Both fescue and rye grass have two variants, which we will explore in this article. The grass types can seem very similar, but there are key differences to recognize. Why? Because you want to know what you’re dealing with in order to keep it healthy.
Here Is a breakdown of all 4 grass types, followed by a description of their respective features:
- Annual Ryegrass
- Perennial Ryegrass
- Tall Fescue
- Fine Fescue
Annual Rye Grass
Annual Ryegrass, also known as Lolium Multiflorum, is commonly used to overseed the warmer seasoned grasses that are present in warmer climates. Ryegrass will remain green all the way through the winter period until the warmer seasons where it goes dormant.
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But as the warmer spring weather approaches, the Ryegrass will die and warm seasoned grass comes out into action.
Annual Ryegrass has a coarse texture with shiny, medium leaves that have a green color to them. It isn’t very tolerant to drought, excessive sunlight, or extreme temperatures.
When mowing annual ryegrass, the length should be no less than 1.5 to 2 inches. You want to mow most frequently in the spring, to encourages a growth pattern during the warm seasons.
Perennial Rye Grass
Perennial Ryegrass, also known as Lolium Perenne, is used for overseeding in the warmer months. It’s winter hardy in the northern zones that suffer from the colder winters.
With a bright green color and a medium texture, it germinates early and grows quickly. Due to these attributes, it’s often included in turf seed mix.
Perennial ryegrass has a unique growth habit that may be an issue with other species of grass. Thus, you don’t want to compromise any more than 20% of any mixture.
Tall Fescue, also known as Festuca Grundinacea, is very similar to Ryegrass. It has a very coarse feeling, yet a much darker color.
This is a very common choice for general lawn turf, due to being a sturdy grass. It’s strong during a drought, resistant to heat, and sturdy enough to handle heavy foot traffic.
However, tall fescue does not handle the cold very well. Prolonged cold can cause it to become sparse and thinned out.
Additionally, excessive mowing can cause the same problem. When it comes to mowing this grass type, don’t go any shorter then 1.5 inches, to prevent “scalping” the turf and topsoil.
Click here to learn more about the pros and cons of using ryegrasses and fescues as turf grass.
Fine Fescues, also known as Festuca Spp, has a finer texture than its 3 counterparts. Its fronds grow fairly densely, and offer a bright medium-green.
In the warmer areas of the USA, ths is a hardy turf that can deal well with drought or lack of shade. However, it’s not very tolerable to excessive heat or heavy foot traffic.
When it comes to mowing fine fescue, you want to make sure to mow no less than 1.5 to 2.5 inches, in order to avoid thinning and scalping.
Fine fescues are appreciated for being low maintenance in general. Watering needs, fertilization, and mowing frequency are all fairly modest for this turfgrass.