Turf-type Tall Fescue has become a very popular turf grass in many areas of the country. Although it is considered a cool-season grass, many improved cultivars have proven to be heat and drought tolerant. With proper management, tall fescue will provide green cover year around. Recommended for residential and commercial landscapes, golf courses and parks. Also utilized on athletic fields, recreation areas and roadside in northern areas.
SHADE TOLERANCE Very good performance in areas up to 70% shade. Requires 30% filtered or direct sunlight. Will gradually thin out in areas of total shade.
HEAT/COLD TOLERANCE Has good heat tolerance and very good cold tolerance. See shaded portions of map below for suggested areas of use.
DORMANCY If properly cared for, will maintain green color year around in most areas. Cool season grasses show slower growth in summer months. Can go into summer dormancy when irrigation is not applied.
WATER REQUIREMENTS Has medium to high irrigation requirements. Established fescue will tolerate brief periods of drought. Irrigation should be available in Southern areas.
WEAR RESISTANCE-RECOVERY Has very good tolerance to traffic after established. Recovers well from wear, especially in cool season. Is considered a bunch grass and does not spread. May become necessary to overseed.
Rules of Thumb Maintenance Fescue
The amount and frequency of watering, mowing and fertilizing depends upon the desired appearance of your turfgrass. Guidelines for maintenance procedures are offered below as good rules of thumb to follow on an as needed basis in maintaining healthy turfgrass with an attractive appearance.
WATERING To avoid wilting and encourage deep root growth, apply 1 to 1 ½ inches of water in a single application every 5 to 7 days during hot and dry periods.
MOWING Mow regularly with a reel or rotary mower at 2-3 inches. In summer months or shaded conditions, 3 inch cutting heights preferred. Irregular mowing practices may result in high buildups of thatch, which will require verticutting, mulching or removal. Suggested not removing more than 1/3 of the leaf growth during a single mowing.
FERTILIZING Apply ½ to 1 lbs per 1000SF of a full analysis fertilizer containing higher nitrogen, phosphate and potassium, (such as 28-13-13) in September and late February. To maintain a deep green color and density additional nitrogen should be applied in April, May and October at rate of 1-1½ lbs per 1000 SF. Suggest obtaining a soil test for specific fertilizer requirements. Do not fertilize in June, July or August .
WEED CONTROL Weed growth competes with turfgrass growth. Good maintenance practices of your turfgrass help eliminate weed problems. However, it may be necessary even under the best of care, to apply herbicides to maintain weed free turfgrass. Contact your local County Extension agent or herbicide dealer for recommendations for your type turfgrass.
Due to varying soil conditions and fluctuating weather patterns, it is impossible to offer general maintenance guidelines that are perfect for individual sites and situations. Please contact your local County Extension Office or Easton Sod Farms for specific questions.