The majority of the species clump and form tufts with the exception of the red creeping varieties, which spread by rhizomes. Thank you for the question! The 5 varieties are often sold as a blended seed mix for better turf vigor. If you choose to use this chemical, make sure to follow label directions exactly, including the use of recommended safety equipment. Fescue is a bunch-type grass, which means it grows upright and slowly spreads in bunches. It is subject to brown (large) patch, especially in prolonged periods of warm, wet conditions. These grasses are shade tolerant and grow well in areas where it's too hot for cool grasses but too cold in the winter for warm-season grasses. Tall fescue is a thick bladed fast growing and uncontrollable perennial grass that usually grows in clumps in the middle of a lawn. Spring seedings should be made as early as possible to avoid hot dry weather when the seedlings are small. This type of grass is drought tolerant and does not require a lot of fertilization. Kentucky bluegrass is a spreading species. Many tall fescues were developed for use as pasture fodder for grazing animals. Once they are given time to grow, most fescue lawns can be mowed when the grass is at four inches. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. These people are not dumb, just using outdated products that were hailed as a panacea for their problems regarding grass in the 1970s. Like their pasture-grass ancestor, turf types naturally form clumps and spread by tillers. Apply fertilizer in late September, November, February and April. Since tall fescue is a bunch type grass and does not spread, it is necessary to overseed occasionally to maintain turf thickness. The long roots make tall fescue grass quite drought-resistant. Red fescue and hard fescue are sometimes described as fine fescu… At the end of each summer the homeowner should evaluate his or her lawn and decide if seeding is needed or not. Pre-emergent herbicides will prevent both weed seeds and fescue grass seeds from germinating. Dwarf varieties of fescue commonly used in turfgrass mixes are prone to a fungal disease called brown patch. This is due to the fact that it clumps itself up in order to spread, and this is usually done using tillers. Mowing: Mow lawn at a height of 3 inches. Growing habits of this cool-season grass may determine if it is right for your lawn or whether there is an underlying problem. Late-summer seedings should be made before August 15 in northern Pennsylvania and September 1 in southern Pennsylvania. Tall fescue grows rapidly and requires frequent mowing but does not tolerate close mowing. It spreads by seed primarily and does most of its growth in spring and fall. Many northern grasses are bunch-type grasses which don't spread, so you'll need to reseed to get grass to fill in. Fescue grass lacks rhizomes and stolons, according to "Grounds Maintenance Magazine." For more information on fertilizing lawns refer to HGI… Tall fescue has long, thin blades that are coarse and dense within a yard. Because the shaded tall fescue does not get as much “food” as its sunned counterpart, it will not have extra energy to spend repairing torn, worn, or crushed grass leaves. Escalade is ideal for home lawns, parks, sports fields, sod production, golf course roughs and roadsides where a tough turf is needed. It is important to purchase seed that contains recommended varieties and is free of weed seeds. The marketing name for the spreading trait varies, but they all imply a tall fescue lawn that will spread and repair itself. Rhizomes extend underground 1 to 2 inches from the crown developing a daughter plant. Fescues used for turf include tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), red fescue (Festuca rubra) and hard fescue (Festuca longifolia). The cultivars used for lawn seed are usually dwarf varieties. Late-summer seedings usually have less weed competition and more favorable moisture conditions than spring seedings. If you need to eliminate tall fescue, there are at least two possible control methods. For seeding tall fescue alone, 12 lb of seed per acre is adequate… It tolerates heat and drought. While creeping grass types spread by horizontal above-ground stems known as “stolons" or by below-ground stems called “rhizomes," Kentucky 31 spreads through vertical … Warm-season grass types spread through rhizomes and stolons, which is why they are known as spreading grass types. Hard Fescue - Grows best in areas of high elevation and in the northern United States as it is naturally salt tolerant (great for snow treatment). Unless you are prepared to kill the good with the bad, this method calls for careful planning. Hard fescue does not need to be mowed often, if at all. This post is just more proof that outreach and education are necessary in the agricultural industry. The deeper you can cultivate the soil, the more quickly your … Hard fescue, chewings fescue and creeping red fescue tolerate shady conditions. The top side of the blades is shiny and the blades are very coarse to the touch. The grass has wide blades that are dark green, a color the blades maintain even in winter. David Beaulieu is a garden writer with nearly 20 years experience writing about landscaping and over 10 years experience working in nurseries. Tillers are a type of sprout that shoots out from the bottom of the grass, so this process can actually be seen above ground. Tall fescue is a perennial cool-weather turf grass that stands out because of its growth habit. At time of seeding (Fall 2009), a 10” cap was placed in the center of each plot to create natural bare spot. Tall fescue and accompanying legumes can be seeded in spring or late summer. With the shade, heat, and drought tolerance of tall fescue, Escalade is an excellent choice for a wide variety of turf applications. Faith McGee has eight years experience conceptualizing and producing print and web content for a myriad of real estate conglomerates. This gives the seed time to germinate, grow and develop sufficient root depth before the summer heat arrives in the following year. As the newest leaf blades emerge, they appear in a rolled-up form. Tall fescue is known as a non-spreading species; often referred to as a bunch grass. Tall fescue grass will do best if fed yearly at a rate of 2.5 to 3 pounds of nitrogen-based fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of lawn. But be prepared for a workout, because the roots of tall fescue grow thick and deep and do not come out easily. Authors Note – I generally dislike thatching for the simple reason that it has a tendency to damage turf, this is especially true for grasses that spread via rhizomes. Either way, have grass seed ready so that you can reseed and prevent weeds from seizing an opportunity to colonize an empty space in your lawn. Tall fescue grass can grow in full sun to part shade. Modern tall fescue turf grasses descend from tough, hardy, agricultural grass introduced to the United States from Europe. Tall Fescue - The most popular fescue used for turf lawns. Many growers have trouble determining if they have fine fescue vs. t… Mowing your fescue lawn allows the fescue clumps to spread among your yard and promote a thick, full yard. Certain types of fescue thrive in the shade better than others. The answer is yes and no, depending on how you define the word “spread”. Also, the leaves are long and narrow, and it does not tend to spread in the same way a grass like Kentucky bluegrass would. For more information on mowing lawns refer to HGIC 1205, Mowing Lawns. The leaves are wide blades with a dark green color that is maintained even in winter. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from California College of the Arts. Tall fescue is known for its clumping growth habit, which is why you will also hear people refer to it as a \"bunchi… When watering, the goal should be to wet the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. Leaves are medium green to blue green with a fine texture. I assume that you are referring specifically to the few species that are most commonly used in lawns. Tall fescue has good cold tolerance, though it can suffer from winter damage in the coldest areas of the northern U.S. and Canada. It can withstand hot temperatures provided it gets adequate water, but extreme heat combined with drought can kill this grass. Chemical control involves using a glyphosate product such as Roundup. Alternatively, you can practice organic tall fescue control, removing it by digging it out. Gardeners may see a high population of weeds growing among their fescue. Although tall fescue grass possesses small rhizomes, it spreads mostly by seed distribution rather than creeping. It thrives in humid temperate regions, where it can grow up to about 16-inches. Tall fescue grows at different rates depending on the temperature. 1. Fine fescues are often described for the turf-type fescues when obviously compared to the coarser forage-type fescues. Kathleen Miller is a Master Gardener and Horticulturist with over 30 years experience in gardening and sustainable farming. Fertilizing: Do not fertilize tall fescue after March 15. Do your shaded grass a favor and avoid walking across it. One is for those who do not mind using chemicals, the other is for those who want to stay organic. 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