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HOw dependable is fescue seeds?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by heyakoni, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. heyakoni

    heyakoni LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    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:
  2. tombo82685

    tombo82685 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    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
  3. tombo82685

    tombo82685 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    is the lawn an all fescue lawn? Does it have warm season grass in it?
  4. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,153

    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.
  5. The Rookie

    The Rookie LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    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.
  6. tombo82685

    tombo82685 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    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.
  7. Bellenviro

    Bellenviro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    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.
  8. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    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.
  9. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,248

    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.
  10. tombo82685

    tombo82685 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 288

    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,
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2009

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