Sod Comparison & Differences
Bahia vs. Perennial Ryegrass

Let's dive into a side-by-side comparison of these two grasses. We're looking at everything from cost and looks to how well they stand up to drought, shade, and foot traffic. Stick around to see which one comes out on top!

Close up photo of Bahia sod
Bahia
vs
Close up photo of Perennial Ryegrass sod
Perennial Ryegrass

Cost

Which grass is typically more expensive, Bahia or Perennial Ryegrass?

Between these two, Perennial Ryegrass is typically on the pricier side with an average cost per square foot of $0.48. On a per pallet basis, which is usually how sod is sold, this comes out to roughly $237.50 per pallet.

Bahia on the other hand, is a more moderately priced at $0.45 per square foot (on average). This comes out to around $225.00 per pallet.

BahiaBudget Friendly
from$0.30 / sq ft
to$0.60 / sq ft
Perennial Ryegrass
from$0.30 / sq ft
to$0.65 / sq ft

Editor's note: It's important to remember that both of these are averages based on data from around the country so cost can vary depending on your location. Keep in mind this doesn't include other fees like delivery or installation.

See our sod calculator to get a comprehensive sod estimate.

Shade Tolerance

Which grass grows better in the shade?

Bahia Grass is a sun-lover and typically needs about 6 to 8 hours of sunlight to perform well, with limited tolerance to shade.

Bahia
Shade Tolerance4 / 10
Perennial Ryegrass
Shade Tolerance6 / 10

On the other hand, Perennial Ryegrass can survive with 4 to 6 hours of sunlight per day and is moderately shade-tolerant, coping well with partial shade.

Appearance

Which one looks better? You decide.

When choosing between sods like Bahia (pictured top) and Perennial Ryegrass (pictured bottom), personal preference plays a significant role, but understanding the nuances of each type's appearance can guide your decision. Here's what to consider:

Bahia close up imagePerennial Ryegrass close up image

Bahia Grass stands out with its airy, light green blades, providing a durable and somewhat rougher lawn that can handle the hustle without needing much pampering.

Perennial Ryegrass offers a bright green lawn with fine blades that grow quickly into a soft, welcoming turf perfect for everything from picnics to soccer games.

Drought Tolerance

Which one needs more water?

Bahia Grass boasts excellent drought tolerance, with deep roots that help it stay resilient and green even in prolonged dry periods.

Bahia
Drought Tolerance9 / 10
Perennial Ryegrass
Drought Tolerance3 / 10

On the other hand, Perennial Ryegrass has limited drought tolerance and may require regular watering to maintain its lush appearance.

Takeaway: If you're located in a somewhat dry and arid geographic region and are looking for a grass that can handle drought-like conditions, Bahia is the better option between Bahia and Perennial Ryegrass.

Grow Zones

Cold or warm weather - which do they prefer?

Bahia is well-suited for growth in warmer climates. The ideal temperature range for laying Bahia sod is between 70°F and 90°F.

Bahia
warm zones
Perennial Ryegrass
transition zones
cool zones

Perennial Ryegrass generally grows better in cool or moderate climates. When it comes to laying sod, the ideal range for Perennial Ryegrass is between 55°F and 80°F. If you choose to lay outside of the ideal range, you can still have success, but it may take a longer time to esablish and require a bit more maintenance.

As you may have noticed, Bahia and Perennial Ryegrass have somewhat different climatic preferences for optimal growth! Let's move on...

Traffic Tolerance

Which sod handles heavy foot traffic better?

Bahia Grass is tough and can handle a fair amount of foot traffic with its deep roots, making it not the worst choice but also not the best choice for backyards and play areas.

Bahia
Traffic Tolerance6 / 10
Perennial Ryegrass
Traffic Tolerance9 / 10

On the other hand, Perennial Ryegrass is highly traffic tolerant, recovering quickly from wear and tear, a solid choice for lawns that double as weekend soccer pitches.

Takeaway: If you're looking for a grass that can handle heavy foot traffic, Perennial Ryegrass is the better option between Bahia and Perennial Ryegrass.

Establishment Rate

Which grass grows faster?

Bahia grass, valued for its adaptability and low maintenance, establishes at a moderate rate and offers a durable lawn option especially in sandy and infertile soils.

Bahia
Establishment Rate5 / 10
Perennial Ryegrass
Establishment Rate9 / 10

Perennial Ryegrass germinates rapidly and establishes quickly, offering a fine-textured, vibrant green turf that is popular for overseeding and cool-season lawns.

Net, net - if you're looking for a grass that establishes quickly, Perennial Ryegrass is the way to go.

Pest & Disease Resistance

Which handles pests better?

Bahia Grass boasts robust resistance to many common lawn pests and diseases, making it a hardy choice for less-than-ideal soil conditions.

Bahia
Resistance8 / 10
Perennial Ryegrass
Resistance6 / 10

Perennial Ryegrass is generally hardy against pests and diseases, but it can experience problems with gray leaf spot and is attractive to webworms and billbugs.

TLDR - if you're looking for a grass that wards off pests and disease, Bahia edges out the competition.

Let's Pick a Winner

Which sod is better, Bahia or Perennial Ryegrass?

Alright it's time to count the scores up.

Most blogs or articles are going to give you a wishy washy "it's up to you" speil. That is definitely true. You'll need to choose based on your geographic conditions and what you like most looks-wise.

That being said, if we just compare the scores based on the following measures. Higher is better in this case.

  • Average Cost: 8 for Bahia, 8 for Perennial Ryegrass
  • Shade Tolerance: 4 for Bahia, 6 for Perennial Ryegrass
  • Drought Tolerance: 9 for Bahia, 3 for Perennial Ryegrass
  • Traffic Tolerance: 6 for Bahia, 9 for Perennial Ryegrass
  • Establishment Rate: 5 for Bahia, 9 for Perennial Ryegrass
  • Pest & Disease Resistance: 8 for Bahia, 6 for Perennial Ryegrass

Drumroll please...

All in all, Perennial Ryegrass comes out on top with a score of 41/60 versus 40/60 for Bahia.

Thanks for reading! If you have any feedback or corrections for us, please email our editor at editor@sodcalculator.com.