Tall Fescue Vs Sun and Shade: Differences and Similarities

Published Categorized as Grass Comparison

Does your lawn experience shade most hours of the day? Are you worried this shade might thwart your efforts to achieve healthy grass throughout the growing season? Here’s the good news: Tall fescue and sun and shade grasses are perfect for properties that experience shade for the better part of the day. But which of the two is best for your lawn? Let’s discuss tall fescue vs. sun and shade: differences and similarities.

Sun and shade and tall fescue grasses are top picks for lawns that experience shade for a better part of the day. Both varieties are versatile and super adaptable to various climatic and environmental conditions. The grasses can withstand heat, drought, and shaded areas. They can also resist pests and diseases and work well against weeds like crabgrass and dandelions. However, they have differences based on their appearance, growth time, and texture.

Sun and Shade Vs Tall Fescue: Definition

Tall Fescue Vs Sun and Shade

Tall fescue is a cool-season turf that grows in clumps and is super adaptable to wide-ranging climatic and environmental conditions. This ornamental turf is highly durable and tolerant to shade, cold, heat, and drought. It germinates quickly and has a robust and deep root system, making it extremely drought-tolerant.

Sun and Shade is a versatile grass seed mix containing rye, bluegrass, and fescue. All these varieties can withstand shaded areas and lawns experiencing dappled sunlight. So, if your yard has huge trees or buildings creating shade throughout the day, this grass seed will thrive there.

Generally, if your property experiences full sun, shade, or sub-optimal light conditions, go for sun and shade or tall fescue grasses.

Tall Fescue Vs Sun and Shade: Key Differences

Here are the main differences between Tall Fescue and Sun and Shade grass types you should know:

1. Type of grass

Tall fescue is a grass that belongs to the fescue family. On the other hand, sun and shade have a blend of seeds from fescue, rye, and bluegrass varieties.

2. Growth time

Tall fescue grass takes 6-14 days to grow, while sun and shade grass seed mix takes 5-10 days.

3. Color

Tall fescue retains its bright green color throughout the growing season, even when subjected to a sunny or shaded environment. On the other hand, sun and shade exhibit an assortment of colors since it’s a mix of rye, fescue, and bluegrass.

4. Texture

Sun and shade have fine blades, while tall fescue has medium coarse blades.

Scotts Sun and Shade Vs Tall Fescue: Similarities

i. Drought tolerance: Both grasses are drought tolerant.

ii. Resistance to pests, heat, and drought: These grass types have a strong resistance to heat, drought, pests, and diseases.

iii. Maintenance: Both tall fescue and sun and shade and tall fescue are very easy to care for and require less watering.

iv. Mowing length: These grasses require a mowing length of 2-3 inches.

Scotts Tall Fescue Vs Sun and Shade: Price

If we compare sun and shade and the tall fescue grasses in terms of cost, the tall fescue is more expensive. One lb. of tall fescue costs approximately $7, while that of sun and shade grass seed mix costs around $5. This is because tall fescue is exceptional for new lawns, unlike sun and shade, which is not good for new lawns. Furthermore, the tall fescue lawn is more beautiful.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is the best fescue for sun and shade?

A: The best turf that thrives well in sunny and shady areas is fine fescue, especially the creeping red variety. The second best is tall fescue, particularly the dwarf-type and turf-type varieties.  

Q: What seed is in Scott’s sun and shade mix?

A: The grass seeds used to mix sun and shade are ryegrass, fescue, and bluegrass. This Scott’s sun and shade mix can endure extreme conditions like shade, heat, and drought.


If your lawn is shaded, you can still grow healthy grass by planting tall fescue and sun and shade varieties. These highly durable grasses adapt well to various climatic and environmental conditions.

Therefore, you don’t have to worry about extreme heat or drought, as they can flourish under these conditions too. Tall fescue vs. sun and shade differ in color and growth rate but are great for thickening lawns. They are also very easy to care for and resist pests and diseases.

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