Bermuda grass vs. Tall Fescue – How do you know which one is best for your lawn?

Lawn & Garden

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Sometimes, different grasses are mixed to grow dense lawns or at times they are grown alone depending on a person’s interest. Both Bermuda grass and Tall fescue can be used to grow your lawn but they have different features that allow them to fit into different habitats. Bermuda grass has a coarse texture and is suitable for growing in warm climate areas while Tall fescue has a fine texture and should be grown in cold areas.

In this article we will look at the differences between Bermuda grass and Tall fescue and analyze whether you can be grow them together in your lawn and in which environments they fit best.

Bermuda grass vs. Tall Fescue

Bermuda grass

Bermuda grass is a warm season grass that is found in tropical areas. It grows more from the late spring times throughout the hot summer season. It does better in areas that have direct sunlight, high temperatures and soils with good drainage. It has an extensive root network that gives it adaptability during times of environmental stress such as drought.

Bermuda grass is sensitive to cold temperatures, it is prone to thatch and it is known to invade flower beds. The common Bermuda grass has a coarse texture and can be planted from seed while the hybrid kind of Bermuda grass have finer textures and make better lawns. It is drought and wear resistant and has high resistance to weeds. Bermuda grass would need to be overseeded during different times of its growth.

Check the prices of Bermuda grass here

Tall fescue

Tall fescue is among the cool season grasses and its peak plating time is during spring and fall. It is drought tolerant and have an extensive root network that allows them to adapt to slightly dry conditions. This type of grass fits in transition zones as well.

It is dark green in color and has narrow blades. It is grown from seeds and germinates faster than other cool season grasses. Also it formed bunches as it grows making your lawn dense and it is easy to maintain. Additionally, it is disease resistant and is shade tolerant.

Check the prices of Tall fescue here

How do the characteristics of these two compare?


Bermuda grass and Tall Fescue both require sufficient amounts of nitrogen in the soil in order to thrive. The difference between the two is the timing in which fertilizer is applied to your lawn. For Bermuda grass, you should apply fertilizer when the weather is warmer at the time of late spring to early fall for it to produce maximum yield and dense lawn. Contrary to this, it is better for you to apply fertilizer on a turf with Tall Fescue during cooler seasons.

Bermuda grass, however, needs higher maintenance compared to Tall Fescue.

Utility and Traffic tolerance

Generally, both vehicle and foot traffic release pressure that causes wear and tear on grass. However, grasses with a high tolerance to wear are able to keep your lawn constantly growing and maintained.

Bermuda grass has high tolerance to wear and can easily recover from traffic injury therefore can be used in high traffic areas. It grows rapidly but sometimes it can overgrow and get into unwanted areas and does not grow well in areas that have shade.

Tall Fescue grass has a vast root network that makes it unaffected by foot traffic. It has a high tolerance to shade therefore it can be mixed with other grasses to increase their tolerance to shade and wear.

Both have a high tolerance to heavy traffic but Tall fescue takes a longer period of time to recover from wear.

Weather Tolerance

Bermuda grass is drought resistant and can survive in environments of high temperatures of up to 95 degrees. In as much as it may turn brown during periods of prolonged drought, it recovers rapidly and turns green when the weather becomes favorable again.

Tall fescue thins out after dry summer seasons and often require reseeding during the fall season. Despite the fact that it has a few drought resistant properties, it tends to thin out after dry summer seasons and requires reseeding during the fall season. Prolonged periods of drought may cause it to die out therefore constantly needing irrigation.

Bermuda grass tolerates heat better than Tall fescue and tall fescue thrives better in colder temperatures than Bermuda grass.

Texture and Appearance

Bermuda grass has a dark green rich color and the furthest it can grow is about two inches long. It has a coarse texture.

Tall fescue has a dark green color and it grows higher than Bermuda grass by an inch or two if it is not maintained. It has wide leaf blades with parallel veins on its leaf.

Both Bermuda grass and Tall fescue are rich in color which contribute a green good looking lawn.

Can Bermuda grass and Tall fescue be grown together?

If you are growing a turf lawn, you can mix Bermuda grass and Tall fescue. This would be suitable for areas with moderate to warm climates. This way, when one goes dormant during a particular season then the other can continue growing. This way you are able to keep a constantly green lawn.

A problem that could arise when growing Bermuda grass with Tall fescue is that Bermuda sometimes may spread into the tall fescue where the edges of your lawn have not been contained. This can cause potential damage to the development rate of your lawn but this can be rectified by raising the mowing height of Tall fescue as it helps shade out spreading Bermuda grass and it increases the strength of the tall Fescue.


So, which grass is better for your lawn? Tall fescue is a much easier grass to handle and maintain as compared to Bermuda grass. However, your environmental conditions would be the basis to choosing the type of grass for your lawn. For warm areas, choose Bermuda grass while for colder areas, you can settle for Tall Fescue.

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