Fescue Vs. Bermuda Grass: How Are They Different From Each Other?

Thinking of having a grassy lawn to give yourself some soothing nature vibe? Well, if you are planning to make one then you will probably come across different grass types.

Among all of them, a feud that is pretty common in the scene is Fescue vs. Bermuda.

The reason these two are common they are the best kind to have on your lawn. But the difficult part is choosing one of them.

So, here I will tell you all the differences between these two types of grasses for your dream lawn. Let’s get the thing going right away.

Differences Between Bermuda And Fescue

fescue Vs. bermuda

In this difference between the two types of grass, I have considered different factors. Once you go through them you should be able to tell which one is best suited for your plans.

Let’s get through them one by one.

  • The Seasons 

The growing season is the major difference between these two grass types. So, you can make your decision solely based on that factor.

Bermudagrass is known to be the grass for the warm seasons. It has got the metabolism system of the C4 plant.

That means whenever the temperature around these grasses is about 75 to 95-degree Fahrenheit they will grow the best. As soon as the temperature starts lowering down the growth of these glasses will also get slow.

And in the winter, you might not even get any hint of these grasses.

On the other hand, fescue grasses come with C3 metabolism. This means they can grow better in temperatures like 55 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, they are known to be grass for the cool season. In the summer season, they might go completely dormant or become vulnerable. They are easily damaged and get diseases during that time.

  • Application of Fertilizers 

In the cases of fertilizers, there isn’t much difference in the type. You will need to use nitrogen fertilizer on both of them. Even the amount is the same.

However, the difference is in the timing of fertilization. The best time to put fertilizer on grasses is when they are at their peak growing session.

Just like I said earlier, Bermudagrass grows the best in warm seasons. So, consequently, the best time to use fertilizers on Bermudagrass is between the times of spring and fall.

In short, you should fertilize them throughout summer till winter. Other than that, you should avoid using fertilizer.

On the contrary, the best time to use fertilizers for Fescue grass is during the fall and spring months. As the temperature that time stays low, the grasses can have more growth.

Also, for a darker color, you can use some chelated iron on them during the best period.

Also Read: Where To Get Sod?
  • Usage Of The Grasses 
fescue grass
Fescue Grass

The usage of both types of grasses is also a bit similar. However, there are some specialties in both of them that make them suitable for certain purposes.

Whether you need them for your lawn or a professional golf course you can use them. You can notice the use of Bermudagrass in soccer fields as well.

Aside from that, they are used in various roadside projects and parks. All in all, they are used in many places professionally for sports fields and projects.

Fescue grass is also used for professional purposes however they aren’t used everywhere. They are mostly used in the regions that stay colder most times of the year.

You can notice their presence in the northern zone the most. They are mostly used in lawn and fields for different sports. One unique use of the Fescue grass is for golf courses.

People use this to smoothen the rough areas of the course.

  • Characteristics Of The Grasses 

There are some core differences between the characteristics of these two types of grass. You can tell these when you observe them closely.

First of all, the color on this is the dark green color which you will love to see. This grass can grow up to two inches.

Now, due to this, you don’t need to go through too much maintenance on the Bermuda grass. As they don’t grow too much even if left unattended.

What makes Bermudagrass easy to identify is the coarse texture and stolons. Stolons are roots that go above ground. And, if you take a closer look at this you will see small hairs at the meeting point of the leaf stem and leaf blade.

On the contrary, the noticeable thing about Fescue is its height. They can go up to three to four feet if you don’t attend them regularly.

So, if they are on your lawn or your backyard you have to go through proper maintenance to keep them tidy.

Another thing about Fescue is their wider leaf blades. They are much wider and bigger than Bermudagrass. Also, they don’t have a midrib or central vein. Instead, parallel veins are running all over the leaf.

  • Differences in Advantages

No matter which one you choose they both have their different advantages. Knowing them will make your life easier to choose one of them.

Bermudagrass: Here are the advantages you can get from Bermudagrass-

bermuda grass
Bermuda Grass
  • They are adapted widely
  • They can tolerate a variety of growing sites
  • Extremely tolerant to heat and drought conditions
  • The growth of this grass is pretty aggressive
  • Minor pest issues
  • It doesn’t require too much maintenance to get the best outcome

Fescue: These are the advantages of having Fescue grass

  • Grows very well in shady areas
  • Comparatively better than other cool-season grasses due to high tolerance for drought
  • You can establish them very quickly
  • Tolerant to shade, drought, and heat
  • The grass is branch forming
  • Doesn’t wear or tear easily

So, these were all the differences between Bermuda grass and Fescue grass. There are no major issues with any of them as you can see from these factors.

Can You Mix Fescue And Bermuda Grass?

beautiful fescue

Now, going through the differences of both might have given you an idea. You might be thinking of mixing them. Well, I have got you covered on that.

Yes, you can mix fescue and Bermuda grass, it just needs some extra work. How? Let’s find out.

To mix both the grasses you will need to prepare around the last days of summer. For your Bermuda grasses, you will notice a thick thatch layer.

Near midsummer, you have to reduce these thatches using a dethatcher. Also, you will need to aerate the area for developing the seedbed you need for overseeding fescue grass.

Now, you have to wait till the temperature of the soil and air goes lower. You will be looking for 50 to 65-degree Fahrenheit on the soil and 60 to 75-degree Fahrenheit on air.

Once the temperature reaches these numbers you can start mowing the bermudagrass.

Before you spread the fescue seed you should be bagging the clipping. Also, make sure to use some starter fertilizer before you sow the seeds.

Keep in mind that you would need the weed seed levels on the fertilizer to be 0.25 percent.

Use a drop spreader to spread the seeds all over the bermudagrass.

You have to put 1.5x more seed than you would need to seed a new lawn. Then, you have to water the lawn properly and moisten it 2 times a day.

That should germinate the seeds. And that’s how you can do the mixture of fescue and Bermuda grass in one place. However, this brings up another question “Will tall fescue overtake Bermuda?”.

Well, the answer is no. Because Bermuda grass is much aggressive than tall fescue. Also, they are warm-season grass on the other hand fescue is a cool-season grass.

So, once the weather gets warmer fescue will die on their own. However, the opposite could happen if you don’t aerate your lawn before seeding tall fescue. If you do that you can rest assured of this issue.

Will Bermuda Grass Choke Out Weeds?

Bermudagrass is the type of grass that can choke out weeds on its own. So, instead of using chemicals to choke out the weed, you should encourage Bermudagrass.

How to do that?

The primary goal for you should be to make them grow as thick as possible. Thicker Bermudagrass chokes out weeds on their own.

You can do that by having a higher height of mowing, maintaining the pH balance in the soil, frequently fertilizing, dethatching, and properly watering them.

Doing these things will surely help the grasses to grow thick and you won’t need to worry about weeds.

Also, it’s better this way because you won’t have to use any chemicals on them. So, they stay more natural.

Final Words 

Now it’s time for the ultimate question, “Which one is best for you?”. As you can see from the Fescue vs Bermuda comparison making a choice is pretty evident.

If you belong from a warmer area Bermudagrass is a clear choice. And if you are from a colder area then Fescue is the way to go. That’s the easiest way to think about this.

Also, if you are up for some extra work then a mix of fescue and Bermuda is probably the best option you have. It’s the perfect solution to keep your lawn green throughout the year.

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