Zoysia vs Fescue – Which Is Better in 2020?

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A homeowner has several options for repairing a damaged lawn, whether it is due to vehicle traffic, rain, or children out getting some fresh air. The easiest solution may seem to be cordoning the lawn off and let it grow back.

This is perhaps effective, but rarely quick or practical.

Some homeowners might give up entirely and pave the area or else switch to a synthetic turf – doubtless efficient, but rarely cost effective. It is a lot more of a hassle than many have the time or effort.

Even if you can handle this, though, it robs your lawn of its natural state. You may be ignoring more environmentally friendly options that are so readily available today.

Some may have the patience and resources to seed the damaged ground, creating a natural replacement for their yard’s green carpet. Many homeowners will find the best option to be laying down sod – strips of soil with carefully tended grass already sprouting from them.

This creates an instant repair to a trampled lawn while avoiding the many pitfalls of growing your own grass.

Of course, getting sod right means choosing the right type of grass, one that will last in your climate and look good with the rest of your lawn. Two of the most popular breeds of sod grass are Zoysia and Fescue.

Both are noted for their dense coverage and durability after sodding.

Choosing one of these is a matter of which one will last the longest after being laid down and will readily take to the soil after it is placed. We will also be looking at the price and availability of each specimen.

Of course, their aesthetic appeal once placed in your lawn is another consideration.

Zoysia

Zoysia vs Fescue

Zoysia grass is the finer of the two grasses, and creates a thin but complete carpet in the sodded area. Users of zoysia will find that it is a seasonal plant, lasting for warm months and browning in the cooler winter temperatures.

Compared to fescue, zoysia is relatively high maintenance. It will need continual tending to maintain a solid appearance.

It has relatively weak seeds that rely heavily on an established root network to thrive. Although this makes it hard to patch, however, once it is rooted the grass will more reliably patch itself when damaged.

This grass is the decisive favorite for areas of high foot traffic. It noticeably absorbs more wear and tear when compared to fescue.

Zoysia, when damaged beneath the turf, often fully recovers on its own should. Zoysia can better withstand drier and saltier soil than fescue, making it usable in harsher climates or unworked soil.

Zoysia’s appearance is a darker green than fescue. Its finer blades form a dense tangle ground cover. Zoysia does best when mowed below two inches. This promotes the rhizome spreading that gives zoysia its regenerative capacity.

Pros

  • Self-patches
  • Does not wear out easily
  • Can handle rough conditions
  • Dense cover has more visual appeal
  • Finer blades are more pleasant to walk on

Cons

  • High maintenance
  • Browns in the winter

Fescue

Zoysia vs Fescue

 

Related Article: Tall Fescue vs Fine Fescue – Which One To Choose in 2020?

Fescue grass tends to be coarser than zoysia. It can be found in a number of different shades depending on what subspecies is selected.

This grass prefers to be mowed down to three and a half inches. It grows relatively looser than when compared with zoysia.

Although it cannot take the beating that zoysia grass can withstand, fescue grass is more resilient to natural challenges. This species can withstand all seasons, including far more precipitation than zoysia normally tolerates.

Fescue can grow in the shade as well, a quality most grasses lack. That makes it the first choice for those looking to rehabilitate a yard or lawn with areas that fall under tree shade or the shadow of a house.

While zoysia grows from rhizomes, fescue grows from seeds. The latter makes it easier to manually patch holes in the sod cover. It also means this grass is not self-repairing.

As a general rule, fescue should be seeded instead of sodded. It can survive in areas of ‘wind shadow’ from trees and houses that would ordinarily be too shady for anything else to grow.

Fescue does not grow via root network like sodded grass. Fescue grows at a more gradual pace and so it will require less maintenance to remain healthy.

This may be what the homeowner desires. The entire point of a grass replacement is to create an attractive yard. Unkempt grass brings about the opposite effect.

If the sodded area is in a high traffic area, for instance, a play area or sporting pitch – fescue’s rough grass may be unpleasant to walk on. It will be torn up more readily than smooth, fine blades.

 

Pros

  • Resists weather
  • Low maintenance
  • Does not need much light
  • Strong seeds
  • Absorbs water more readily

Cons

  • Cannot take hard use
  • Does not patch itself

The Winner

Zoysia

Zoysia grass is the more appealing choice for homeowners in terms of aesthetic appeal and the work involved. With zoysia, the initial amount of sod can yield far more grass than the homeowner paid for.

Although the need to mow less makes fescue the tempting choice, the grass will need more preparation work as well as patching up when it gets damaged a second time.

The aesthetic factor is more compelling in the decision process than you might think. As a homeowner, it is safe to presume that you are looking for what will make your front lawn look the best.

This point alone may make the choice for you. The smooth, soft blades of zoysia are the clear winner when compared to the many varieties of fescue.

It is worth noting that these two grasses actually thrive in many of the same climates. Homeowners can have the best of both worlds by selecting a blend of the two seeds or mixing sod strips to give the lawn the optimal benefits of both.

Many seed blends and sod mixes are commercially available and are, in fact, blended specifically to shore up the weakness of either species.

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