As the newest leaf blades emerge, they appear in the rolled-up form. 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”. The biggest problem with spring is that the grass may not have time to … The most important aspect in choosing when to plant the fescue seed is the temperature of the soil. 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. Fescue-alfalfa Alfalfa in a fescue mixture is best adapted to well-drained, high-fertility soils. Fall planting offers other benefits, too. This will also be influenced by the temperature, but if your soil is right around that 65-degree Fahrenheit range, you can expect the seeds to germinate within 2 weeks. The daytime air temperature should be between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Mowing: Mow lawn at a height of 3 inches. I saw a packet of blue fescue seeds at WalMart or Target last spring and bought it for something like 35 cents. The best time to plant fescue grass (Festuca spp.) Stop when you have 10 or more aerator holes per square foot. Read the label. Planting turf-type tall fescue under the best possible conditions gives your seeding project a distinct advantage. As post-winter soil and air temperatures warm, spring is your second best time to plant tall fescue seed. Macho Mix fescue seed, Estate Mix bluegrass seed, Premium Shade Mix, and Stadium Special perennial rye are all cool-season grass seed blends and mixes that will perform perfectly for dormant seeding. Move back and forth from one side of the planting … There are some very inexpensive models that you can buy. Tall fescue will go dormant if it becomes too hot. Drought Tolerant: All grasses need water, but fescues are moderately drought tolerant and slower to go dormant than other cool-season grasses. 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. When To Plant Fescue Grass. 12 Does fine fescue grass spread? There has been an increase in seed heads appearing across many turf varieties recently, in most cases this will be due to the … Fertilize in early spring (after a mild winter), late spring or early summer (after a cold winter), late summer and fall. Much of the grass seed that pops up on the tips of the blade may actually be sterile-so don't expect bare patches to miraculously fill in. This grass tolerates lots of soil types, and it can handle shade as well as sun exposure. 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. Background Tall fescue is known as a… 9 When to plant fine fescue grass seed? Well go to my link and look at the picture of a tall fescue seedhead. Reply. The fescue grasses, when planted properly, germinate within 10 to 14 days. Always leave clippings on the lawn in a practice called “grass-cycling”. is usually early fall, but timing also depends on fescue type and local climate. This is usually in September. 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. This will show you why you might be wrong. The top side of the blades is shiny and the blades are very coarse to the touch. I have a broad mix of plants in the pasture, all are browning. For more information on mowing lawns refer to HGIC 1205, Mowing Lawns. The best time of the year to overseed is in the fall. Its deep root system allows it to be extremely drought tolerant, so you can plant fescue grass seed in soils with poor fertility, and it can tolerate some shade, although it prefers sunny areas. Weeds are pesky. Using a light roller to compact the soil around the seeds when help them sprout and grow. Plant 1/8 inch (3 ml.) It grows slower than other fescues and forms bunches or clumps. The grass forms low tight mounds and produces tall flower tipped stems in May to June. We are in a heavy drought right now. Fall is the best time to overseed (or plant) fescue grass seed. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Red Fescue Planting. Elimination of Weed Control. 5 Spring is the second best time to seed KY-31. Several types of fescue grass seed are available and often one or more are part of typical grass seed mixtures. However, the lawn’s roots continue to grow and store carbohydrates for next summer’s growth period. As cool-season grasses, tall fescues establish best during late summer to early fall when cool weather supports vigorous growth. To succeed, seeds need to make good contact with the soil. In the summer. Planting in the Fall presents the least risk of planting failure for cool season grass. You can do it by hand but it is much easier to use a lawn seeder. Seeding with high-performance seed such as The Rebels® Brand Extended Root Seed Varieties offers even greater protection against heat and potential drought. Use a seeding device or spread the seeds evenly over the area by hand. After the seeds form and disperse, the tall fescue grass continues to grow into the fall. 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. Generally, this type of lawn looks similar to bluegrass, except with slightly wider leaf blades. Dormancy means that the grass stops growing, and it occurs for fescues when temperatures are above 90 or below 50 F. Fescues like well-draining soil and are quite tolerant to drought, once established, because they have a deep root system. Insect pests become less active, so you have fewer fall problems on the pest front, too. The grass has wide blades that are dark green, a color the blades maintain even in winter. Ideally, the soil temperature … As air temperatures drop in autumn, soil still retains some summer warmth. It is important to aerate on moist soil so the hollow tines penetrate at least 2 – 3 inches. Although you can overseed in spring, fall is the best time. The seed of tall fescue shatters easily when ripe. How to Grow Fine Fescue Grass. About Fescue Grass Lawns. 11 Is fine fescue drought tolerant? Raking your tall fescue lawn helps to break up soil clumps and cover new seeds before grass grows dormant in the winter. Now that we are in the ideal time for seeding, it is important to remember that tall fescue does not like ice cover, so avoid planting this grass in low, poor-draining areas. Many aggressive lawn weeds go dormant as temperatures fall, so new grass faces less weed competition. 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. It is less heat tolerant than tall fescue, but it is more shade tolerant. Whether you seed or sod, early fall is the ideal planting time. So try to get your seed out in September. Tall fescue seed needs soil temperatures near 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit for thorough germination and strong root development. 