The Pros and Cons of Kentucky 31 vs Tall Fescue

You undoubtedly already know that you need seasonal grass for your lawn. Two of the most popular cool-season grasses are very different from one another, as seen by a side-by-side comparison. Your lawn could turn out to be a brownish color if you plant the wrong kind of grass on it. There are many different kinds of grass to pick from, making it hard to choose on one for your lawn.

The Pros and Cons of Kentucky 31 vs. Tall Fescue

Two of the most sought-after cool-season grasses are Kentucky 31 and Tall Fescue. Depending on your specific landscaping needs, you’ll want to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each option. The temperature, soil, and grasses native to your region will all play a role in your decision on which grasses will thrive in your area. To assist you choose between Kentucky 31 and Tall Fescue, this post will compare and contrast their features.

Kentucky 31

Kentucky 31

In the early 1800s, Europeans brought tall fescue grass seed, known as K 31, to the United States. Kentucky 31 pasture grass is frequently utilized in America’s pastures for livestock. In comparison to other types of fescue grass, tall fescue grasses offer exceptional heat tolerance with minimal upkeep.

Kentucky 31 is a “confirmed” old lawn grass species notable for its pale green color and gritty texture. The inexpensive pricing and high general quality are the major reasons for its widespread acceptance. Kentucky 31 grasses are the best for use as lawn grass and turf.

Many states in the United States, from Missouri to Oregon, are ideal for cultivating Kentucky 31 tall fescue seed. Although Pennington is low-cost and simple to set up, it has yet to prove its worth. When it comes to lawn care, Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue Grass Seed is still a popular option because of its durability and resilience in the face of heat, drought, and foot traffic. With the aid of Kentucky 31, towering fescue grasses were transformed from a rough field into a finely trimmed, luxuriant lawn. Lawn owners value it because it is simple to plant, hardy in dry conditions, and forgiving of high temperatures.


Kentucky 31 is an excellent grass for lawns due to the following features:

  • Low-priced and simple to execute
  • Water-repellent.
  • Holds up well even in high-footfall areas.
  • Kentucky 31 heat-tolerant plant species
  • An alluring tint of green.

It is well knowledge that K-31 is a high-quality grass that may be utilized by homeowners to create a functional lawn.

Grass of the Kentucky Bluegrass Region

Samples of seeds from well-established Kentucky fields were used to kick off a new research initiative. The grass was named Kentucky 31 tall fescue after the state it was discovered in and released to the agricultural seed market in 1942. 1 It swiftly rose to prominence after being put to use as agricultural grass, wildlife habitat, and erosion prevention. Tall fescue’s deep roots allow it to grow with less irrigation.

Tall fescue’s many endearing qualities include its low maintenance requirements, quick growth after planting, and strong, stable root systems. Tall fescue grass can spread its roots as far as two to three feet below the surface. Tolerating the summer’s heat and drought may be easier on the grass if it has this shield.

Yards benefit greatly from tall fescue and other filler grasses since they can survive with as little as four hours of sunshine each day, they are resistant to drought, and they are tough. Tall fescue grows in clusters. Its primary weakness is the inability to mend itself, therefore it needs to be handled with more care than other types of grass. Tall fescue is primarily cultivated throughout the spring and fall months when temperatures are mild. Because of its tolerance for cooler temperatures, cool-season tall fescue thrives in partially shaded areas.


Tall Fescue grass has several features:

  • Tolerant of high temperatures and dry conditions.
  • Use very little water
  • Excellent for usage in high-volume settings
  • Shade- and sun-tolerant.
  • Insufficient need for nitrogen
  • Activated by high temperatures, it has antimicrobial characteristics.

Which Is Better, Kentucky 31 or Tall Fescue?

Neither Kentucky 31 nor Kentucky Tall Fescue may be considered superior to the other because they serve different purposes. There are a lot of things to think about, such the weather, the soil, and the lawn care routine you use.

