” knowing the advantages of both the grass varieties is the first step. Knowing these will help you decide which out of these is the best suited for your lawn. Let us have a look at them:
Bermuda Grass Advantages
The advantages of choosing Bermuda grass for your lawn include the following:
- Bermuda grass is a widely adapted grass variety that you can choose for your lawn if you are looking for aggressive growth.
- It is tolerant to an array of growing sites, and can also grow in almost all kinds of soil.
- The grass has very few pest issues and needs moderate maintenance in order to achieve the best results.
- This high-performing and high-quality turfgrass is also heat and drought-tolerant.
Tall Fescue Grass Advantages
The advantages of choosing tall fescue grass for your lawn include the following:
- This grass variety is a great choice for shaded lawns and offers quick establishment.
- In comparison to other cool-season turfgrasses, this variety is more drought-tolerant due to its deep roots.
- The bunch-forming grass variety is not just shade-tolerant but can also handle heat and drought well.
- Tall fescue grass is also one of those lawn grass varieties that are resilient to wear and tear.
Looking at the advantages of the two, you can get a lot of answers reading the best choice for your lawn. For instance, if you are wondering “which Bermuda grass vs tall fescue Grass can grow in shade better,” the latter is the answer for you.
Comparing Bermuda Grass and Tall Fescue Grass
You can readily search for “Bermuda grass vs tall fescue grass Pictures,” and take a look at how the two grass varieties differ from one another physically. Generally, Bermuda has a coarse texture, a dark green rich color, and it can grow about two inches long. Tall fescue grass can grow an inch or two higher than this and has rich green wide leaf blades.
However, in order to choose one for your lawn, the physical characteristics are not the only thing you need to consider. There are many other factors you need to compare. Some of these are:
When it comes to the maintenance of both Bermuda grass and Tall Fescue grass, one factor is common among them. Both these varieties need adequate quantities of nitrogen in the soil to grow well. However, the timing for when you have to apply nitrogen fertilizer to the lawn varies for them. In the case of Bermuda grass, this needs to be done when the weather is warmer.
Preferably, if you want to produce maximum yield and are looking for a dense Bermuda lawn, do this between late spring to early fall. For Tall Fescue grass, on the other hand, you will have to apply this fertilizer during the cooler seasons. There are various other maintenance measures that you need to take. We will be talking about them later in the post.
Utility and Traffic Tolerance
The next factor you may need to consider is the foot and traffic tolerance of Bermuda grass and Tall Fescue grass. Both foot and traffic pressure can cause wear and tear when it comes to any grass variety. However, there are grasses that have a high tolerance to these and can help keep your lawn growing and maintained despite these.
Both Bermuda grass and Tall Fescue grass fall under this category. Let us talk about the former first. This grass kind has a high tolerance to wear and tear from both utility and traffic pressure. Due to this, it can easily recover. It makes the grass a perfect choice for high-traffic areas. That being said, you must know that it has a low tolerance to the shade that may come with high traffic.
Tall Fescue grass, on the other hand, has a high tolerance to shade. Also, its vast root network does not let foot traffic affect it much. However, when it comes to wear and tear due to heavy traffic, the grass may take longer to recover as compared to Bermuda. However, since it has a high tolerance to shade, you can mix it with other grasses for better traffic tolerance.
If you are looking for warm-season turfgrass, Bermuda grass is a perfect choice. It has C4 plant metabolism which means that it can thrive when the temperatures are between 75° F and 95° F. Then, during the fall, when the temperatures begin to fall, the growth of the grass slows down with it. Eventually, Bermuda stops its growth and becomes dormant to survive the winter.
Tall Fescue grass, on the other hand, is the best choice for you if you need cool-season turfgrass. This grass variety has a C3 plant metabolism which means that it can thrive when the temperatures are between 55° F and 75° F., Unlike the Bermuda grass, the growth of this one slows down when the temperatures are high during the summer months. Also, during this time, the grass is more susceptible to insect damage and diseases.
After the growing seasons of Bermuda grass and Tall Fescue grass, let us take a look at their drought tolerance. The former grass type is drought resistant. It can, therefore, survive even in environments that have high temperatures of up to 95 degrees. The grass may turn brown in case of prolonged drought. However, it will recover and turn green as soon as the conditions are favorable again. If you want to grow Bermuda grass on bare spots, click here.
For Tall Fescue grass, however, this is not true. This variety usually thins out after dry summer seasons. It may die if the drought is too long. Also, Fescue grass does not recover once the conditions are favorable again. Instead, you have to reseed the lawn during fall. This makes the grass variety best for those who want their lawn to thrive better in colder temperatures.
The next factor you should consider to choose between Bermuda grass and Tall Fescue grass is their use. Typically, Bermuda is an excellent and adaptable grass variety for professionals. Be it roadside projects and gardens, professional sports fields like gold and football, or even a small lawn at your home, it is suitable for all.
