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View Full Version : HOw dependable is fescue seeds?


heyakoni
02-25-2009, 04:19 PM
hey. i live in tennessee and i am in preparation of repairing some problem ares of a lawn using fescue seeds (not a big problem). Im thinking to plant seeds in early fall will increase a successful growing time for grass to cover all problem areas. But, can i count on that seeds will thrive and fill in those damaged areas on throughout spring too? Considering the growing condition of fescue grasses.:walking:

tombo82685
02-25-2009, 07:06 PM
hey. i live in tennessee and i am in preparation of repairing some problem ares of a lawn using fescue seeds (not a big problem). Im thinking to plant seeds in early fall will increase a successful growing time for grass to cover all problem areas. But, can i count on that seeds will thrive and fill in those damaged areas on throughout spring too? Considering the growing condition of fescue grasses.:walking:

I wouldn't see why not. As long as your cover the areas with the seed, and seeding is done properly. Fescue is a bunch type grass, so it will not creep into areas or what not it will just grow in clumps. Proper seed distribution is key

tombo82685
02-25-2009, 10:16 PM
is the lawn an all fescue lawn? Does it have warm season grass in it?

rcreech
02-25-2009, 10:19 PM
Not sure about your area...but here in OH...it is by FAR the most dependable grass we have. You MUST go at a high seeding rate due to its growing habits (bunch type grass), but once you have it extablished...you will not find a better grass type for disease resistance and drought tolerance.

The Rookie
02-25-2009, 10:24 PM
Turner seed company puts out a five way turf fescue blend that utilized 5 varieties of fescue seed. 75 percent is falcon turf fescue. I have had good luck with falcon seed and the five way blend. I let the bermuda creep into it because I live in a transition zone. I got tired of fighting bermuda so now I just mow high 4.5 inches and let the bermuda do whatever.

tombo82685
02-25-2009, 10:29 PM
Not sure about your area...but here in OH...it is by FAR the most dependable grass we have. You MUST go at a high seeding rate due to its growing habits (bunch type grass), but once you have it extablished...you will not find a better grass type for disease resistance and drought tolerance.

their are only 2 problems with fescue in my mind.

1. the bunch type tillering growth, sucks when in need of healing in areas
2. Brown patch is a big problem, if you get it once expect it back every year if you dont apply chemicals

other then this, like you said the heat/drought/wear tolerences are the best out of the cool season grasses. Although perennial ryegrass has a better wear tolerence, it does not do well with heat and drought conditions.

Bellenviro
02-26-2009, 01:26 AM
I believe that the "festuca" family is the ultimate of the cool seasons.

You have many options with fescues... Tall fescues, Hard Fescues, fine fescues.

I am guessing you are trying the Tall fescue route. I would recommend a blend of 90% Dwarf Tall fescue 10% texas (thermal blue).

Hope that helps.

muddstopper
02-27-2009, 10:03 AM
You can find fescue grass from Alaska to Florida so you would have to say it is one of the hardiest grass types around. Most all Fescues are Rhyzome produceing and are not bunch grasses as some here have suggested. Fescues do have tendencies to grow in a bunch, but this is usually due to fertility levels and soil conditions. Diseases such as brownpatch can also usually be attributed to fertility issues and the overuse and improper applications of fertilizers, notability to much N at the wrong time of the year.

Thin and bunch growth can also be attributed to poor mowing habits. People either dont mow it often enough or they mow it to short. Mowing to short decreases the rhyzome produceing ability of the plant as well as adds competition from other undesireable plants. Letting the grass grow to tall produces competition between the fescue plants and results in a natural thinning by survival of the fittest. A fescue lawn maintained at a height of about 3 1/2 inches will provide a nice looking lawn and allow for a natural filling in of damaged areas without the need for reseed. It will also reduce the evaporation of moisture from the soil resulting in less irrigation needed. The reduced evaporation will result in a decrease in ambient temperatures around your house of about 10 degrees during the hot summer months, reduceing the airconditionings requirements to cool your home.

Advoiding the temptation to fertilize during the summer months, when the grass is not actively growing, will reduce the chance of turf diseases such as brownpatch. Fertilizing in the fall and early spring will insure a fast growing green lawn that greens up early and maintains it color when the grass is dormant during the summer.

For lawns, the shorter growing turf type tall fescue varities are usually a better choice than the pasture types of tall fescues. These turf varities usually are thinner bladed and shorter in height than the pasture grasses and also usually slower in growing for less frquent mowing.

