Before overseeding, mow the lawn to a height of 1 to 2 inches. Still, it is one of the best … During the cold winter months, cool season grasses such as turf type tall fescue stops top growth. I know that some grass will stick around all year, even in the winter, but this is not exactly the case for tall fescue. To help your fescue spread in shady lawn areas, allow the grass to grow a half-inch to 1 inch higher than fescue growing in the sun. Like many of our vegetables and fruit trees, even if they do produce viable seed the seedlings won’t be “breed true”. Then roll the area with a lawn roller to ensure good soil-to-seed contact. These soil temperatures roughly correspond to fall and spring air temperatures in the range of 68 to 77 F.1. Plant tall fescue seed in the fall, between September 15 and the end of October, so the seedlings will have plenty of time to become strong in preparation for the summer heat nine months hence. Letting your lawn go to seed won't be the same as planting new grass seed that creates a brand new lush lawn. The most important aspect in choosing when to plant the fescue seed is the temperature of the soil. But if you have ever dealt with shaded grass, you’ll know that thinning is almost inevitable. By planting high-quality, high-performance tall fescue seed, such as The Rebels® Brand tall fescue seed products, your lawn benefits from years of turf-type tall fescue innovation and research. The Rebels is a trademark of Pennington Seed, Inc. 1. Tall fescue germinates best when soil temperatures near 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. After the seeds form and disperse, the tall fescue grass continues to grow into the fall. Weeds are pesky. Keep these steps in mind when planting a blue fescue from seeds. Late August into September is the best time to establish a lawn from seed, but late April into early June also will work. As a result, spring-planted tall fescue may struggle more than fall-planted seed. Fescue-alfalfa Alfalfa in a fescue mixture is best adapted to well-drained, high-fertility soils. Go over the lawn several times with the machine. It takes most fescue seeds 14 to 21 days to germinate and show signs of growth. Tall Fescue grass seed is a cool-season bunch species used for home lawns, parks, and sports fields in warmer parts of the country. Using a light roller to compact the soil around the seeds when help them sprout and grow. Step 1 - Select Location. We are in a heavy drought right now. Several types of fescue grass seed are available and often one or more are part of typical grass seed mixtures. Under the right conditions, fescue is green year-round, but it can go … Low mowing in early spring is damag­ ing to centipedegrass and St. Augustinegrass lawns since they spread by aboveground stems (stolons) and are more prone to injury from this practice. 12 Does fine fescue grass spread? Fall is the best time to overseed (or plant) fescue grass seed. As the newest leaf blades emerge, they appear in the rolled-up form. Tall fescue plants produce tillers; leaf blades growing from the basal shoot of the mother plant. 10.1 When will germination occur in fine fescue? These outstanding turf-type tall fescues grow 40 percent more roots at deeper depths than ordinary grass seed, offering greater heat and drought tolerance as well as improved nutrient uptake. Cool nights, moderate days and warm soil are ideal ingredients for fast, thorough germination and sturdy establishment of tall fescue seed. One tall fescue plant can produce many tillers. Fescue should not be grazed for more than 7 days in a row. Just wanted to share my experiences growing blue fescue from seed. Post-Planting Care. Slender Creeping Red Fescue (Festuca rubra): Used often in golf courses and is tolerant of mowing as well as high salinity. Fall is the ideal time for seeding or overseeding tall fescue lawns. Alfalfa usually does not persist too long in a fescue mixture, especially under grazing conditions. The seed of tall fescue shatters easily when ripe. Tall fescue is known for its clumping growth habit, which is why you will also hear people refer to it as a \"bunchi… How to Grow Fine Fescue Grass. As post-winter soil and air temperatures warm, spring is your second best time to plant tall fescue seed. Then sow (broadcast) your Fescue seeds on the area to be planted generally in the early fall (Aug - Sept) for your best results. The best time to plant fescue grass (Festuca spp.) The blades on Bermuda, are thick and coarse. This allows time for the 7- to 21-day germination period for turf-type tall fescue plus adequate time for roots to establish before winter comes. Fall offers several advantages not available any other time of year. So try to get your seed out in September. The best time of the year to overseed is in the fall. If you must wait until October there is an increased likelihood of slow/low germination. In general, plant tall fescue at least 45 days before your region's typical first fall frost date. Well go to my link and look at the picture of a tall fescue seedhead. While red fescue will grow fine on its own, it does much better when mixed with other grass seeds. It is less heat tolerant than tall fescue, but it is more shade tolerant. