How to Grow Fescue Grass: Lawn Care Essentials

If you’re looking to create a lush and vibrant lawn, fescue grass is an excellent choice. Known for its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions and heavy use, fescue grass is a popular option for homeowners in the northern part of the country. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener, this guide will provide you with the essential tips and tricks to successfully grow fescue grass and maintain a beautiful lawn.

Key Takeaways:

  • Choose fescue grass for its heat, cold, and drought tolerance.
  • Overseeding may be necessary to fix brown patches and maintain a healthy lawn.
  • Understand the pros and cons of fescue grass before planting.
  • There are different types of fescue grass, each with its own characteristics and uses.
  • Maintain proper lawn care practices, including mowing, watering, and aerating.

Pros and Cons of Fescue Grass

Fescue grass offers numerous benefits as a choice for your lawn, but it also has a few drawbacks to consider. Understanding both the pros and cons will help you make an informed decision about whether fescue grass is the right choice for your landscape.

Benefits of Fescue Grass

  • Fescue grass requires low maintenance, making it an ideal choice for homeowners who want a lush lawn without investing significant time and effort.
  • It has the ability to withstand heavy use, making it suitable for families or individuals who frequently entertain or have children and pets.
  • Fescue grass has minimal dethatching needs, reducing the need for time-consuming and labor-intensive maintenance tasks.

Drawbacks of Fescue Grass

  • Fescue grass is susceptible to brown patches during hot and humid summer months. This can mar the appearance of your lawn and require additional steps, such as overseeding, to restore its lushness.
  • While fescue grass is drought-tolerant, it still requires regular watering to maintain its health and vibrant color. This may not be suitable for homeowners who prefer a lawn that requires little to no watering.
  • Some varieties of fescue grass may not thrive in areas with extreme temperatures or heavy shade. It’s important to consider the specific needs of the variety you choose based on your local climate and sunlight conditions.

Despite the drawbacks, the benefits of fescue grass make it a popular choice for many homeowners. By understanding the pros and cons, you can make an informed decision about whether fescue grass is right for your lawn care needs.

Fescue Grass Basics

If you’re considering growing fescue grass in your lawn, it’s important to understand the basics of this versatile grass species. Fescue grass is actually a collection of multiple seed varieties, each with its own unique characteristics and uses. Here are some common types of fescue grass:

Tall Fescue

Tall fescue is known for its durability and shade tolerance. It can withstand heavy foot traffic and is a popular choice for lawns that receive limited sunlight.

Creeping Red Fescue

Creeping red fescue is often used to add shade tolerance to a lawn. It has a fine texture and is commonly mixed with other grass varieties for a softer feel.

Hard Fescue

Hard fescue is typically used in golf course roughs and other low-maintenance areas. It is highly resistant to drought and can thrive in poor soil conditions.

Chewings Fescue

Chewings fescue is known for its drought resistance and ability to withstand cold climates. It is often used in dry, sandy soils where other grass varieties struggle to grow.

Sheep Fescue

Sheep fescue is commonly used to improve soil conditions, thanks to its deep root system. It is often mixed with other grasses to enhance their overall health and vitality.

By understanding the different types of fescue grass, you can choose the variety that best suits your lawn’s specific needs. Whether you need a durable grass for heavy use or a shade-tolerant option for a tree-covered yard, there’s a fescue variety that can meet your requirements.

fescue grass

Growing Your Fescue Grass

To ensure the healthy growth of your fescue grass, proper care and maintenance are essential. By following a few simple steps, you can create a lush and vibrant lawn that will be the envy of your neighborhood.

Mowing Tips

When it comes to mowing fescue grass, it’s important to find the right balance. Aim to keep your grass at a height of 2.5 to 3.5 inches, as cutting it too short can stress the plants and leave them more susceptible to weeds and diseases. Regular mowing is also important, especially during the growing season, to prevent the grass from becoming too tall and uneven. Remember to sharpen your mower blades regularly to ensure a clean cut and avoid tearing the grass.

Watering and Fertilizing

Proper watering and fertilizing are crucial for the health of your fescue grass. Water deeply and infrequently, aiming for about 1 inch of water per week. This will encourage deep root growth and help the grass withstand drought conditions. When it comes to fertilizing, choose a slow-release fertilizer specifically formulated for fescue grass. Apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions, typically in the spring and fall, to provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth.

