Can You Mix Bermuda and Fescue in a Lawn?

Many people are curious if they can mix Bermuda Grass and Fescue together. If you want to get rid of the green and brown winter appearance, it will take two years if you plant Bermuda seed into the Fescue. They honestly don’t mix well and you shouldn’t plant them together for a variety of reasons.

Today, we will explore what happens when Fescue and Bermuda Grass grow together, what can kill Bermuda grass but not fescue, and when to kill Bermuda grass in fescue among other interesting information.

Let’s dive in.

The Differences Between Bermuda & Fescue Grass

When Fescue and Bermuda Grass are grown together, it takes some extra maintenance from the gardener to keep them looking good. Fescue and Bermuda Grass have different growing requirements as far as sun exposure, aeration, and thatch maintenance. So it’s important to know how to care for each grass type properly in order to blend them. If not done correctly, the transition from one grass type to another can be quite difficult and may lead to an undesirable patch.

Bermuda grass and Fescue grass have very different advantages and disadvantages which is why they shouldn’t mix. Bermuda grass is known for its ability to stand up to cooler temperatures, showing exceptional growth during summer months. However, it does require regular maintenance and homeowners should fertilizer a Bermuda grass lawn once a year.

On the other hand, Fescue is more tolerant of cool weather temperatures and has a deeper root system which allows it to survive with less frequent watering. It maintains its green color during winter hibernation and usually doesn’t require fertilizing unless used for turf. While both of these kinds of grass can be great in their own setting, a combination of the two is unappealing due to the wildly different characteristics of each species.

All About Bermuda Grass

Bermuda grass is one of the most durable and versatile lawn grasses, with origins in tropical Africa. This hardy grass is now found throughout the warmer climates of the world, from Southern Europe to South America and across the southern United States into California. Capable of growing in a variety of soils, Bermuda grass greatly prefers sandy or clay-loam soils over other varieties for enhanced growth. Its shallow rooting and aggressive nature also allow it to establish itself quickly in compacted soils and rocky terrain; more often than not, it thrives where other warm-season turf species fail. 

While it can tolerate drier conditions, Bermuda grass grows best with frequent irrigation during hot summer months. The resulting thicker but smoother blade structure will help reduce water evaporation levels while providing you with a uniform and deep green color that appears carpet-like in look but feels like velvet underfoot. It only requires moderate amounts of nitrogen nutrition to retain its color and desire spongy texture which makes it easier on foot traffic when compared to other turf grasses. 

This resilient turf-grass performs well even in medium soil salinity levels due to its high salt resilience; making it ideal for producing beautiful home lawns near coastal regions too. Finally, surrounding wildlife is attracted by the pleasant smell produced by Bermuda’s mass flowering season when some varieties produce white or yellow flowers resembling petals making it a popular annual choice for landscapers.

All About Fescue Grass

Fescue grass is a cool-season turf-grass native to Europe and North America, with origins in Central Asia. It’s known for its ability to tolerate cool weather temperatures while maintaining the same green color during winter hibernation. Deeply rooted, it requires less frequent watering than Bermuda grass, making it one of the most drought-tolerant warm-season species available. Fescue also has better tolerance for irregular mowing and fertilizing, making it a low maintenance option.

Fescue is also ideal for larger lawns due to its deep rooting habit and tall blade size; this allows it to lay down a bit giving it the appearance of dense foliage. It’s capable of resisting foot traffic and wear from other activities like sports and play areas unlike many other turf varieties. Fescue also produces fewer allergenic pollen compared to other grasses such as Bermuda and makes it a great option for those with allergies.

What Happens When Fescue and Bermuda Grass Grow Together?

When Fescue and Bermuda grass grow together in the same lawn, the results can be quite dramatic. Both types of grass have distinct habits when it comes to their growth; Fescue is cool-season, while Bermuda is warm-season and much more aggressive. Generally, Fescue holds its own if there is an even amount of sunlight and adequate water.

