Fine Fescues

Common Name: Creeping Red Fescue; Chewings Fescue; Hard Fescue; Sheep Fescue
Latin Name: Festuca rubra ssp.; Festuca longifolia ; Festuca ovina
Strengths: Fine leaf texture, shade tolerance, low maintenance requirements, slowly spreading growth habit, winter hardiness, good drought tolerance when compared to other cool-season grades
Weaknesses: Recuperative potential, poorly drained soils, heat tolerance
Growth Habit: Tillers, some species have rhizomes

Management Tips
Planting Method: 3 to 8 lbs of seed per 1,000 sq ft; Can also be planted as sod
Mowing Height: 1.5 to 3 inches with a rotary mower
Mowing Frequency: Weekly to every 14 days during the growing season
Fertilization Requirement: Single application rates; 0.5 to 1 lb of Nitrogen per 1,000 sq feet during the growing season months. Annual application rates; 1 to 2 lbs of Nitrogen per 1,000 sq feet per year. Application of other nutrients including Phosphorous, Potassium, and others should be based on soil test results.

Description:  Fine fescues are a group of cool-season grasses that consist of various species and subspecies commonly used in mixtures with each other and with other cool-season grasses such as Tall fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass. Fine fescues typically are slow to spread laterally, but creeping red fescues (slender and strong) have rhizomes that allow them to spread more rapidly. Chewings fescue, sheep fescue, and hard fescue all exhibit bunch-type growth habits with tillers only. They are sometimes planted as mono stands, but due to their superior shade tolerance they are more commonly planted in mixtures with tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and Perennial ryegrass.

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