Weed Control

Weeds can quickly take over a fescue lawn if left unchecked. Regularly inspect your lawn for weeds and remove them promptly. Hand pulling is effective for small infestations, but for larger areas, consider using a selective herbicide that targets the specific weeds without harming your fescue grass. Always follow the instructions on the herbicide label and take precautions to protect yourself and the environment.

Season Maintenance Tasks
Spring Apply a slow-release fertilizer. Overseed any thin or bare areas.
Summer Monitor for pests and diseases. Water deeply and infrequently.
Fall Aerate the soil to improve air and water circulation. Apply a winterizing fertilizer.
Winter Keep the lawn clear of debris. Avoid walking on frozen grass.

By following these tips and establishing a regular maintenance routine, you can enjoy the beauty and resilience of your fescue grass lawn for years to come.

growing fescue grass

Expert Tip

“When mowing your fescue lawn, it’s best to avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass blade at a time. Removing too much can weaken the plants and hinder their ability to recover.”

Seeing Results

Once you’ve planted fescue grass seeds, it’s time to sit back and watch your lawn come to life. However, it’s important to set realistic expectations and understand the timeline for fescue grass growth and germination. On average, it takes about 14 to 21 days for fescue seeds to germinate and show visible signs of growth.

Several factors can affect the germination period, including temperature, soil oxygen levels, and watering frequency. Warmer temperatures and adequate soil oxygen levels can expedite the germination process. On the other hand, excessive heat or insufficient oxygen in the soil can delay germination.

It’s worth noting that achieving a full and healthy fescue lawn may require additional care beyond the initial planting. Depending on your specific lawn conditions, overseeding and proper mowing techniques may be necessary to fill in any sparse areas and promote even growth. Patience and attention to proper maintenance practices will ultimately yield the best results for your fescue lawn.

Factors Affecting Fescue Grass Growth and Germination Impact on Germination Period
Temperature Warmer temperatures can expedite germination, while excessive heat can delay it.
Soil Oxygen Adequate soil oxygen levels promote faster germination, while insufficient oxygen can delay it.
Watering Proper watering frequency and techniques can support healthy germination and growth.

Remember to follow proper watering practices, including frequent but light watering to keep the soil moist. Avoid overwatering, as it can lead to shallow root development and other issues. Additionally, continue to monitor and adjust your mowing height and maintain a regular fertilization schedule to promote optimal growth and overall lawn health.

By staying patient and implementing the right maintenance strategies, you’ll be rewarded with a lush and thriving fescue lawn that enhances the beauty of your outdoor space.

Using Professional Lawn Care Services

Maintaining a lush and healthy fescue lawn requires time, effort, and knowledge. If you prefer to leave the lawn care to the professionals, hiring a professional lawn care service can be a great option. These experts have the expertise and experience to ensure your fescue lawn stays beautiful throughout the year.

One highly recommended lawn care company is TruGreen. They offer a variety of programs and services designed to meet your specific lawn care needs. Whether you need regular maintenance, fertilization, or pest control, TruGreen has you covered. Their team of specialists uses specialized tools and products to address common lawn care challenges and promote the health and vitality of your fescue grass.

By enlisting the help of a professional lawn care company like TruGreen, you can save time and eliminate the hassle of maintaining your fescue lawn yourself. They will take care of all the necessary tasks, from mowing and watering to fertilizing and weed control. With their expert knowledge and personalized lawn care plans, you can enjoy a vibrant and thriving fescue lawn without the stress and guesswork.

Benefits of Professional Lawn Care Services Drawbacks of Professional Lawn Care Services
  • Expertise and experience in lawn care
  • Time-saving, allowing you to focus on other activities
  • Access to specialized tools and products
  • Customized lawn care plans tailored to your specific needs
  • Regular maintenance to keep your lawn in top shape
  • Cost of professional services
  • Lack of control over specific lawn care activities
  • Dependence on the availability and reliability of the lawn care company

Ultimately, the decision to use professional lawn care services for your fescue lawn comes down to your individual preferences and priorities. If you value convenience and expertise, hiring a reputable lawn care company like TruGreen can be a worthwhile investment in the long-term health and beauty of your fescue grass.

professional lawn care services

Best Lawn Care Company: TruGreen

If you’re looking for the best lawn care company to take care of your fescue grass, TruGreen is a top choice. With their years of experience and dedication to customer satisfaction, they have established themselves as a leader in the industry. TruGreen offers a wide range of services to keep your lawn looking its best, from annual programs to a la carte options.

