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, Tall Fescue 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.
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.
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.
Kentucky Bluegrass does best with 4 to 6 hours of sunlight, but some shade-tolerant varieties can withstand light shade without significant thinning.
On the other hand, Tall Fescue has one of the better shade tolerances among grass types, performing well with around 4 hours of direct sunlight, ideal for dappled or intermittent shade.
When choosing between sods like Kentucky Bluegrass (pictured lefttop) and Tall Fescue (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:
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.
Tall Fescue grows thick and green, with wider blades that create a hardy lawn; it's comfortable enough for playtime and stays resilient through rough and tumble activities.
Kentucky Bluegrass has moderate drought tolerance; it can struggle in extreme dryness but will go dormant and can recover with adequate watering.
On the other hand, Tall Fescue is reasonably drought tolerant due to its deep root system, but it does best with occasional deep watering during 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, Tall Fescue is the better option between Kentucky Bluegrass and Tall Fescue.
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.
Tall Fescue generally grows better in cool or moderate climates. When it comes to laying sod, the ideal range for Tall Fescue is also 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 Kentucky Bluegrass and Tall Fescue thrive under pretty similar climatic conditions!
Kentucky Bluegrass is quite traffic-tolerant, resiliently springing back and self-repairing, making it great for homes that enjoy an active outdoor space.
On the other hand, Tall Fescue has good traffic tolerance with its deep roots, making it able to withstand a fair amount of play and use without giving up its lush appearance.
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.
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.
Tall Fescue establishes at a moderate rate, presenting a robust, deep-rooted lawn that is heat and drought-tolerant, often recommended for transitional zones.
Net, net - if you're looking for a grass that establishes quickly, Tall Fescue is the way to go.
Pest & Disease Resistance
Kentucky Bluegrass can be prone to pests like billbugs and diseases like rust, requiring attentive maintenance to identify and treat issues early.
Tall Fescue is fairly resistant to many pests, though it can encounter issues with brown patch and fusarium blight, especially in hot, humid weather.
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, Tall Fescue comes out on top with a score of 37/60 versus 34/60 for Kentucky Bluegrass.
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