Sod Comparison & Differences
Perennial Ryegrass 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 Perennial Ryegrass sod
Perennial Ryegrass
vs
Close up photo of St. Augustine sod
St. Augustine

Cost

Which grass is typically more expensive, Perennial Ryegrass 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.

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.

Perennial RyegrassBudget Friendly
from$0.30 / sq ft
to$0.65 / 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?

Perennial Ryegrass can survive with 4 to 6 hours of sunlight per day and is moderately shade-tolerant, coping well with partial shade.

Perennial Ryegrass
Shade Tolerance6 / 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 Perennial Ryegrass (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:

Perennial Ryegrass close up imageSt. Augustine close up image

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.

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?

Perennial Ryegrass has limited drought tolerance and may require regular watering to maintain its lush appearance.

Perennial Ryegrass
Drought Tolerance3 / 10
St. Augustine
Drought Tolerance6 / 10

On the other hand, 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 Perennial Ryegrass and St. Augustine.

Grow Zones

Cold or warm weather - which do they prefer?

Perennial Ryegrass generally grows better in cool or moderate climates. The ideal temperature range for laying Perennial Ryegrass sod is between 55°F and 80°F.

Perennial Ryegrass
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, Perennial Ryegrass and St. Augustine have somewhat different climatic preferences for optimal growth! Let's move on...

Traffic Tolerance

Which sod handles heavy foot traffic better?

Perennial Ryegrass is highly traffic tolerant, recovering quickly from wear and tear, a solid choice for lawns that double as weekend soccer pitches.

Perennial Ryegrass
Traffic Tolerance9 / 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, Perennial Ryegrass is the better option between Perennial Ryegrass and St. Augustine.

Establishment Rate

Which grass grows faster?

Perennial Ryegrass germinates rapidly and establishes quickly, offering a fine-textured, vibrant green turf that is popular for overseeding and cool-season lawns.

Perennial Ryegrass
Establishment Rate9 / 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, Perennial Ryegrass is the way to go.

Pest & Disease Resistance

Which handles pests better?

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.

Perennial Ryegrass
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, Perennial Ryegrass edges out the competition.

Let's Pick a Winner

Which sod is better, Perennial Ryegrass 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: 8 for Perennial Ryegrass, 4 for St. Augustine
  • Shade Tolerance: 6 for Perennial Ryegrass, 8 for St. Augustine
  • Drought Tolerance: 3 for Perennial Ryegrass, 6 for St. Augustine
  • Traffic Tolerance: 9 for Perennial Ryegrass, 5 for St. Augustine
  • Establishment Rate: 9 for Perennial Ryegrass, 7 for St. Augustine
  • Pest & Disease Resistance: 6 for Perennial Ryegrass, 5 for St. Augustine

Drumroll please...

All in all, Perennial Ryegrass comes out on top with a score of 41/60 versus 35/60 for St. Augustine.

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