TruGreen provides lawn care services that are tailored to your specific needs. Whether you need help with fertilizing, weed control, or pest management, their team of experts has you covered. They even offer organic options for those who prefer a more environmentally-friendly approach to lawn care.

One of the standout features of TruGreen is their commitment to customer service. They offer a satisfaction guarantee, so if you’re not happy with the results, they’ll work with you to make it right. They also have a convenient mobile app that allows you to easily manage your lawn care services and get in touch with their team.

TruGreen Services

Here is a list of some of the services offered by TruGreen:

  • Lawn fertilization
  • Weed control
  • Insect and pest control
  • Aeration
  • Overseeding
  • Dethatching
  • Tree and shrub care

With their comprehensive services and dedication to customer satisfaction, it’s no wonder that TruGreen is consistently rated as one of the best lawn care companies. To get a customized quote for your lawn care needs, simply contact TruGreen via phone or fill out their online form. Take the stress out of lawn care and let the experts at TruGreen take care of your fescue grass.

TruGreen Lawn Care

Service Details
Lawn Fertilization TruGreen uses high-quality fertilizers to promote healthy growth and lush green grass
Weed Control TruGreen’s weed control services target common weeds and prevent them from taking over your lawn
Insect and Pest Control TruGreen’s pest control services protect your lawn from damaging insects and pests
Aeration TruGreen’s aeration services help to improve soil health and promote nutrient absorption
Overseeding TruGreen’s overseeding services help to fill in thin or bare patches in your lawn for a thicker, healthier lawn
Dethatching TruGreen’s dethatching services remove excess thatch from your lawn, allowing it to breathe and receive nutrients more effectively
Tree and Shrub Care TruGreen’s tree and shrub care services keep your landscaping looking beautiful and healthy

Our Rating Methodology

When it comes to reviewing lawn care providers, our team at This Old House Reviews follows a comprehensive and objective rating methodology. We consider several factors, including lawn care plans, additional benefits, availability, trustworthiness, and customer service. By conducting thorough research, analyzing customer reviews, and requesting quotes, we arrive at a final score out of 100. Our goal is to provide transparency and reliability in our recommendations, backed by a detailed rating methodology.

Lawn Care Provider Reviews:

We begin by researching and reviewing various lawn care providers. We explore their services, pricing, and customer feedback to gain insights into their overall reputation. By assessing customer reviews and ratings, we evaluate the quality of service provided by each company.

Customer Service Standards:

We believe that exceptional customer service is crucial for a positive lawn care experience. We evaluate lawn care providers based on their responsiveness, professionalism, and willingness to address customer concerns. Companies that prioritize customer satisfaction and provide reliable support receive higher ratings in this category.

“We strive to provide transparent ratings and recommendations to help homeowners make informed decisions.”

Table: Rating Methodology Breakdown

Category Weight Description
Lawn Care Plans 30% Evaluation of the variety and quality of lawn care programs offered by the provider.
Additional Benefits 20% Assessment of any additional services or benefits provided by the company.
Availability 15% Determination of the company’s service availability in various locations.
Trustworthiness 20% Review of the company’s reputation, including licensing, certifications, and industry affiliations.
Customer Service 15% Evaluation of the company’s responsiveness, professionalism, and customer support.

Our aim is to provide homeowners with transparent ratings and recommendations to help them make informed decisions about their lawn care needs. By following our rating methodology, we ensure that our reviews and recommendations are based on comprehensive research and analysis.

Rating Methodology

Tall Fescue Grass: Characteristics and Maintenance

Tall fescue grass is a popular choice for homeowners in northern regions of the United States due to its ability to withstand cold temperatures and drought. This cool-season grass grows actively in the spring and fall but goes dormant in the summer, making it more heat and drought-resistant than many other cool-season grass types. It has moderate to coarse grass blades, providing a lush and durable lawn.

