Sod Comparison & Differences
Bermuda 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 Bermuda sod
Bermuda
vs
Close up photo of Perennial Ryegrass sod
Perennial Ryegrass

Cost

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

Between these two, Bermuda is typically on the pricier side with an average cost per square foot of $0.50. On a per pallet basis, which is usually how sod is sold, this comes out to roughly $250.00 per pallet.

Perennial Ryegrass on the other hand, is a more moderately priced at $0.48 per square foot (on average). This comes out to around $237.50 per pallet.

Bermuda
from$0.35 / sq ft
to$0.65 / sq ft
Perennial RyegrassBudget Friendly
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?

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
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 Bermuda (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:

Bermuda close up imagePerennial Ryegrass 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.

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?

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

Bermuda
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, Bermuda is the better option between Bermuda and Perennial Ryegrass.

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
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, both Bermuda and Perennial Ryegrass 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
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, they are pretty similar in this capacity, so you'll probably want to make your decision based on other factors.

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
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?

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
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, Bermuda edges out the competition.

Let's Pick a Winner

Which sod is better, Bermuda 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: 7 for Bermuda, 8 for Perennial Ryegrass
  • Shade Tolerance: 3 for Bermuda, 6 for Perennial Ryegrass
  • Drought Tolerance: 9 for Bermuda, 3 for Perennial Ryegrass
  • Traffic Tolerance: 9 for Bermuda, 9 for Perennial Ryegrass
  • Establishment Rate: 8 for Bermuda, 9 for Perennial Ryegrass
  • Pest & Disease Resistance: 7 for Bermuda, 6 for Perennial Ryegrass

Drumroll please...

All in all, Bermuda comes out on top with a score of 43/60 versus 41/60 for Perennial Ryegrass.

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