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Healthy, green, and thick tall fescue grass is at the finger of your tips. Fescue sod is much more expensive than seed and must be laid “wall to wall” rather than plugged since fescue does not spread well. Follow best practices for planting grass seed, from seed selection and soil testing to proper care during germination and beyond. Tall Fescue The top side of the blades is shiny and the blades are very coarse to the touch. Generally, this type of lawn looks similar to bluegrass, except with slightly wider leaf blades. Seasonal fall and spring rains help keep germinating seed and seedling evenly moist. Get a garden tiller or tractor tiller. Tall fescue seed needs soil temperatures near 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit for thorough germination and strong root development. Creeping red fescue is a fine-leaved fescue that spreads by underground rhizomes, allowing it to fill in open spaces. As with all cool-season lawn grasses, the best time to plant tall fescue is during fall's prime growth season. Sod can be planted when it is available, December – May. Don’t be afraid to spread plenty of seed over the area. This gives the seed time to germinate, grow and develop sufficient root depth before the summer heat arrives in the following year. commutata) and hard fescue (Festuca longifolio). Move back and forth from one side of the planting … The fescue grasses, when planted properly, germinate within 10 to 14 days. Late summer to early fall is the best time to plant tall fescue seed. Thus tall fescue turf can grow denser over time but a pure stand of tall fescue is unlikely to spread or fill in dead spots with new plants. Early spring offers the second best planting time for tall fescue seed. Fine Fescue. In other words, producing seed is more important to the plant than spreading rhizomes and stolens. Tall fescue can be overseeded at the rate of 3-5 pounds per 1000 square feet (Usually 1/2 new lawn rate). Seedland: When to Plant Fescue Grass Seed, UC IPM Online: Tall Fescue - Festuca Arundinacea, University of Arizona Coperative Extension: Fun Facts about Tall Fescue, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources: No-Mow Fineleaf Fescue Grasses for California Urban Landscapes, The Best Herbicides to Kill Dollar Weed in Bahia Grass. To succeed, seeds need to make good contact with the soil. The best way to tell them apart is by seeing them both side by side. For fall seeding, wait for soil to cool to this range. Fall (September or October) is the best time to plant fescue seeds, because the young grass will suffer less heat and disease stress. Hard fescue is ideal for low-maintenance lawns; it is disease-resistant, extremely heat-tolerant and drought- and shade-tolerant. In short, selecting the best tall fescue grass seed is not a complicated process when you know well the benefits and downsides of the seeds. This will show you why you might be wrong. This grass tolerates lots of soil types, and it can handle shade as well as sun exposure. Tall fescue seeds are bigger seed (see picture at right) than many grass seeds, and are easily planted. As cool-season grasses, tall fescues establish best during late summer to early fall when cool weather supports vigorous growth. 10.2 What do I mean by proper care? Turf-type tall fescue seed blends are available and should be sown at eight to nine pounds per one-thousand square feet. When does tall fescue go dormant? Tall fescue grass is an excellent cool-season variety for a lawn. Fescue also has thick blades. Stop when you have 10 or more aerator holes per square foot. The POA tends to be more in a clump and a lighter color than the fescue seedheads. Always leave clippings on the lawn in a practice called “grass-cycling”. Once the endophyte enters the seed heads of the tall fescue seeds are produced. Many factors affect the germination period, including the temperature, your soil’s oxygen level, and its watering schedule. Early-flowering yellow forsythia bushes bloom when soil temperatures reach 55 F. Confirm soil temperature with a soil thermometer, and plan tall fescue seeding accordingly. The grass forms low tight mounds and produces tall flower tipped stems in May to June. Most varieties will grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9. Planted the seeds in 6-8 peat pots and pretty much ignored them. high. 2. Fescue is a cool-season grass; that means it grows best in the spring and fall when temperatures are cooler, and it struggles during the heat of summer. For Upper Midwest lawns, mid-August may bring ideal conditions. Unlike spring, when soil often becomes overly wet, fall soil is more likely to maintain healthy moisture levels. Establish the grad e. This is probably more than most of us can afford. Although fescues can go without water for longer periods than many other grasses, planting a new lawn or overseeding requires regular watering until the grass is about 1 inch tall. Ideally, you’ll put fescue seed down about three weeks before the first frost of the season. Classically, fescue grass is sold in the form of seed which must be scattered, although it is also available in the form of grass plugs or sod. Seed heads can be pretty easy to avoid for the most part, by sticking to a consistent lawn care program. Some people say they find overseeding both spring and fall works best for them. Rebels is a high performance, low maintenance Turf-Type Tall Fescue with varieties that perform well in heavy traffic areas, as well as sun and shade. Plant 1/8 inch (3 ml.) A: Herbicides that contain 2,4-D have a three week waiting period before planting seed. If you are pressed, early spring is a fair second choice. Grass clippings decompose quickly and do not contribute to thatch. About Fescue Grass Lawns. By allowing fescue to grow high, you'll encourage the grass to spread. Shade Tolerant: Though it varies by type, fescue grasses in general can tolerate more shade than other cool-season lawn grasses and are frequently included in shade-tolerant seed mixes. Hard fescue, chewings fescue and creeping red fescue tolerate shady conditions. If you are planting a new lawn, you will need about 4 pounds of seed per 1000 square feet (93 m). For more