Sod Comparison & Differences
Bermuda vs. Kentucky Bluegrass

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 Bermuda sod
Bermuda
vs
Close up photo of Kentucky Bluegrass sod
Kentucky Bluegrass

Cost

Which grass is typically more expensive, Bermuda or Kentucky Bluegrass?

Between these two, Kentucky Bluegrass is typically on the pricier side with an average cost per square foot of $0.52. On a per pallet basis, which is usually how sod is sold, this comes out to roughly $262.50 per pallet.

Bermuda on the other hand, is a more moderately priced at $0.50 per square foot (on average). This comes out to around $250.00 per pallet.

BermudaBudget Friendly
from$0.35 / sq ft
to$0.65 / sq ft
Kentucky Bluegrass
from$0.35 / sq ft
to$0.70 / 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?

Bermuda Grass needs abundant sunlight and generally requires at least 6 to 8 hours of full sun a day, struggling in shady conditions.

Bermuda
Shade Tolerance3 / 10
Kentucky Bluegrass
Shade Tolerance4 / 10

Similarly, Kentucky Bluegrass does best with 4 to 6 hours of sunlight, but some shade-tolerant varieties can withstand light shade without significant thinning.

Appearance

Which one looks better? You decide.

When choosing between sods like Bermuda (pictured top) and Kentucky Bluegrass (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:

Bermuda close up imageKentucky Bluegrass close up image

Bermuda Grass shines in a brilliant green and has a fine, tight knit, offering a lawn that's both springy to the touch and tough enough for kids and pets.

Kentucky Bluegrass comes in with a lush, blue-green color and fine texture, forming a dense turf that's not only a treat for the eyes but also kind to your feet.

Drought Tolerance

Which one needs more water?

Bermuda Grass is highly drought-resistant, thriving in hot, dry climates and bouncing back robustly from water deficits.

Bermuda
Drought Tolerance9 / 10
Kentucky Bluegrass
Drought Tolerance5 / 10

On the other hand, Kentucky Bluegrass has moderate drought tolerance; it can struggle in extreme dryness but will go dormant and can recover with adequate watering.

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, Bermuda is the better option between Bermuda and Kentucky Bluegrass.

Grow Zones

Cold or warm weather - which do they prefer?

Bermuda is well-suited for growth in warm or moderate climates. The ideal temperature range for laying Bermuda sod is between 75°F and 90°F.

Bermuda
warm zones
transition zones
Kentucky Bluegrass
transition zones
cool zones

Kentucky Bluegrass generally grows better in cool or moderate climates. When it comes to laying sod, the ideal range for Kentucky Bluegrass 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, both Bermuda and Kentucky Bluegrass thrive under pretty similar climatic conditions!

Traffic Tolerance

Which sod handles heavy foot traffic better?

Bermuda Grass excels under high foot traffic, its dense growth and quick recovery rate making it a go-to choice for sports fields and active lawns.

Bermuda
Traffic Tolerance9 / 10
Kentucky Bluegrass
Traffic Tolerance7 / 10

On the other hand, Kentucky Bluegrass is quite traffic-tolerant, resiliently springing back and self-repairing, making it great for homes that enjoy an active outdoor space.

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

Establishment Rate

Which grass grows faster?

Bermuda grass is a fast-establishing, aggressive grower, known for its fine texture and resilience, thriving in hot, sunny environments.

Bermuda
Establishment Rate8 / 10
Kentucky Bluegrass
Establishment Rate5 / 10

Kentucky Bluegrass takes its time to establish, but its ability to self-repair through underground stems called rhizomes makes it a lush, durable lawn option for cooler climates.

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

Pest & Disease Resistance

Which handles pests better?

Bermuda Grass shows good pest resistance, especially to grubs, but can be vulnerable to diseases such as dollar spot and spring dead spot without proper care.

Bermuda
Resistance7 / 10
Kentucky Bluegrass
Resistance6 / 10

Kentucky Bluegrass can be prone to pests like billbugs and diseases like rust, requiring attentive maintenance to identify and treat issues early.

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

Let's Pick a Winner

Which sod is better, Bermuda or Kentucky Bluegrass?

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: 7 for Bermuda, 7 for Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Shade Tolerance: 3 for Bermuda, 4 for Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Drought Tolerance: 9 for Bermuda, 5 for Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Traffic Tolerance: 9 for Bermuda, 7 for Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Establishment Rate: 8 for Bermuda, 5 for Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Pest & Disease Resistance: 7 for Bermuda, 6 for Kentucky Bluegrass

Drumroll please...

All in all, Bermuda comes out on top with a score of 43/60 versus 34/60 for Kentucky Bluegrass.

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