Fescue Grass Care
Hard Fescue is the indeed the one of the hardiest of the fescue grass species. More disease resistant, shade and drought tolerant, this fescue grass is also one the more heat tolerant of the fine fescue grass species. Newer turf type fescue grass varieties have a very good turf quality with improved disease resistance and a good looking medium dark green color. For more on turf type hard fescue, visit our store Seedland.com.Watering Hard Fescue
Fescue Grass Care
Fescue (Festuca spp.) is a cool-season grass prized for its year-round color and ability to tolerate shade and drought. Coarse and tough, fescue is a good choice for high-traffic or play areas and is often used on golf courses. Fescue will grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 1 through 12, depending on species. Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) performs well in the “transition zone,” in which summers are hot and winters are cold. Fine fescue, such as Festuca rubra and Festuca ovina, is adapted to cooler and maritime zones. Hot summers can stress this cool-season grass, but with proper care, fescue will perform well throughout the entire year.
Fescue Grass Care
Kentucky Bluegrass and Other Bluegrass Varieties Kentucky bluegrass is used more widely than any other cool season lawn grass in the U.S. Learn why it is so popular and how to plant, grow and care for it. Perennial and Annual Ryegrass Ryegrass has come a long way the the introduction of new turf species. See the pros and cons of using the perennial or annual varieties. Fine Fescues – The Perfect Shade Grass The fine fescue grasses are known for their exceptional shade and cold tolerance. They also have some of the narrowest blades of any grass type. Click here for detailed information about its climate range, uses and management. Watering a New Lawn Watering a new lawn is very different from watering a mature lawn. When planting a new lawn, success will be greatly increased by learning proper watering techniques. Overseeding Lawns – Tips and Techinques for a Beautiful Lawn Lawn overseeding is one of the most overlooked practices by homeowners. However, it is one of the most important steps you can take to maintain a consistently thick and beautiful lawn. Find complete information on why and how to overseed correctly. Understanding Organics and Organic Lawn Fertilization An unbiased look at organic fertilizers, how they work and how to best use them to your advantage. Includes detailed information on natural organic fertilizers and organic/synthetic fertilizer blends. All About Lawn Fertilization Fertilizing a lawn can be tricky if you are not sure how to do it correctly. Find everything from understanding fertilizer ingredients to calculating fertilizer rates to planning your fertilizing schedule for the entire year and more. Lawn Winterization Tips and Techniques Fall winterization is the most important time for fertilizing cool season grasses. Warm season grasses do not receive the same treatment. Find everything you need to know to winterize both cool and warm season grasses. Lawn Moss and How to Control It Lawn moss is a common problem in yards. However, its presence represents deeper soil problems that must be fixed or the moss will stick around. Find out what must be done to finally end your moss problems. Dog Urine Damage on Lawns We all love our pets, but dog urine can do a number on grass. There is hope. Find out what can be done to save your lawn and your pet too. Tall Fescue back to Cool Season Grasses Tall Fescue to Lawn Care Academy Home
Fescue Grass Care
Maintenance requirements for fescue grass are quite low compared to the other cool season grasses used for lawns. Fescue grass requires less mowing, watering and less fertilizer, making fescue grass an environmentally friendly grass. This also means less work for you!
Fescue Grass Care
Creeping Red fescue grass seed can be used to plant a standalone lawn in sun or shade, although this fescue variety prefers shade. Creeping Red Fescue also performs well when mixed with other cool season grasses such as bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, tall fescue or other fine fescues.
Fescue Grass Care
Because of its non-invasive nature and relative low maintenance, fescue is a popular choice of grass for lawns all across the country. However, after a long and hot summer, your fescue lawn can begin to look worn down and sparse. Luckily, the warm days and cool nights of the fall provide us with perfect weather conditions to rejuvenate our fescue lawns. Fescue requires annual reseeding since it doesn’t regerminate on its own.
Fescue can be purchased as sod. However, fescue cannot be made into sod without blending it with another grass type, such as bluegrass. Fescue is a bunch grass and doesn’t have the structure required to hold sod together. For sod to hold together, it needs a grass with rhizomes or stolons. Bluegrass produces rhizomes, which are stems that grow just below the soil surface. When sod is harvested, the root system is cut. It is the rhizomes from the bluegrass that hold the sod together and keep it from falling apart.
Kentucky 31 tall fescue and Alta are examples of the older varieties. They were originally a forage grass, but were sometimes used as a turf grass. If you ever purchased Kentucky 31 tall fescue, you may have noticed that the bag is labeled “For fields and lawn use”. These field types are a larger plant with blade widths 1/2 inch wide or more and reaching twenty-four inches high. If left uncut in the field, the stems and seed heads can reach four feet. They do not produce a thick turf and are not compatible with warm season grasses, such as bermudagrass. Whenever these field type tall fescues are growing in dormant bermudagrass, the fescue has the tendency to grow in large clumps. During the winter, these clumps stand out like a sore thumb.
Another method is to allow the fescue to naturally go dormant as the drought sets in. You may be surprised at how well the grass will respond once the drought is over, even if the grass was completely tan colored. If you are entering drought conditions, don’t water heavily and then halfway into it, stop watering. This may hurt the grass. If that is the case, you will do better to keep watering until the drought is over.
For cool season grasses, including tall fescue, the best time for planting grass seed is in the fall. If the fall is not possible for you, then the second best time for planting grass seed is in the spring. The biggest problem with spring is that the grass may not have time to develop sufficient rooting before the summer heat arrives. Many well started lawns have suffered or were lost due to a late start and hot summer weather.
Tall fescue can also be affected by leaf spot and fusarium blight. Leaf spot is generally a problem in cooler, damp spring weather, but is not usually too detrimental to the grass. Fusarium blight can infect young grass that was planted in the spring. Higher mowing heights (3 to 4 inches), proper irrigation and fertilization are things that can reduce stress and help grass to resist disease problems. Click on the link for specific information on different TurfGrass Diseases and Treatment Options.
Tall Fescue has high wear tolerance and for this reason, is often used on sports fields and playgrounds. It has the ability to withstand high temperatures and is used in areas where other cool season grasses would fail. It is even used extensively in urban areas of southern California where summer temperatures exceed 110 degrees for days at a time. When properly cared for, tall fescue comes through looking great. The one drawback is its high water usage in summer. It is occasionally used in the northern parts of the southern adaptation zone by homeowners who prefer it to warm season grasses. Again, the water usage in hotter climates will be higher than in the cooler areas of the country.
Fescue will struggle in hot, dry summers, especially in the lower half of the U.S. or out west. It requires significant water during summer drought. The drought of 2012 decimated my fescue lawns even when water was added. It was just to hot for too long. Over-seeding was necessary that fall to restore the lawns to their previous beauty.
Tall fescue can be a high water user in summer, especially in the transition zone, southern and western states. There are, however, a few secrets to proper watering to keep fescue green in summer. The most important thing about watering is to water deeply, preferably in the morning hours.
Tip Sandy soils will require more watering in the summer. Newly planted sod requires water every two or three days until it is firmly rooted, which takes about three weeks. Plant fescue seed in the spring or fall. Fescue germinates best when the soil temperatures are between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, or when air temperatures are between 60 and 75 degrees.
When properly managed, tall fescue can provide a green lawn all year round. Tall fescue should be overseeded as needed in the fall or spring for thicker sod formation and to repair thinning areas. Heat stress, insect damage, diseases, or other factors play a role in the lawn becoming thinner over the course of the year.