Fescue vs St Augustine: Which is better? This is a common question from homeowners, as both turf species are popular in their respective regions. This article compares Fescue grass vs St Augustine species to help you make informed decisions about your yard.
Fescue is a cool-season turfgrass that goes dormant in summer, while St Augustine is a warm-season species that flourishes in summer. Also, Fescue has excellent heat, drought, and shade tolerance and repairs quickly after wear and tear. On the other hand, St Augustine cannot tolerate foot traffic and shade and requires 6-8 hours of sunlight to thrive. However, St Augustine germinates and matures more quickly than Fescue. Nonetheless, both have the same water and fertilization needs.
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Comparing Tall Fescue Vs St Augustine
1. Best seasons
Fescue is a cool-season turf that thrives in spring and fall. It grows best in the winter Southern zones and normally goes dormant during summer. The warm-season St Augustine grass flourishes in summer and will generally go dormant in winter.
While St Augustine grass grows out to the side and in a flat pattern, Fescue grows straight up. Nevertheless, the two grasses’ leaf blades are medium to dark green, coarse, and broad.
3. Water needs
Both Fescue and St Augustine have the same minimum water requirement (1 inch weekly), but St Augustine cannot handle over-watering well. Fescue requires less watering and can tolerate cold and heat, while St Augustine goes dormant when cold.
4. Soil type and pH requirement
The soil pH must be 6.0 to 7.0 for St Augustine grass to become lush. The soil should also be moist, well-drained, and high in organic matter. Fescue will flourish in any well-drained soil type, with around 6.0 to 6.5 pH.
5. Sun and shade requirement
Fescue is an excellent shade-tolerant grass that requires 4-6 hours of sunlight daily to become lush. St Augustine cannot tolerate even partial shade as it requires 6-8 hours of sunlight daily.
6. Mowing needs
St Augustine is a fast-growing turf that requires a mowing height of 2-4 inches once or twice weekly. Fescue also grows quickly but requires a mowing height of 2-3 inches once per week.
Fescue is meant for high-traffic areas as it handles heavy foot traffic and wear and tear much better than St Augustine.
These grasses require regular fertilization with a slow-release fertilizer to thrive during their growing seasons. Fertilize these lawns every 4 to 6 weeks.
9. Germination time
St Augustine grass germinates in two weeks, while Fescue takes three weeks to germinate.
St Augustine Vs Fescue: Which is Better?
St Augustine and Fescue are two completely different types of grass growing in totally diverse conditions and grass seasons. So, if you reside in tropical regions like in the south, go for St Augustine grass. It’s a warm-season grass that thrives in hot and dry climates. But if you’re looking for cool-season grass that is much easier to maintain, Fescue is the best choice.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Can you mix Fescue and St Augustine grass?
A: Fescue is a cool-season species, while St Augustine is warm-season, so mixing the two grasses is bad. These turfs will grow and flourish in totally different conditions and seasons. Besides, they have dissimilar needs and maintenance criteria.
Q: Will Fescue overtake St Augustine?
A: Fescue cannot overtake St Augustine grass, especially with high temperatures. St Augustine grows more aggressively and can choke out Fescue if optimal conditions exist. Fescue is not invasive and is only active in the cold season.
Wrapping It up
Growing the right grass type for your soil and climate can make a difference between a great and an average lawn. But between Fescue grass vs St Augustine, which is the right turf type for your lawn? You can decide which lawn best suits your needs based on the above comparison.
Check what you need based on the grasses’ best seasons, water requirements, soil type, sun and shade tolerance, and mowing needs. Their appearance, durability, and fertilizer needs will also help you choose an ideal grass for your yard.