RAlmaroad
02-27-2009, 12:06 PM
I live over in East TN most of the time--Tri-Cities. Sow a blend of the fescue+ a little creeping Red and Blue Grass. You won't go wrong. Fescue is so forgiving on a on/off water conditions. It will brown out during a drought and then green up with a little moisture. Plant twice as much. 1/2 for you and 1/2 for the birds. Sown in the winter over a light snow is perfect for seeing where you've been and the snow will melt taking the seed down. It will lay there until the ground warms. Great Stuff--I wish Centipede on the coast would be so kind. Look at that stuff wrong and it dies.

tombo82685
02-27-2009, 08:56 PM
You can find fescue grass from Alaska to Florida so you would have to say it is one of the hardiest grass types around. Most all Fescues are Rhyzome produceing and are not bunch grasses as some here have suggested. Fescues do have tendencies to grow in a bunch, but this is usually due to fertility levels and soil conditions. Diseases such as brownpatch can also usually be attributed to fertility issues and the overuse and improper applications of fertilizers, notability to much N at the wrong time of the year.

Thin and bunch growth can also be attributed to poor mowing habits. People either dont mow it often enough or they mow it to short. Mowing to short decreases the rhyzome produceing ability of the plant as well as adds competition from other undesireable plants. Letting the grass grow to tall produces competition between the fescue plants and results in a natural thinning by survival of the fittest. A fescue lawn maintained at a height of about 3 1/2 inches will provide a nice looking lawn and allow for a natural filling in of damaged areas without the need for reseed. It will also reduce the evaporation of moisture from the soil resulting in less irrigation needed. The reduced evaporation will result in a decrease in ambient temperatures around your house of about 10 degrees during the hot summer months, reduceing the airconditionings requirements to cool your home.

Advoiding the temptation to fertilize during the summer months, when the grass is not actively growing, will reduce the chance of turf diseases such as brownpatch. Fertilizing in the fall and early spring will insure a fast growing green lawn that greens up early and maintains it color when the grass is dormant during the summer.

For lawns, the shorter growing turf type tall fescue varities are usually a better choice than the pasture types of tall fescues. These turf varities usually are thinner bladed and shorter in height than the pasture grasses and also usually slower in growing for less frquent mowing.

fescue does produce short rhizomes, but it is a bunch type grass. It spreads primarily by tillering, which is a component of bunch type grasses. Tall fescue should be mowed between 2-3 inches, while the newer turf type tall fescue should be mowed at a lower height between 1.5-2.5,

tombo82685
02-27-2009, 09:13 PM
also, you can also purchase iron at home depot and lowes to help the grass to green up or keep its green color without making it grow during the summer time. Iron is needed in chlorophyll production in photosynthesis.

muddstopper
02-28-2009, 12:54 AM
fescue does produce short rhizomes, but it is a bunch type grass. It spreads primarily by tillering, which is a component of bunch type grasses. Tall fescue should be mowed between 2-3 inches, while the newer turf type tall fescue should be mowed at a lower height between 1.5-2.5,


Fescue isnot classified as a bunch type grass, but it does show bunch type growing characteristics. Mowing fescue at 1.5 inches might work in the north on a well managed golf course that reseeds every year, but should never be mowed at less than 2 inches, especially in the summer months in the south. Fescue isnt even used on golf courses in the south, except maybe in the roughs, for that very reason, it cant be maintained at such short mowing heights. To do so would mean mowing into the crown of the plant resulting in short and shallow rooted grass prone to drought stress and thinning out of the turf, as well as increased weed competition. Fescue can be grown from Alaska to Florida, but it must be managed differently in different climates.

Using iron to simply green up the grass isnt creating a healthy stand of turf, its just covering up a nutrient deficiency. Dark green might look good, but healthy its not. Only add iron if there is truely an iron deficiency, not to create color.

tombo82685
02-28-2009, 01:15 AM
Fescue isnot classified as a bunch type grass, but it does show bunch type growing characteristics. Mowing fescue at 1.5 inches might work in the north on a well managed golf course that reseeds every year, but should never be mowed at less than 2 inches, especially in the summer months in the south. Fescue isnt even used on golf courses in the south, except maybe in the roughs, for that very reason, it cant be maintained at such short mowing heights. To do so would mean mowing into the crown of the plant resulting in short and shallow rooted grass prone to drought stress and thinning out of the turf, as well as increased weed competition. Fescue can be grown from Alaska to Florida, but it must be managed differently in different climates.