When it comes to maintenance, tall fescue requires relatively low upkeep. Regular mowing is necessary to maintain a healthy height and promote dense growth. Watering should be done deeply and infrequently to encourage deep root development and enhance the grass’s ability to withstand dry periods. Fertilizing is recommended in the spring and fall to provide essential nutrients for optimal growth.

tall fescue grass

Maintenance Tasks for Tall Fescue Grass:

  1. Mowing: Keep the grass height between 2.5 to 4 inches, adjusting the frequency based on growth rate and season.
  2. Watering: Deeply water the lawn once or twice a week, providing about 1 inch of water each time.
  3. Fertilizing: Apply a balanced fertilizer in the spring and fall, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. Aerating: Perform core aeration annually to relieve soil compaction and improve water and nutrient absorption.
  5. Dethatching: While not always necessary for tall fescue lawns, dethatch if excessive thatch buildup occurs.

Tall fescue is a versatile grass that can grow in various soil types but thrives in well-drained clay soils with high organic matter content. It is also known for its tolerance to shade, making it suitable for areas with limited sunlight. With proper maintenance, you can enjoy a beautiful and resilient tall fescue lawn throughout the year.

Tall Fescue Grass Maintenance Tips Recommended Frequency
Mowing Every 7-10 days in the growing season
Watering 1 inch of water per week
Fertilizing Spring and fall
Aerating Once a year in early spring or fall
Dethatching If excessive thatch buildup occurs

Tall Fescue Monthly Maintenance Calendar

Proper maintenance is key to keeping your tall fescue lawn healthy and beautiful throughout the year. To help you stay on track, we’ve created a monthly maintenance calendar with seasonal tasks to keep your fescue grass looking its best. Whether you’re a seasoned lawn care enthusiast or just getting started, this calendar will guide you through the essential maintenance tasks for your tall fescue grass.

January – February:

  • Inspect your lawn for signs of winter damage and make any necessary repairs.
  • Apply a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent the growth of weeds.
  • Aerate the soil to promote better water and nutrient absorption.

March – April:

  • Mow your lawn at a height of 3-4 inches to encourage healthy root growth.
  • Apply a slow-release fertilizer to provide essential nutrients to your grass.
  • Water deeply but infrequently to promote deep root growth.

May – June:

  • Monitor your lawn for signs of pests or diseases and take appropriate action.
  • Overseed any bare or thin areas to promote thicker grass growth.
  • Continue regular mowing and watering as needed.

July – August:

  • Water your lawn deeply and infrequently to withstand summer heat stress.
  • Monitor soil moisture levels and adjust watering schedule accordingly.
  • Apply a slow-release fertilizer to maintain healthy growth.

September – October:

  • Continue regular mowing and watering as needed.
  • Aerate the soil to alleviate compaction and encourage root growth.
  • Apply a winterizer fertilizer to strengthen your grass for the colder months.

November – December:

  • Rake fallen leaves and remove any debris from your lawn.
  • Mow your lawn at a lower height to prevent matting and snow mold.
  • Apply a lime treatment if needed to balance soil pH.

By following this monthly maintenance calendar, you can ensure that your tall fescue lawn stays healthy, vibrant, and beautiful throughout the year. Remember to adjust the schedule based on your local climate and specific lawn conditions. Happy fescue grass growing!

Month Maintenance Tasks
January – February Inspect your lawn for signs of winter damage and make any necessary repairs. Apply a pre-emergent herbicide. Aerate the soil.
March – April Mow your lawn at a height of 3-4 inches. Apply a slow-release fertilizer. Water deeply but infrequently.
May – June Monitor your lawn for signs of pests or diseases. Overseed any bare or thin areas. Continue regular mowing and watering.
July – August Water your lawn deeply and infrequently. Monitor soil moisture levels. Apply a slow-release fertilizer.
September – October Continue regular mowing and watering. Aerate the soil. Apply a winterizer fertilizer.
November – December Rake fallen leaves and remove debris. Mow your lawn at a lower height. Apply a lime treatment if needed.

Following this calendar will help you stay on top of your tall fescue lawn care, ensuring a lush and vibrant lawn all year round.

Tall Fescue Maintenance Tasks

To keep your tall fescue grass looking its best, it’s important to perform regular maintenance tasks. By following these guidelines, you can ensure the health and beauty of your lawn.

Mowing Tall Fescue

Maintaining the proper mowing height is crucial for the health of your tall fescue grass. Set your mower to a height of 3 to 4 inches, as this will help promote deep root growth and shade out weeds. Avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass blade at a time to prevent stress on the plant. Regular mowing, typically once a week during the growing season, will help keep your lawn looking neat and well-maintained.

