Sod Comparison & Differences
Kentucky Bluegrass vs. St. Augustine

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 Kentucky Bluegrass sod
Kentucky Bluegrass
vs
Close up photo of St. Augustine sod
St. Augustine

Cost

Which grass is typically more expensive, Kentucky Bluegrass or St. Augustine?

Between these two, St. Augustine is typically on the pricier side with an average cost per square foot of $0.70. On a per pallet basis, which is usually how sod is sold, this comes out to roughly $350.00 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.

Kentucky BluegrassBudget Friendly
from$0.35 / sq ft
to$0.70 / sq ft
St. Augustine
from$0.50 / sq ft
to$0.90 / 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?

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

Kentucky Bluegrass
Shade Tolerance4 / 10
St. Augustine
Shade Tolerance8 / 10

On the other hand, St. Augustine grass tolerates shade relatively well and can thrive with around 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, making it a fitting choice for yards with partial shade.

Appearance

Which one looks better? You decide.

When choosing between sods like Kentucky Bluegrass (pictured top) and St. Augustine (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:

Kentucky Bluegrass close up imageSt. Augustine close up image

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.

St. Augustine grass boasts a lush, deep green hue with broad, coarse blades that create a dense, cushiony turf, ideal for a warm, inviting lawn that's as pleasing to the touch as it is to the eye.

Drought Tolerance

Which one needs more water?

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

Kentucky Bluegrass
Drought Tolerance5 / 10
St. Augustine
Drought Tolerance6 / 10

Similarly, St. Augustine grass has moderate drought tolerance; it may need some extra care and water to stay green during extended 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, St. Augustine is the better option between Kentucky Bluegrass and St. Augustine.

Grow Zones

Cold or warm weather - which do they prefer?

Kentucky Bluegrass generally grows better in cool or moderate climates. The ideal temperature range for laying Kentucky Bluegrass sod is between 60°F and 75°F.

Kentucky Bluegrass
transition zones
cool zones
St. Augustine
warm zones

St. Augustine is well-suited for growth in warmer climates. When it comes to laying sod, the ideal range for St. Augustine is between 75°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, Kentucky Bluegrass and St. Augustine have somewhat different climatic preferences for optimal growth! Let's move on...

Traffic Tolerance

Which sod handles heavy foot traffic better?

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

Kentucky Bluegrass
Traffic Tolerance7 / 10
St. Augustine
Traffic Tolerance5 / 10

On the other hand, St. Augustine grass is moderately tolerant to foot traffic, holding up to some back yard play and activity with a recovery that keeps your lawn looking full and lively.

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

Establishment Rate

Which grass grows faster?

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.

Kentucky Bluegrass
Establishment Rate5 / 10
St. Augustine
Establishment Rate7 / 10

St. Augustine grass, with its robust spreading habit and preference for warm climates, typically establishes quite readily, making it a popular choice for lush, green lawns in milder regions.

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

Pest & Disease Resistance

Which handles pests better?

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

Kentucky Bluegrass
Resistance6 / 10
St. Augustine
Resistance5 / 10

St. Augustine grass can struggle with pests like chinch bugs and diseases such as gray leaf spot, especially in humid, coastal regions, requiring proactive management.

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

Let's Pick a Winner

Which sod is better, Kentucky Bluegrass or St. Augustine?

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 Kentucky Bluegrass, 4 for St. Augustine
  • Shade Tolerance: 4 for Kentucky Bluegrass, 8 for St. Augustine
  • Drought Tolerance: 5 for Kentucky Bluegrass, 6 for St. Augustine
  • Traffic Tolerance: 7 for Kentucky Bluegrass, 5 for St. Augustine
  • Establishment Rate: 5 for Kentucky Bluegrass, 7 for St. Augustine
  • Pest & Disease Resistance: 6 for Kentucky Bluegrass, 5 for St. Augustine

Drumroll please...

All in all, St. Augustine comes out on top with a score of 35/60 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.