Lawn Maintenance (Bluegrass vs. Fescue)

Bluegrass

Vibrant color and durability in heavily trafficked areas has made Kentucky bluegrass a popular choice for parks and home lawns since the mid-20th century. Though it is a slow grower in the heat of summer, this medium-textured, deeply green grass offers thick ground coverage and is commonly planted throughout much of  the United States.  

Climate

Grows best in cool to mixed climates. It is commonly planted throughout the northern, midwestern and mountain states.   

Sun/Shade

Requires ample light and will falter in heavily shaded areas.  

Water

Requires consistent and thoughtful watering. In drought conditions it will brown and enter dormancy until water conditions improve.

Pros:

  • Thick and attractive coverage
  • Cold weather tolerant and does well in full sunlight
  • Durable and recovers quickly

Cons:

  • Requires regular maintenance
  • Will go dormant in high temperature conditions
  • Slow to germinate
  • Does poorly in shaded or overly-wet conditions

Fescue

A fine-textured yet hardy grass, fescue does very well in “in-between” zones where temperatures become too cool for warm weather varieties and also too hot for cool weather grass. Fescue does well in shade and also in areas where traffic is high, making it a popular choice for homeowners.

Climate

While best suited for cooler climates, it fares well in areas with a wide temperature range. Common throughout the northern and central states, it is least successful in the South, where average temperatures are high.

Sun/Shade

Extremely shade-tolerant, fescue is popular in areas where direct sunlight in limited.

Water 

Some watering is necessary during times of high heat or drought, but does very well without significant watering in most conditions. 

Pros:

  • Stays green year round
  • Durable
  • Low maintenance
  • Does well with limited direct sunlight

Cons:

  • Will go dormant under extreme conditions
  • Does poorly in consistently hot climate

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