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Fescue re-visited

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by HOMER, Jun 30, 2001.

  1. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    I know I'm way out of the transition zone------but.............
    I have a customer that has a fairly small back yard. There is so many trees that the lawn is shaded very good and seemed to be at least 10-15 degrees cooler than the rest of the yard. He has centipede that won't grow in the shade worth nothing.............will fescue make it? I know I've asked this before and dangit if it will grow in Nashville then why not here.............it hasn't been above 91 all month and I know it's been hotter up North than here.

    Professor Turf............any comments?
  2. NateinAtl

    NateinAtl LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 121

    About 50% of lawns here in the Atlanta area are fescue. Bermuda, centipede, and zoysia can't handle the shade. You need to let the customer know that fescue is a high maintenance turf in this area--requiring a yearly aerationa nd overseeding. And most likely will look bad in August. That's just how it goes. Other suggestions might be to go with zoysia if not too much shade, or extend the beds out so that the centipede lawn is only in the sun. There's really know good way to do it. Most customers will understand, but we do have to do a lot of educating. Hope this helps
  3. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    they are developing very shade and drought tolerant fescues
    a mixture with high creeping red content is the best ive found for shade.if any one else has something they have had success with ill
    be watching .this is always a problem.
  4. TurfProf

    TurfProf Banned
    Messages: 8

    Homer: Although the fine fescues as a group are cool season grasses, some species may work for you below the transition zone as long as you are aware that you may have to overseed occassionally if you get prolonged hot weather. I would strongly recommend any of the varieties of Hard Fescue (Festuca longifolia) which are extremely drought tolerant, shade tolerant and will withstand higher temps for longer periods. You might even want to mix in some sheeps fescue (Festuca ovina) to about 25% or so.
  5. Hey Homer tall fescue looks like a good choice to overseed with from Sept. on.

    It might just last the summer on some of the irrigated lawns.
    You will be mowing this stuff all winter.
    Fescue.com - Hard Fescue

    Hard fescue is indeed one of the "hardiest" of the fescues. Shade and drought resistant, and more disease resistant this fescue grows best in the north and the higher elevations. Hard fescue has beautiful blue-green color, and can grow in some of the most adverse of conditions and in heavily shaded areas. Hard fescue grows in the clump formations and may not be mown as low as the other fescues. Hard fescue is one grass that stays green a longer period of time, is slow growing and a low maintenance grass. Varieties of hard fescue are being developed for extended usage and acceptability as lawn grasses. This fescue makes an ideal conservation, erosion, and reclamation planting in areas not easily maintained and is the only fescue that is salt tolerant.
  6. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    This is encouraging. I think with the amount of shade this customer has and the woods surrounding his back yard the temp. might stay cool enough. I will tell him about this and see if he wants to give it a try. He already has irrigation so that isn't a problem. Might have to adjust the timer to "cool" off the grass during the hotter parts of the day. Mowing all winter isn't a problem, mowing dirt is. I'll have to get something down there anyway because of the leaves that have to be removed come fall.
  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I think as long as you have enough shade in this area, you should be fine. Fescue is actually very low maintenence in the south. It grows quick during the spring, but summer it slows way down. In the fall it greens back up very well, but it doesn't grow very much. Unless you have it very chemically induced. I never have to cut mine at all during the winter, but it stays green. If he takes care of it like he should, you probably will not need to overseed every year.

    Let me make another suggestion. A new zoysia has been developed. It is for shaded areas. Its called El Toro. It looks really nice, but its kinda expensive. But this could be a permanant fix for this guy. A one time expense of sod. Verses overseeding often.
  8. jnjnlc

    jnjnlc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 231

    I use nothing but Fescue. Sunny, shady or whatever the lot. In the shady areas it grows a little slower but it will make it.
  9. cp

    cp LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 263

    Homer, try Creeping Red Fescue, it works pretty good in the shade up here in the Old Dominion. Thats Virginia to all you foreigners.:blob3::blob3:
  10. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,232

    Have you thoguht of using St Augustine? I'm pretty sure that it'll take the shade.

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