Quackgrass vs Tall Fescue – Which One To Plant?

Quackgrass vs Tall Fescue
Quackgrass vs Tall Fescue

When it comes to lawn care, it’s important to find the right type of grass to ensure that your lawn looks good and stays healthy all summer long. Tall fescue and quackgrass are both types of grass that are commonly used in lawns, and each one has its own unique qualities that can work great in certain situations and not so great in others. In this blog, we’ll compare tall fescue vs quackgrass to help you determine which one will work best for your lawn!

Quackgrass vs Tall Fescue


The most common type of grass in the U.S., quackgrass is a fast-growing weed that looks similar to other types of grass and can be found in most yards. Although quackgrass is a weed, it actually functions as a ground cover when it grows densely. Quackgrass grows vigorously and competes well with less hardy weeds. If you need to get rid of quackgrass quickly, you should use a pre-emergent herbicide to kill the roots before they spread.

If you have a large area that needs to be treated, then use 2 oz of product per 1,000 square feet. You will want to water the lawn first so that the chemical has something to adhere to, and wait at least three days before mowing or walking on the lawn. If your lawn has been invaded by quackgrass, you might also want to consider replacing it with another type of grass.

Tall Fescue

Fescue is a perennial grass that can grow in harsh conditions. These hardy plants produce a deep root system, which helps support the growth of other plants and prevents erosion. There are many varieties of fescue, but one of the most popular types is tall fescue, so named because it grows to about 6 inches in height. Tall fescues have attractive blue-green color, excellent drought tolerance, and are colder tolerant than Kentucky bluegrass. It has less shade tolerance than some other varieties of fescue and produces less biomass. One downside to this type of lawn is that it doesn’t tolerate heavy traffic well. It’s also not recommended for use on steep slopes or areas with clay soil.

Differences between Quackgrass and Tall Fescue

Both are hardy and environmentally sustainable. However, their different characteristics can help you decide which one to plant in your yard. Quackgrass is best for low-water lawns and infertile soils, but it will require annual spring overseeding to maintain a thick lawn. Tall fescue needs more water and fertilizer than quackgrass, but its roots go deeper, so it’s better at competing with weeds and less likely to need reseeding.

For those who live near highways or areas that often flood, tall fescue is the way to go because of its natural resistance to salt and wind. It also has fewer species of grasses that spread weed problems than quackgrass does. Tall fescue is also more expensive to buy, costing around $3 per square foot, while quackgrass ranges from $1-$2 per square foot. The difference in price reflects the benefits each type of grass offers. As long as you know what you’re looking for and have the money to invest, either type could be right for your lawn!


  • Both are considered cool-season grasses, which makes them more resilient in the winter and allows them to get a head start on summer growth.
  • Because they grow at different rates, tall fescue and quackgrass work together to form a healthy lawn.
  • Seeding needs to be done twice a year for both quackgrass and tall fescue.
  • As with most types of grass, quackgrass can’t take heavy traffic, but it can take drought better than other types of turf.
  • Tall fescue requires less watering than other turf options like Kentucky bluegrass because it doesn’t need as much mowing or upkeep due to its quick development into an attractive turf.

Key Takeaways

Both species are considered good, low-maintenance lawns but they do differ in a few key ways. Quackgrass needs less water and more sun to thrive than tall fescue. It also grows faster and spreads more quickly than tall fescue. Quackgrass may have a larger root system, too, which means that it can better survive dry spells.

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