However, too much sun exposure and over-fertilization can cause the fescue to be crowded out by Bermuda grass. It’s also important to note that Fescue is considerably more shade tolerant than Bermuda grass, thus making it a viable choice for areas with little sunlight. To determine which type of grass you have growing in your lawn, simply look at the leaves. Fescue has narrower blades while Bermuda grass has wider blades with a more prominent ‘V’ shape.

Fusillade and Ornamec kills bermuda grass but not fecsue
Some herbicides such as Fusillade and Ornamec target Bermuda grass, leaving Fescue alone

What Will Kill Bermuda Grass But Not Fescue?

We’ve seen a lot of people searching Google for information on how to get Bermuda grass out of Fescue.

Managing a yard with both Bermuda grass and Fescue can be a tricky affair. Fortunately, there are some chemical and herbicidal options to help eliminate one without harming the other. For example, Fusillade and Ornamec are a systemic herbicides that can be used to kill Bermuda grass, leaving your Fescue unharmed. It should, however, be applied with precision as it can harm other plants if not used correctly. You also will likely have to apply these selective herbicides many times to completely eradicate Bermuda grass.

Additionally, corn gluten meal is a non-toxic option to consider for controlling Bermuda grass without harming Fescue.

Some gardeners have also had success by over-seeding an area covered in Bermuda grass with Fescue seeds to starve out the competing weed with healthier foliage. However, it is important to choose the right kind of Fescue when over-seeding. Monitor any new growth closely so as not to cause lasting damage. Ultimately, whichever method is chosen should serve to convert from Bermuda grass to Fescue.

When to Kill Bermuda Grass in Fescue

Seasons can play a role in the success of killing Bermuda grass in Fescue. During late summer and early fall, cool-season grasses such as Fescue are actively growing while warm-season grasses such as Bermuda are going dormant or slowing down their growth. This makes it easier to eliminate the competing weed with herbicides.

Using pre-emergent herbicides can also help with weed control in Fescue lawns, as it prevents seeds from germinating and prevents weeds like Bermuda grass to gain a foothold. Applying them in the late fall or early spring allows for maximum results, as these are the times when warm-season grasses are actively growing and cool-season grasses are slowing down.

Should I Just Kill Everything & Start Fresh?

It is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of both killing just the Bermuda grass in a Fescue lawn, or killing the entire lawn and starting over with Fescue.

Killing the Bermuda grass in a Fescue lawn could be an easier option if there are only a few patches of it scattered throughout the lawn. It is also more time- and cost-effective than replacing the whole lawn with Fescue seed, since it does not require removing all existing grass and starting from scratch.

On the other hand, if there is a larger amount of Bermuda grass or a thicker patch that has taken over the Fescue lawn, it may be more effective to kill off the entire lawn and start fresh with Fescue seed. This method involves more work and costs more upfront, but it could result in a healthier, more aesthetically pleasing lawn in the long run.

Can Other Types of Grass Also Overtake Bermuda Grass?

There are several types of grass that also have the potential to overtake Bermuda Grass in a lawn. One of the most common grasses used as a competitor is Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis). Kentucky bluegrass is a cool-season grass that can tolerate low mowing heights and is relatively drought-tolerant.

Another popular grass is fine fescue (Festuca Rubra). This grass has a dense, deep root system which helps it to better compete with Bermuda Grass. It is also quite tolerant of drought and shade, making it a good option to consider when trying to establish a lawn with some degree of resistance to Bermuda Grass.

Finally, some warm-season grasses are also capable of competing with Bermuda Grass. Zoysiagrass (Zoysia spp.) is a warm-season grass that is well adapted to warmer climates and grows slowly, so it can help keep Bermuda Grass at bay.


Overall, Bermuda grass vs. Fescue can be a challenging mix to manage. Understanding the differences between them, as well as taking certain steps like using herbicides or over-seeding with Fescue can help convert Bermuda grass lawns into ones full of healthy and lush Fescue turf.

With a bit of patience and dedication, you can have a lawn that looks great all year round.