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!
Between these two, Tall Fescue is typically on the pricier side with an average cost per square foot of $0.73. On a per pallet basis, which is usually how sod is sold, this comes out to roughly $362.50 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.
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.
Bahia Grass is a sun-lover and typically needs about 6 to 8 hours of sunlight to perform well, with limited tolerance to shade.
On the other hand, Tall Fescue has one of the better shade tolerances among grass types, performing well with around 4 hours of direct sunlight, ideal for dappled or intermittent shade.
When choosing between sods like Bahia (pictured lefttop) and Tall Fescue (pictured rightbottom), 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 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.
Tall Fescue grows thick and green, with wider blades that create a hardy lawn; it's comfortable enough for playtime and stays resilient through rough and tumble activities.
Bahia Grass boasts excellent drought tolerance, with deep roots that help it stay resilient and green even in prolonged dry periods.
On the other hand, Tall Fescue is reasonably drought tolerant due to its deep root system, but it does best with occasional deep watering during dry spells.
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 Tall Fescue.
Bahia is well-suited for growth in warmer climates. The ideal temperature range for laying Bahia sod is between 70°F and 90°F.
Tall Fescue generally grows better in cool or moderate climates. When it comes to laying sod, the ideal range for Tall Fescue is between 60°F and 75°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 Tall Fescue have somewhat different climatic preferences for optimal growth! Let's move on...
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.
Similarly, Tall Fescue has good traffic tolerance with its deep roots, making it able to withstand a fair amount of play and use without giving up its lush appearance.
Takeaway: If you're looking for a grass that can handle heavy foot traffic, Tall Fescue is the better option between Bahia and Tall Fescue.
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.
Tall Fescue establishes at a moderate rate, presenting a robust, deep-rooted lawn that is heat and drought-tolerant, often recommended for transitional zones.
Net, net - if you're looking for a grass that establishes quickly, Tall Fescue is the way to go.
Pest & Disease Resistance
Bahia Grass boasts robust resistance to many common lawn pests and diseases, making it a hardy choice for less-than-ideal soil conditions.
Tall Fescue is fairly resistant to many pests, though it can encounter issues with brown patch and fusarium blight, especially in hot, humid weather.
TLDR - if you're looking for a grass that wards off pests and disease, Bahia edges out the competition.
Let's Pick a Winner
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.
All in all, Bahia comes out on top with a score of 40/60 versus 37/60 for Tall Fescue.
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