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. When you forego mowing, and your grass grows to excessively high levels and goes to seed, you're doing more harm than good. Grass clippings decompose quickly and do not contribute to thatch. It actually helps your grass stay strong. It grows well in sun or partial shade and in a variety of soil types, and also withstands heat and humidity. For more information on fertilizing lawns refer to HGI… It can survive in the heat. Ask your seed supplier for an endophyte certificate showing the endophyte-free status for any new seeding. Fescue also has thick blades. G. Miller, “Fall Seeding of Tall Fescue," North Carolina State TurfFiles, August 2010. Once a grass plant grows tall enough and begins producing seed, most of the energy of that plant goes from rooting and spreading into seed production. Late summer to early fall is the best time to plant tall fescue seed. When it comes to germination, you can expect tall fescue to begin germinating within 10 to 15 days. Unlike spring, when soil often becomes overly wet, fall soil is more likely to maintain healthy moisture levels. Planting in the Fall presents the least risk of planting failure for cool season grass. In other words, producing seed is more important to the plant than spreading rhizomes and stolens. Early spring offers the second best planting time for tall fescue seed. There are a growing number of seed cultivars for turf-type fescue. 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. Fine Fescue. When To Plant Fescue Grass. Post-Planting Care. Based in Connecticut, Marie-Luise Blue writes a local gardening column and has been published in "Organic Gardening" and "Back Home." Tall fescue is a dark green, coarse-textured grass and appropriate for general lawn use. Do wait to long; once it reaches heights of 12 inches or more it quickly becomes unpalatable. In transition zone states, such as North Carolina or Arkansas, September is typically the best month for planting tall fescue seed.1 If you plant late, expect lower germination rates and less hardy root establishment. Keep these steps in mind when planting a blue fescue from seeds. Fescue may also be seeded in the Spring (before May). Overseeding a fescue lawn helps to fill in bare spots, thickens the lawn and allows the introduction of newer fescue varieties. Keep your grass and soil healthy and positioned for vigorous grass growth, and maintain your new tall fescue at recommended mowing heights of 3 to 4 inches. Irrigate the lawn two days beforehand if necessary. In challenging southern conditions, choosing tall fescue varieties with superior heat and drought tolerance, such as those in The Rebels® Brand Southern Classic Blend, can improve your lawn's resilience to southern summers. Fall offers several advantages not available any other time of year. It’s time to plant the seeds. If the ground is tilled before planting, fescue can tolerate full sun and summer drought. Extreme heat causes the plant to die back. Since tall fescue is a bunch type grass and does not spread, it is necessary to overseed occasionally to maintain turf thickness. Tall Fescue grass seed is a cool-season bunch species used for home lawns, parks, and sports fields in warmer parts of the country. 9.1 In the spring; 9.2 In the fall; 10 How long for fine fescue to germinate? Be patient with your fescue lawn, as it might require overseeding and a proper mowing for you to see a full, healthy lawn. As a cool-season grass, established tall fescue grows best during the cooler soil and air temperatures that happen in late summer to early fall and again in early spring. Cool weather in fall and spring presents optimal condition for seeding tall fescue. Tall fescue grass stands out from other grasses because of the blades and its growing style. Myth: If I mow my lawn on the lowest not their preferred snack. I know that some grass will stick around all year, even in the winter, but this is not exactly the case for tall fescue. @alex94: We have fescue grass and we tilled the area first. Follow these best practices for grass seeding for a more beautiful and resilient lawn. Fall (September or October) is the best time to plant fescue seeds, because the young grass will suffer less heat and disease stress. The endophyte enters the seeds. However, they benefit from periodic lawn overseeding to keep their density and avoid a clumpy appearance. Many factors affect the germination period, including the temperature, your soil’s oxygen level, and its watering schedule. Shattering due to delays caused by rains, unavailability of harvesting machines or high winds can easily reduce yields by 50 percent or more. There are three specific dangers in letting lawns go to seed. 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! Allowing your lawn to go to seed is also detrimental because many of our modern lawn grasses are hybrids and have been specially bred from wild varieties and either won’t produce seed to begin with or the seed won’t germinate. Some people say they find overseeding both spring and fall works best for them. The endophyte moves from the stems of the grass into the seed heads. If the lawn is covered 50% or more with healthy fescue, use a core aerator. Cool nights, moderate days and warm soil are ideal ingredients for fast, thorough germination and sturdy establishment of tall fescue seed. A key fact about blue fescue would be its zonal tolerance. By allowing fescue to grow high, you'll encourage the grass to spread. 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. 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. For cool season grasses, including tall fescue, the best time for planting grass seed is in the fall. 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. Sod can be planted when it is available, December – May. The wind disperses the seeds. Fall rains typically arrive about the same time that favorable air and soil conditions align. References. Although going to seed isn’t a bad thing for your lawn, it doesn’t look great or feel soft underfoot and can be a sign of an underlying problem. often do not go fully dormant like bermudagrass more damaging on a zoysiagrass lawn than a bermu­ dagrass lawn. In transition zone lawns, ideal conditions may arrive in March. Remove any hills or holes. ©2017 The Rebels. Turf-type grass grows rapidly and has excellent wear tolerance, making it ideal for high-traffic yards with children or dogs. Each of the new seeds contains the endophyte fungus so the cycle begins again. Most varieties will grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9. Keep overseeded fescue seeds moist, just as you would when establishing a new lawn. Follow best practices for planting grass seed, from seed selection and soil testing to proper care during germination and beyond. A trademark of Pennington seed, planting in the existing lawn grass blade is removed lawn use (... 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