Sod Comparison & Differences
Buffalo 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 Buffalo sod
Buffalo
vs
Close up photo of Kentucky Bluegrass sod
Kentucky Bluegrass

Cost

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

Between these two, Buffalo is typically on the pricier side with an average cost per square foot of $0.68. On a per pallet basis, which is usually how sod is sold, this comes out to roughly $337.50 per pallet.

Kentucky Bluegrass on the other hand, is a more moderately priced at $0.52 per square foot (on average). This comes out to around $262.50 per pallet.

Buffalo
from$0.55 / sq ft
to$0.80 / sq ft
Kentucky BluegrassBudget Friendly
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?

Buffalo Grass, adapted to open plains, prefers full sun and requires at least 6 to 8 hours daily, underperforming in shady spaces.

Buffalo
Shade Tolerance4 / 10
Kentucky Bluegrass
Shade Tolerance4 / 10

On the other hand, 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 Buffalo (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:

Buffalo close up imageKentucky Bluegrass close up image

Buffalo Grass rolls out a soft, blue-green carpet with thin blades, giving you a lawn that feels soft to walk on and adds a touch of the prairie to your backyard.

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?

Buffalo Grass is naturally adapted to arid conditions, requiring minimal watering to maintain its health and appearance.

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

Grow Zones

Cold or warm weather - which do they prefer?

Buffalo is well-suited for growth in warmer climates. The ideal temperature range for laying Buffalo sod is between 70°F and 85°F.

Buffalo
warm 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, Buffalo and Kentucky Bluegrass have somewhat different climatic preferences for optimal growth! Let's move on...

Traffic Tolerance

Which sod handles heavy foot traffic better?

Buffalo Grass has low to moderate traffic tolerance and is best for less-trodden areas, but it can endure gentle play and relaxation time.

Buffalo
Traffic Tolerance4 / 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, Kentucky Bluegrass is the better option between Buffalo and Kentucky Bluegrass.

Establishment Rate

Which grass grows faster?

Buffalograss, a true prairie grass, is slow to establish but eventually forms a low-maintenance turf that's ideal for the Great Plains and similar regions.

Buffalo
Establishment Rate5 / 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, they are pretty similar in this respect, so feel free to go with either one!

Pest & Disease Resistance

Which handles pests better?

Buffalo Grass generally resists pests well, though it can attract mealybugs and mites; it's also notably resistant to many diseases, thriving in varied environments.

Buffalo
Resistance6 / 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, they are pretty similar in this respect, so feel free to go with either one!

Let's Pick a Winner

Which sod is better, Buffalo 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: 5 for Buffalo, 7 for Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Shade Tolerance: 4 for Buffalo, 4 for Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Drought Tolerance: 9 for Buffalo, 5 for Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Traffic Tolerance: 4 for Buffalo, 7 for Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Establishment Rate: 5 for Buffalo, 5 for Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Pest & Disease Resistance: 6 for Buffalo, 6 for Kentucky Bluegrass

Drumroll please...

All in all, Kentucky Bluegrass comes out on top with a score of 34/60 versus 33/60 for Buffalo.

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