Here are the primary distinctions between these two kinds of grass:

Characteristics of a Developing Individual

Autumn and spring, with their milder temperatures, are when Kentucky 31 grows at its fastest. In general, tall fescues can withstand higher temperatures than other types of cool-season grass, but Kentucky-31 can withstand higher temperatures and drought conditions than most tall fescues. The tall fescue tends to grow in clusters.

Some clumps may be irreparably broken if they are injured. Contrary to fescue, which prefers shade, Kentucky 31 does well in full sun. Greater irrigation is required in Kentucky because of the state’s thin soil. By giving KBG enough of water, you can ensure that it flourishes.


Different uses can benefit more from Kentucky 31 or Tall Fescue. Strong and self-sufficient, Kentucky 31 grass is ideal for playgrounds, while Tall Fescue is grown in fields to provide livestock with hay. However, if seeded heavily, both can result in a beautiful, long-lasting grass. Many people image lush, soft, green grass, and Kentucky 31 is the place they think of. A tall fescue lawn, especially one that is lush and hardly used, will thrive with regular watering and care.

Tall fescue’s extensive root structure makes it more heat resistant in dry, hot climates. However, tall fescue loses some of its defensive capabilities when subjected to foot traffic. Kentucky 31 is commonly used for sports grounds. Repairs caused by vehicular traffic can be quickly reversed by foot movement. KBG grass develops an entangled turf due to the way its stems and roots interlock at the soil’s surface. Therefore, Kentucky 31 grass is used for turf whereas Tall Fescue grass is used for livestock.


The color tones of Kentucky 31 and Tall Fescue grass are distinct from one another. The Kentucky 31 is a slightly darker green while the Tall Fescue is a slightly lighter green.


Fertilizers for tall fescue and those for Kentucky 31 aren’t interchangeable because they’re used for separate plants. One pound of nitrogen is needed to ensure the success of tall fescue grass over a 1,000 square foot area. Similarly to how watering is optional, mowing is discretionary. In Kentucky 31, grass needs three pounds of nitrogen per square foot. In addition to Nitrogen, increased mowing frequency is essential for meeting water conservation goals.


Instead of spreading in clusters that can leave your lawn looking patchy, Tall Fescue develops sods that fill in bare areas as it grows. Overseeding your lawn on a regular basis is recommended if you chose Tall Fescue as your grass type.

By combining Kentucky 31 with Tall Fescue Grass

It’s best to keep using turf-type tall fescue on lawns where it has already taken root. It’s fine to mix Kentucky seed with turf-type tall fescue. It typically yields superior results. In many ways, Kentucky 31 and Tall Fescue are equivalent. The fact is that Tall Fescue is just Kentucky 31 with a few improvements. Kentucky 31 is sluggish to establish and prone to weeds, while tall fescue is sensitive to Rhizoctonia Solani. Seeding combinations that include both Kentucky 31 and Tall Fescue have been demonstrated to be effective in the past.

In most cases, the tall fescue blend and the Kentucky 31 and tall fescue mixture were deemed superior. Many successful outcomes have resulted from combining tall fescue, Kentucky 31, and perennial ryegrass. Although nitrogen and cutting height did have some impact on turfgrass quality, they had no noticeable impact on the plant community as a whole. Eighty to ninety percent (by weight) tall fescue and ten to twenty percent (by weight) Kentucky 31 mixtures perform well.

However, you won’t get the desired results if you mix chemicals and fertilizers in the incorrect proportions. This necessitates extreme caution on your part. Check that the mixture of chemicals, fertilizer, and grass seeds is just right. Get some advice from an expert if you’re still lost. A successful end can only be achieved by combining the components in the right proportions.

In Closing

Since Kentucky 31 and Tall Fescue thrive in different conditions, it’s important to take into account your preferences, requirements, and geographic location before making a final decision. Although Kentucky 31 thrives in warmer climates, tall fescue can withstand higher temperatures with less care. According to their intended purpose and the local climate, Kentucky 31 and Tall Fescue will both require consistent irrigation and fertilization.

The results can be improved by combining Tall Fescue with Kentucky 31. Kentucky, on the other hand, is an excellent choice if you’d rather not spend a lot of time tending to your lawn.