Alternatively, Tall Fescue grass is the best for rough areas on professional sports fields. Apart from it, the grass has limited sports field applications. The grass variety is also the best for shady sites where warm grasses cannot thrive well.
Bermuda Grass vs Tall Fescue Grass Maintenance and Care
If you are wondering which out of Bermuda grass or tall fescue grass will stay longer, the answer lies in how well you maintain your lawn. For it, let us take a look at the maintenance and care needed for both Bermuda grass and Tall Fescue grass. Have a look:
Maintenance and Care of Bermuda Grass
Here is how you can take care of your Bermuda grass and nurture it for optimal growth:
Mowing Bermuda Grass
- You need to use the correct type of mower to mow Bermuda carefully. Make sure to avoid the grass blades from becoming scalped and damaged.
- During the warmer months, mow Bermuda at a height of one to one-and-a-half inches.
- After the summer months are over, let Bermuda grow to a height of two inches. Do not mow Bermuda very frequently during the fall season.
- During the growing season, the grass can be cut extremely short if you need to spray it with weed killer. Within a few weeks, it will come back to green again. (The same is not true for Tall Fescue grass. It is not as resilient.)
Watering Bermuda Grass
- While Bermuda needs adequate water to thrive, you need not water it daily.
- For healthy Bermuda growth, you can water it once a week.
- Just make sure the amount of water is enough.
- The maximum depth you can use while watering Bermuda is six inches.
Your Bermuda grass can also get affected due to the presence of weeds, and click here to know the best weed killers for Bermuda Grass.
Aerating Bermuda Grass
- Aerate your Bermuda lawn in the season of optimal growth – the summer months.
- Also, make sure to trip down canopies that prevent the lawn from having direct sunlight throughout the day.
Maintenance and Care of Tall Fescue Grass
Here is how you can take care of your tall fescue grass and nurture it for optimal growth:
Mowing Fescue Grass
- Use the correct type of mower to mow your tall fescue grass regularly.
- You can mow the grass at a height of one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half inches.
- Make sure to do so on a regular basis to avoid the tall fescue grass from growing too tall.
Watering Fescue Grass
- Like Bermuda, you can also water tall fescue grass weekly but only for one to two inches or more.
- Also, make sure to carry out frequent and thorough watering during the hot summer months.
Aerating Fescue Grass
Unlike Bermuda, you do not have to aerate tall fescue during the summer months.
Instead, do so during September or October as the grass variety grows the most in the fall season.
Bermuda Grass vs Tall Fescue Grass: Can They Grow Together?
If you are wondering if Bermuda grass and tall fescue Grass can grow together, the answer is yes. You can mix Bermuda grass and tall fescue grass, especially if you live in areas with moderate to warm climates. A benefit of doing so is that your lawn will remain green throughout the year. It is because even when one grass type will become dormant for a season, the other will continue growing.
That being said, there may be an issue of Bermuda spreading into the tall fescue, especially where the edges of the lawn are not contained. You can easily solve this problem by mowing the tall fescue grass at a higher height. When you raise the mowing height, Bermuda in that area will be shaded, and will not grow further.
So, Which Will You Choose?
Depending on all the Bermuda grass vs tall fescue grass discussion in the post, here is which one you need to choose for your lawn:
- If you live in southern states where temperatures are high, choose Bermuda as it is more suited to warm climates.
- If you live in northern states that have cold weather, choose tall fescue as it is better suited to cold climates.
Apart from this, you can also consider other factors like shade, drought, height and color of the grass, etc. Whatever grass variety you choose, you will have to maintain it well if you want the grass to thrive and make your lawn look lush-green and beautiful.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
Which is better – Bermuda or Tall Fescue Grass?
If you are looking for grass varieties that are more suited to warm climates, Bermuda is better. However, if you need turfgrass for places that have cold weather, choose tall fescue as it is better suited to cold climates. On the other hand, Bermuda can tolerate drought better than tall rescue while the latter can survive in shade.
Can I mix Bermuda and Tall Fescue Grass?
Yes, you can mix Bermuda grass with tall fescue grass. However, do keep in mind that mixing the two grass varieties will require some preparation, especially during the latter days of summer.
Can Tall Fescue choke out Bermuda if grown together?
No, tall fescue will not choke out Bermuda grass in your lawn. In fact, growing them together will keep your lawn green throughout the year. It is because for the season one of them will be dormant, the other will continue to grow, and vice versa.
How to know if you have Bermuda or Tall Fescue on your lawn?
The physical appearance of both the grass varieties is different. In comparison to Bermuda grass blades, tall fescue has wider leaf blades. Also, they have no prominent central vein. Instead, there are equal-sized veins that run parallel on the fescue leaf.