Updated 8/23/2021

Originally published 2/17/17

A beautiful lawn is a thing to behold. Nothing improves a home’s curb appeal better than a well-manicured, lush and colorful lawn. In order to begin enjoying your lawn, you have to choose which grass to grow. Bermuda and Fescue grasses are the two most commonly used, but deciding which one is best depends on many factors.

freshly cut grass

Which grass is best for your yard? This article analyzes Bermudagrass and Fescue, tall-type grasses, and their proper care techniques.


Different grasses require different care, so what are the best ways to manicure and nurture Bermuda grass?

How to Mow Bermuda Grass:

  • Bermuda grass needs to be mowed very carefully, utilizing the correct type of mower. Otherwise, the grass could become scalped and damaged.
  • The good thing about bermudagrass, is that you can cut it extremely short, douse it with grass/weed killer, and it’ll still come back to green in a few weeks. (Fescue grasses aren’t quite as resilient)
  • Typically, it is best to cut Bermuda to a height of one to one-and-a-half inches during the warmer months. Once summer is over, it is best to let the grass get to a height of two inches. During the fall season, you should only mow the grass occasionally.

How to Water Bermuda Grass:

  • Bermuda grass is unique in that you only have to water it once a week for it to be healthy.
  • The optimal watering depth for Bermuda grass is six inches.

Aerating Tips for Bermuda Grass:

  • Bermuda lawns should only be aerated in the summer months since this is the season for optimal growth.

Choose Bermuda grass for your lawn if your area has direct sunlight throughout the day. Bermuda does not grow well in shade and thrives in climates that experience very hot summers.


Fescue requires individual care that will foster a lush, beautiful lawn. The following tips will help homeowners take proper care of their Fescue lawns.

How to Mow Fescue Grass:

  • Mow Fescue grass to a height of 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches.
  • Mow on a regular basis to prevent grass from growing too tall.

How to Water Fescue Grass:

  • Water Fescue grasses frequently and thoroughly during the hot summer months, usually one to two inches or more weekly.

How to Aerate Fescue Grass:

  • Fescue lawns grow the most in the fall, so be sure and aerate during September or October for best results.

The advantages of each type of grass are numerous depending on your climate zone, soil type, and a few other factors. Bermuda grass can be scalped and turn brown/straw-colored, but bounce back to green in a short time. While Bermuda offers the ability to look like golf course grass, it also goes dormant in the late fall until March or April. Meanwhile, Fescue stays green year-round with proper treatment. Finding out your soil type (acidic, basic, more clay-based, etc) can be a huge factor in what type of lawn you want if you’re starting new. In the Southeast, Bermuda tends to thrive and is treated fairly easily. But it’s really all about how you decide you want your grass to be.

If your lawn is exposed to direct sun or light shade, then you might choose Fescue since it responds well to this type of exposure. Visit your local nursery for any questions you may have on which grass is the best grass for your lawn.