information on fertilizing lawns refer to HGI… I have a broad mix of plants in the pasture, all are browning. What Fertilizer Do You Put on Fescue Grass in the Winter? Extreme heat causes the plant to die back. @alex94: We have fescue grass and we tilled the area first. Fine fescue can improve shady lawn areas or lawns that face very cold winters. Since tall fescue is a bunch type grass and does not spread, it is necessary to overseed occasionally to maintain turf thickness. Remove any hills or holes. Use a seeding device or spread the seeds evenly over the area by hand. If you need to fill in some areas in your lawn, it’ll be easier and more effective to … Farther north, favorable conditions may wait until April or even early May. Tall fescue seed requires consistent moisture during germination, and gentle fall rains meet that need. This will ensure the lawn looks full once the fescue … Driving around yesterday I began to notice both fescue seedheads and POA. Fall (September or October) is the best time to plant fescue seeds, because the young grass will suffer less heat and disease stress. Alfalfa usually does not persist too long in a fescue mixture, especially under grazing conditions. On September 16, 2012 I concluded a two year trial of five tall fescue cultivars and one Kentucky bluegrass cultivar in my back yard in Buffalo NY to answer the question “Does tall fescue spread?” The answer is yes and no, depending on how you define the word “spread”. Blue has a Ph.D. in biological sciences from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and wrote scientific articles for almost 20 years before starting to write gardening articles in 2004. Mow frequently enough so that no more than ⅓ of the grass blade is removed. 11.1 Will it survive a drought? For more information on mowing lawns refer to HGIC 1205, Mowing Lawns. Fescue may also be seeded in the Spring (before May). Cool-season grasses like turf-type tall fescue and perennial rye sown over cold winter soils will germinate sooner than the same grass seed sown in April. Late summer to early fall is the best time to plant tall fescue seed. Fescue grass seeds germinate best when the soil temperature is 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Fall is the best time to plant fescue and other cool season grass. It is suitable for USDA zones 4 to 9, but prefers areas without blistering hot summers. Whether you seed or sod, early fall is the ideal planting time. This will give the seeds plenty of germination time, allowing roots to establish before winter arrives. Fertilizing: Do not fertilize tall fescue after March 15. I want to make sure you know how to determine whether or not tall fescue is dead or dormant, so let’s take a look. Overseeding a fescue lawn helps to fill in bare spots, thickens the lawn and allows the introduction of newer fescue varieties. Once fescue begins to reach a height of 8 inches or more, it is time to begin grazing. If the lawn is covered 50% or more with healthy fescue, use a core aerator. ©2017 The Rebels. Ask your seed supplier for an endophyte certificate showing the endophyte-free status for any new seeding. One is to renovate pastures and plant endophyte-free tall fescue. Drought Tolerant: All grasses need water, but fescues are moderately drought tolerant and slower to go dormant than other cool-season grasses. Even though this common broad-leaf weed killer does not harm mature fescue plants, it can inhibit seed germination and growth. The endophyte moves from the stems of the grass into the seed heads. For cool season grasses, including tall fescue, the best time for planting grass seed is in the fall. Many factors affect the germination period, including the temperature, your soil’s oxygen level, and its watering schedule. Many aggressive lawn weeds go dormant as temperatures fall, so new grass faces less weed competition. 5 Spring is the second best time to seed KY-31. In transition zone lawns, ideal conditions may arrive in March. Well you asked for it. It can survive in the heat. Myth: If I mow my lawn on the lowest not their preferred snack. Although fall is considered the best time to plant fescue seed, planting in spring is also possible. By choosing The Rebels, you will get better color, finer leaf texture, and increased germination. Cool nights, moderate days and warm soil are ideal ingredients for fast, thorough germination and sturdy establishment of tall fescue seed. Follow these best practices for grass seeding for a more beautiful and resilient lawn. When the seeds come into contact with the soil, germination begins. Fescue-lespedeza It is usually difficult to achieve yields of 2 tons of hay equivalent or more per acre and still maintain lespedeza in the stand. Prepare the soil as for any other grass seed and keep the seedbed soil moist for at least 10 to 14 days to encourage germination and deep root development. When it comes to grass, the best way to grow it is with seeds. There are some very inexpensive models that you can buy. Seeding with high-performance seed such as The Rebels® Brand Extended Root Seed Varieties offers even greater protection against heat and potential drought. You’ll need about five pounds (2 kg) of fescue seed for every 1,000 square feet (93 square meters). Fescue facts from Seedland ; How to seed lawns from Seedland ; Writer Bio. As in fall, time spring planting to coincide with soil temperatures of 60 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer and consistent air temperatures between 68 to 77 F.2. You Can Let Your Fescue Lawn Go Dormant ” Head Farm Steward says: July 2, 2012 at 11:56 am Why have a lawn when you can put in heavy mulch beds and grow something you can eat! 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