Watering Tall Fescue

Tall fescue requires consistent watering to stay healthy and green. Water deeply and infrequently to encourage deep root growth. The general rule of thumb is to provide 1 inch of water per week, either through rainfall or irrigation. Water your lawn in the early morning to minimize evaporation and fungal diseases. Adjust your watering schedule based on weather conditions to avoid over or under-watering.

Fertilizing Tall Fescue

Tall fescue lawns benefit from regular fertilization to maintain their lush appearance. Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring and fall, following the recommended application rates. This will provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and improve the overall strength of your lawn. Avoid fertilizing during the summer months, as this can promote disease and excessive growth.

Aerating Tall Fescue

Aerating your tall fescue lawn helps alleviate soil compaction and allows for better water and nutrient absorption. Use a core aerator to remove small plugs of soil from the surface, creating channels for air and water to reach the roots. This should be done once a year, typically in the fall or spring, when the grass is actively growing. Aeration will improve the health and resilience of your lawn, leading to a thicker and more vibrant appearance.

By following these maintenance tasks for tall fescue grass, you can enjoy a lush and thriving lawn year-round. Remember to adjust your routine according to your specific climate and soil conditions for optimal results.


In conclusion, growing fescue grass can be a fulfilling endeavor that enhances the beauty of your outdoor space. By following the essential care and maintenance tasks, you can ensure the health and longevity of your fescue lawn. Remember to mow at the proper height, provide adequate watering, and address any specific needs of your fescue grass variety.

While maintaining your fescue lawn yourself can be rewarding, hiring a professional lawn care service like TruGreen can save you time and effort. Their expertise and range of services can ensure a lush and vibrant fescue lawn without the hassle of DIY maintenance.

Whether you choose to care for your fescue grass on your own or enlist the help of professionals, it’s important to consult with local experts and tailor your lawn care routine to the specific needs of your fescue grass. By doing so, you’ll be able to enjoy a healthy and beautiful fescue lawn for years to come.


How often should I mow my fescue lawn?

It is recommended to mow your fescue lawn once every 1-2 weeks during the growing season, keeping the grass blades at a height of 2-3 inches.

How much water does fescue grass need?

Fescue grass requires about 1-1.5 inches of water per week, either from rainfall or irrigation. Water deeply and infrequently to encourage deep root growth.

When should I fertilize my fescue lawn?

Fescue grass should be fertilized in the fall and spring. Apply a slow-release fertilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions to provide the necessary nutrients.

How often should I aerate my fescue lawn?

Aerate your fescue lawn once a year, preferably in the fall. This helps relieve soil compaction and promotes better air and water circulation to the roots.

Do I need to dethatch my fescue lawn?

Fescue lawns are less prone to thatch buildup, so dethatching may not be necessary. However, if you notice excessive thatch, you can dethatch in the fall using a dethatching rake or machine.

How long does it take for fescue seeds to germinate?

Fescue seeds typically take around 14 to 21 days to germinate and show signs of growth. Factors such as temperature, soil oxygen level, and watering schedule can affect the germination period.

Can I hire a professional lawn care service for my fescue lawn?

Yes, hiring a professional lawn care service can ensure a lush and healthy fescue lawn without the hassle of maintaining it yourself. TruGreen is a recommended lawn care company that offers tailored programs and services.

What services does TruGreen offer?

TruGreen offers annual lawn care programs, a la carte services, and organic options. They also provide pest control services in select locations. Contact TruGreen for a customized quote.

How does the This Old House Reviews team rate lawn care providers?

The This Old House Reviews team objectively scores lawn care providers based on their lawn care plans, additional benefits, availability, trustworthiness, and customer service. They provide a detailed rating methodology to ensure transparency and reliability.

What are the characteristics of tall fescue grass?

Tall fescue grass is a cool-season grass with moderate to coarse grass blades. It grows actively in spring and fall but goes dormant in summer. It is heat and drought-resistant, making it suitable for northern regions.

What maintenance tasks are involved in growing tall fescue grass?

Maintaining a tall fescue lawn involves regular mowing, watering, fertilizing, aerating, and dethatching. Each task should be done at the recommended time and with proper technique.

How can I achieve a lush and healthy fescue lawn?

By following the proper maintenance tasks, such as mowing at the right height, providing adequate watering, and aerating the soil, you can achieve a lush and healthy fescue lawn. Consult local experts for personalized advice.

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