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, Zoysia 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.
Fine Fescue on the other hand, is a more moderately priced at $0.60 per square foot (on average). This comes out to around $300.00 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.
Fine Fescue stands out for shade tolerance, needing as little as 3 to 4 hours of direct sun each day and flourishing even in heavily shaded lawn areas.
On the other hand, Zoysia Grass is versatile, withstanding shaded areas quite well; it stays healthy with about 4 to 5 hours of sun but prefers a bit more light when possible.
When choosing between sods like Fine Fescue (pictured lefttop) and Zoysia (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:
Fine Fescue is all about the delicate look and feel; its fine blades knit together for a soft, green pasture that's easy on the eyes and gentle for your soles.
Zoysia Grass is thick and lush, sporting a deep green color and finer blades that cushion your steps, making for a plush, inviting lawn to walk and play on.
Fine Fescue is one of the more drought tolerant among cool-season grasses, able to survive dry conditions with minimal watering.
Similarly, Zoysia Grass is quite drought tolerant, able to stay green with less water and recover well when conditions improve.
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, Zoysia is the better option between Fine Fescue and Zoysia.
Fine Fescue generally grows better in cool or moderate climates. The ideal temperature range for laying Fine Fescue sod is between 60°F and 75°F.
Zoysia is well-suited for growth in warm or moderate climates. When it comes to laying sod, the ideal range for Zoysia is between 70°F and 90°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 Fine Fescue and Zoysia thrive under pretty similar climatic conditions!
Fine Fescue has lower traffic tolerance and is best for ornamental areas or yards that don’t see intense games and heavy footfall.
On the other hand, Zoysia Grass is a champion of foot traffic tolerance, withstanding heavy use and bouncing back well from wear, making it ideal for busy yards and public spaces.
Takeaway: If you're looking for a grass that can handle heavy foot traffic, Zoysia is the better option between Fine Fescue and Zoysia.
Fine Fescue is slow to establish but eventually forms a low-growing, fine-textured turf that's shade-tolerant and suited for cooler climates or less trafficked areas.
Zoysia grass, characterized by its fine texture and high drought tolerance, establishes slowly but creates a dense, wear-resistant turf ideal for warm, temperate areas.
Net, net - if you're looking for a grass that establishes quickly, Fine Fescue is the way to go.
Pest & Disease Resistance
Fine Fescue, while resistant to most common pests, can sometimes be troubled by red thread and other fungal diseases, particularly in damp conditions. Overall, it's a solid choice if you're worried about pests.
Zoysia Grass is well-regarded for its pest resistance, particularly to chinch bugs and grubs, but can occasionally suffer from diseases like brown patch in humid conditions.
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
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, Fine Fescue comes out on top with a score of 38/60 versus 37/60 for Zoysia.
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