Tall Fescues are highly wear tolerant. These grasses stand up well under traffic and newer varieties feature rhizomes which increase the ability to recover quicky from wear. Tall Fescues are very drought tolerant and their deep root systems helps them find the water they need, preventing dormancy far longer than other turfgrasses. In droughty periods, tall fescues will benefit from irrigation to prevent drought stress when they are in a high traffic situation.
Perennial Ryegrasses are tolerant of heavy traffic, and recover quickly from wear. They are often used for sports turf or other high traffic sites, where quick establishment and high wear tolerance are essential. Under higher traffic, irrigate to prevent drought stress and maintain a high fertility level. Perennial Ryegrasses are often used in combination with Tall Fescues and Kentucky Bluegrasses, but in the proper combinations or the aggressive Perennial Ryegrass will overtake the other grasses.
Fine Fescues offer a lot of unique features, but wear tolerance and the ability to recover quickly from injury are not among their offerings. They do not hold up well to traffic and their slower growth rate results in a slow recovery period from wear. They also tend to be slippery and are not suited for use in sports turf situations.
Kentucky Bluegrasses are moderately tolerant to traffic, recovering quickly from injury due to their rhizomatous nature which allows the plants to send up tillers from the mother plant to fill in any gaps. There is wide variation in wear tolerance between varieties as some are more aggressive than others. Under higher traffic, irrigation is needed to prevent drought stress and an aggressive fertilization program is typically used under these conditions.