Fescue - The Grass of Fall

As we approach the end of the summer season, the heat makes us forget the cool weather to come. Along with the mums, ornamental peppers, pumpkins, and so much more filling our stores for the season, we can’t forget about our cool-season lawns! This week, August 16th - 22nd, 2021 is Lawn-a-thon and we are celebrating by providing information on everything grass-centric. Even more specifically, cool-season fescue grass. 


Why do we use fescue grass for our cool-season lawns in the Hampton Roads area?

Fescue cool-season lawns thrive in temperatures of 55-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Fescue grass is an excellent choice for the Hampton Roads area because it can deal with both the end-of-summer heat and our mild winter weather as well. Establishing this kind of lawn in the fall helps promote root development. Fescue roots can reach 2-3ft deep in our area, this helps with drought tolerance and erosion control. Fall is also a great time for planting fescue as it is the best opportunity for consistent feeding and provides the longest amount of time for the lawn to settle in for the next year’s summer. With a fescue lawn, you can have both a versatile and beautiful lawn all year round. 


Whether you are planting a new fescue lawn or you are seeding an old one, here are some of our best tips for keeping your fall lawn looking fresh. 


  • Seeding and Weeding -

One of the pros to having a fescue lawn is that the blades of grass are so thick, that it is unlikely to see many weeds during your winter season. But in the summer, pay attention to your grass, see if anything is taking over or if the yard is thinning in any areas. This will help you in the fall when amending your lawn. If you are not sure what best products can help your specific lawn, pay attention to how much sun it receives during the day. If it gets less than 5 hours of sun, it is a shady lawn, if it gets more than 5 hours it's a sunny lawn. This will help determine what seed you need as well as other products for a healthy lawn. 


  • Watering -

Although fescue is tough, it can be susceptible to dry patches in the hottest months of the year. Watering in the early morning gives the best results, this keeps the fescue from getting waterlogged as the excess water evaporates during the day. For more information on watering your lawn visit our blog here


  • Mowing

When spreading your fescue seeds, keep in mind that they need a few weeks to grow before you can mow the lawn. Best rule of thumb is to wait until the new fescue grass is about 4 inches to mow. Make sure your mowing blades are not too low as you can over-trim the grass. Fescue lawns can be cut down about an inch at the most.


  • Aerating -

Aerating your lawn is an important step in making sure your lawn stays fertilized. Aeration allows the lawn fertilizer to settle deep within the grass’ roots. This is best done in the cooler months of the year in fall or spring.


  • Fertilizing -

After aeration, adding high-nitrogen, low-phosphorus fertilizer is ideal for fescue lawns. Try to use slow-releasing fertilizers as directed. Fertilizing too much can cause grass to be mowed excessively. One of the best tools for the job is Fertilome Lawn Food Plus Iron. For more information, give us a call or stop in store to ask one of our garden supply Green Team members about lawn fertilization.