Turfgrasses ›

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 June - August

Aeration

Avoid coring tall fescue lawns at this time.

Disease Control

Check for brown patch disease.

Fertilization

DO NOT fertilize tall fescue at this time. Submit a soil sample for analysis to determine nutrient requirements. (Contact your county Extension Center for details.)

Insect Control

Check for and control white grubs in July and August.

Irrigation

Either water as needed to prevent drought or allow the lawn to go dormant. About 1 inch of water per application each week is adequate for irrigated lawns. Sandy soils often require more frequent watering, or about ½ inch of water every third day. Do not discontinue irrigation in midsummer. Water dormant lawns every three weeks in the absence of rain.

Mowing

Raise mower height to 3 ½ inches. Mow before the grass gets above 5 inches tall. Remember grasscycling and leave clippings on the lawn.

Renovation

Western Region Only! (See September-November for Piedmont and Coastal Plain regions.) Overseed thin, bare areas as grass begins to respond to cooler temperatures; about August 15 to September 1. Use a blend of tall fescue cultivars at 6 pounds per thousand square feet. Apply a starter-type fertilizer at the 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

Avoid the use of herbicides at this time.

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

dscn1063
dscn1063
dscn1063
dscn1073
dscn1073
dscn1073
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

dscn1069
dscn1069
dscn1069
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