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Fine Fescue

Description

Fine fescue species include creeping red, chewings, hard, and sheep fescue. All fine-leaf fescues are bunch-type grasses except creeping red fescue which is rhizomatous. Fine fescues are some of the most fine-textured turfgrasses available. Due to their superb shade tolerance and ability to recuperate from stresses, fine fescues are often mixed with tall fescue to enhance performance in shady areas.

lawn Maintenance for September - November

Aeration

Core lawns subject to heavy traffic or on clay soils to minimize compaction and improve rooting. Break up plugs.

Fertilization

The best way to determine your lawn's nutrient needs is by a soil test. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture, Agronomic Division, provides free soil testing. In the absence of a soil test, use a complete nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (N-P-K) turf-grade fertilizer with a 3-1-2 or 4-1-2 ratio (that is, 12-4-8 or 16-4-8). Fertilize with 1 pound of actual nitrogen (N) per thousand square feet in mid-September and again in November (about the time the grass is green but not actively growing).

Insect Control

Check for white grubs in September and October; fall is the ideal time to control white grubs.

Irrigation

Follow watering guidelines for March through May.

Mowing

Mow to 2 ½ to 3 inches in height. Remember grasscycling and leave clippings on the lawn.

Renovation

Piedmont and Coastal Plain Regions Only! (See June-August for western region.) Overseed thin, bare areas as grass begins to respond to cooler temperatures in September and early October. Use a blend of tall fescue cultivars at 6 pounds per thousand square feet. Apply a starter-type (high phosphorus) fertilizer at time of seeding. Keep the seedbed moist with light, frequent sprinklings several times a day to ensure good germination.

Thatch Removal

It is not necessary to remove thatch.

Weed Control

Apply broadleaf herbicides to control dandelions and other weeds if necessary. Caution: Some herbicides may affect newly seeded turf. Follow label directions.

Presentations

Publications

Species Data

Seedhead/Flower

panicle; seedhead is a closed, coarse panicle

Vernation type

leaves folded in the bud

Ligule Type

membranous; rounded, 0.01 inches (0.3 mm) long

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ligule3
ligule3
ligule3
Growth Season/Life Cycle

cool season turf

Auricle type

absent

Leaf blade tip shape

sharp-pointed; bristle-like with whitish cast, deeply ridged on inner surface

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Stolon Presence

absent

Rhizome Presence

absent except in creeping red fescue; red fescue rhizomes are slender and short

Collar Type

indistinct, divided in some species, continuous in others

Sheath Margin

open