Using iron to simply green up the grass isnt creating a healthy stand of turf, its just covering up a nutrient deficiency. Dark green might look good, but healthy its not. Only add iron if there is truely an iron deficiency, not to create color.

well everything i've seen on tall fescue says its a bunch type grass.
Iron is a needed nutrient for chlorophyll production in photosynthesis, in fact in a lot of fertilizers these days you see iron being added to it, that sounds like an important characteristic to me. Its not like your adding just iron the whole year, and at a significant amount. You would only apply .1-.2 lb/K. ever 2-3 weeks during the dormant time, so its not like your pounding the turf with it.

We only have fescue on are bunker faces. Im talking fescue on home lawns. Turf type fescue can be mowed at lower heights, thats what i was saying for 1.5-2.5, older tall fescue shouldn't be mowed under 2.

muddstopper
02-28-2009, 01:41 AM
I will just agree to disagree about fescue being a bunch grass.

I also agree that iron is a important nutrient, I just disagree in its use as it was presented in your first post on the subject. Adding iron just to make the grass green isnt a good practice as to much iron can tie up other nutrients. Add iron if you need it, but dont add it to produce color.

I realize I am lumping all tall fescues in one pile, but on homeowner lawns in general, taller mowing heights will require less chemical apps to control weeds, and reduce irrigation requirements, as well as reduce the number of reseeding necessary to maintain a thicker stand of grass. Especially in the more southern states where high heat and humitity, as well as drought, always seem to be a problem.

tombo82685
02-28-2009, 01:45 AM
To me i consider any grass that spreads by tillering is bunch type. Any grass that spread threw stolons or rhizomes is a creeping grass. Yes fescue has rhizomes, but its main way of growing is through tillering.

Yea, obviously we are from 2 different regions and have diff opinions, which i respect.

muddstopper
02-28-2009, 02:20 AM
Even experts disagree about fescue being a bunch grass. Here are the definitions of a bunch grass.

Noun 1. bunch grass - any of various grasses of many genera that grow in tufts or clumps rather than forming a sod or mat; chiefly of western United States

bunch grass or bunch·grass (b nch gr s )
n.
Any of various grasses in many different genera that grow in clumplike fashion rather than forming a sod or mat.

Encyclopedia > Bunch grass Any grass of the poaceae family that grows in clumps or tufts may be called bunch grass. As perennial plants, they live more than one season. Subfamilies There are 7 subfamilies: Subfamily Arundinoideae Subfamily Bambusoideae Subfamily Centothecoideae Subfamily Chloridoideae Subfamily Panicoideae Subfamily Pooideae Subfamily Stipoideae The true grasses are monocotyledonous plants (Class Liliopsida) in the Family Poaceae, formerly also known as Gramineae. ... With long roots that may reach 2 metres into the soil, bunch grasses can find water where other plants wither.

When one looks at what consitutes a bunch grass, mainly non-sod forming and growing in a clump like fashion, it is easy to apply these requirements as being met with fescue grasses. In poor growing conditions fescue will clump, spead poorly, and exhibit bunch type growing characteristics, but in the proper enviroment Fescue will form sod and reproduce by rhyzomes.

Sod-forming grasses with short rhizomes: tall fescue (Festuca arundinaceae), side-oats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), and indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans).

Fescue isnt a true bunch grass, but is considered to be one by most people.

tombo82685
02-28-2009, 02:49 AM
Even experts disagree about fescue being a bunch grass. Here are the definitions of a bunch grass.


When one looks at what consitutes a bunch grass, mainly non-sod forming and growing in a clump like fashion, it is easy to apply these requirements as being met with fescue grasses. In poor growing conditions fescue will clump, spead poorly, and exhibit bunch type growing characteristics, but in the proper enviroment Fescue will form sod and reproduce by rhyzomes.



Fescue isnt a true bunch grass, but is considered to be one by most people.

The sod companies up here put mesh in tall fescue for the sod to help it hold together. The rhizomes do form a mat to a degree but its not strong enough or consists enough of rhizomes to form a strong mat. The main form of growth is tillering and thats why they place mesh netting in the sod to hold it together.

tombo82685
02-28-2009, 03:03 AM
also consider when fescue is damaged, it grows back and heals very slowly, because the rhizome are not its main form of spreading out, its tillering which is why it heals slowly.