Bermuda Grass Vs Fescue: Which Makes A More Stunning Lawn?

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If you plan to grow a grassy lawn, you’ll undoubtedly read a lot about Bermuda grass vs Fescue. Both are popular for well-traveled places.

The main differences between these two species are their appearance and growing conditions. You cannot apply the same caring methods for both.

The side-by-side comparison we share right here will reveal more facts about the grasses. Let’s read through and select what is better for your lawn!

What Is Bermuda Grass?

Bermuda grass varieties grow all over the world in subtropical and tropical climates.

It’s a warm-season grass, which develops at the same temperature every year and is most energetic in spring and summer.

This species thrives in areas with plenty of direct sunshine and proper drainage. It can endure salt, heat, and humidity in extremes.

These warm-season species thrive in spring and summer - Bermuda Grass Vs Fescue

These warm-season species thrive in spring and summer – Bermuda grass

What Is Fescue?

Fescue or Tall fescue lawns can withstand lower temperatures and is more straightforward to seed than other grasses, and it is famous for its roots. Yet, its growth necessitates specific attention.

Fescue or Tall fescue grass is available in a variety of colors and patterns to help you achieve a desirable look for your lawn.

This species prefers cool climates - Bermuda Grass Vs Fescue

Tall fescue grass – cool season grass prefers cool climates

Differences Between Bermuda Grass Vs Fescue

Although both belong to the turfgrass family, they differ in appearance, growing conditions, and caring requirements.

Appearance

You can identify the grass by checking its coarse texture. It’s also famous for its above-ground root system.

There are some tiny hairs. You can find them where the leaf sheath and leaf blade meet.

Another distinguishing characteristic of this species is the seed head, which looks like the bird’s foot.

On the other hand, the large leaf blades and equal-sized veins help distinguish the Tall fescue grass.

There isn’t a distinct midrib on it. And when unmowed, it develops a panicle-form seed head with six to eight seeds.

Propagation

Fresh shoots grow from buds all along the rhizome’s surface when they identify more air and light within the dirt.

Those shoots continue the development of the Bermuda grass and may also yield stolons for further reproduction.

You may take those rhizomes out of the soil and reproduce the grass in another area if needed.

Meanwhile, Fescue is a bunch-type species instead of grasses with horizontal stems. It grows mainly by vertical branches known as “tillers,” which emerge from the plant’s root.

Growth habits

The rhizomes and flexible roots of Bermuda grasses are extensive. A single plant’s maturity may depend on the root color.

The roots of this species are often white when they are young, but they become brownish-yellow as they mature.

More to read: What Causes Bermuda Grass To Brown In Spots

The rhizomes aid in the development of the plant underground, while the stolons support the growth above ground.

On the other hand, Fescue turfs seldom spread via rhizomes and instead depend on tillers to develop a bunch-like growth pattern. The species having tillers but no stolons are bunch-type grasses.

The grasses have different growth habits - Bermuda Grass Vs Fescue

The grasses have different growth habits

Temperature

Bermuda lawns are a member of the warm-season turfgrass group. It flourishes in temperatures from 75 to 95°F.

Meanwhile, the Fescue is a cool-season grass. It thrives when the temperature is 55 to 75°F.

Maintenance

While Bermuda grass can be more of a headache, you may want it if you have enough passion, money, and time to grow a great lawn.

You can also go for Bermuda grass hybrids. These species are easier to handle, making the beautiful lawn more accessible.

Its competitor appears to be a lot simpler to deal with. Yet, Fescue also demands the same effort of maintenance.

Unfortunately, growing this type of grass will be arduous if you live in tropical regions.

General care

Bermuda grass requires immense caution and a powerful mower to cut. If not done correctly, the grass may suffer from damage.

This species has the benefit of being able to be cut extremely short, drenched with grass killer, and still rebound to green in only a few weeks.

Besides, the grass is also special because it doesn’t need a lot of water to thrive. Watering once a week is enough.

On the other hand, you should mow Fescue to one to two inches. It also needs frequent mowing to hinder its excessive growth.  You can learn more tips for mowing the turfgrass from the video below.

During hot days, this species needs regular and thorough waterings. Try to water it every week.

Each species requires particular caring methods - Bermuda Grass Vs Fescue

Each species requires particular caring methods

Comparison table

We have compared and contrasted the two species in crucial terms. Now, let’s summarize the differences.

 BermudaCrabgrass 
AppearanceCoarse texture with tiny hairsLarge blades and veins
PropagationGrows from rhizomeGrows from tillers
Growth habitsDepending on the stolons or rhizomesDepending on the tillers
Temperature75 to 95°F55 to 75°F
MaintenanceQuite complicatedEasier
General careSimple mowing and watering requirementsComplex mowing and watering requirements

Pros And Cons Of Bermuda Grass And Fescue

If the comparison table above can’t help you determine the better option, check the pros and cons of each.

Bermuda

Warm season grass is resistant to harsh conditions like drought. It can flourish on any soil. Here are some of the benefits and drawbacks of growing this turfgrass.

Pros: 

  • Ability to thrive in sunny and warm climates
  • Drought-tolerant
  • Suitable for different types of soil
  • Ability to heal and regrow rapidly
  • Very few pest problems

Cons:

  • Sensitive to cold climates
  • Not suitable for shady areas
  • Invasive to paved areas
  • High requirement of maintenance

Fescue

The grass demands low maintenance. It is also highly resistant to heavy foot traffic. If you like this idea, consider these points:

Pros: 

  • Shade-tolerant
  • Adaptable to high elevation
  • Sand tolerant
  • High humidity absorbency
  • Low maintenance
  • Resistant to heavy tear and wear

Cons: 

  • Not suitable for rolling
  • Not ideal for tropical climates
  • Pest infections when put in wet conditions

Bermuda Grass vs Fescue: What Should You Choose?

There are two primary considerations for choosing the grass: visual preference and maintenance.

Visual preference

This feature must be your top concern because you are growing the lawn for aesthetics.

We also see fescue vs Bermuda grass on soccer fields and golf courses.

However, it’s a personal matter. It all comes down to your taste to determine which looks more beautiful.

Maintenance

The upkeep issues are another reason to choose one grass kind over another. These may differ markedly based on your unique requirements and conditions.

Bermuda, for example, may save your day in landscape and building upkeep if your facility is huge and has a lot of shade.

On the other hand, Fescue grass is a less care-intensive alternative if you have a tight budget for garden maintenance.

Conclusion

Although Bermuda grass requires more maintenance, it is the ideal choice if you have money, time, and want to have a gorgeous yard.

On the other hand, Fescue is easier to handle than other lawn grasses, but it still demands the same standard of respect. However, if you live in the tropics, it may not be the best option.

Hopefully, this comparison helps you choose the better one for your lawn. If you need more information about gardening, please feel free to ask. Thank you for reading!

Related articles: 

How to Care for Bermuda Grass

Growing Tall Fescue Grass In The Lawn

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Kelly Lawrence

Kelly Lawrence

I’m Kelly Lawrence, two years after graduating with a Journalism major, I had the opportunity to apply my experiences to become the founder and executive content writer of this gardening blog.