Tall Fescue

Common Name: Tall fescue

Latin Name: Schedonorus arundinaceus (Schreb.) Dumort
Strengths: Shade tolerance, cold tolerance, heat tolerance, good drought tolerance when compared to other cool-season grasses
Weaknesses: Recuperative potential, poor drought tolerance when compared to warm-season grasses
Growth Habit: Tillers only, bunch-type growth habit. Some varieties spread by rhizomes


Management Tips
Planting Method: 4 to 9 lbs of seed per 1,000 sq ft; Can also be planted as sod
Mowing Height: 2.5 to 4 inches with a rotary mower
Mowing Frequency: Weekly 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; 2 to 4 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: Tall fescue is a cool-season grass species with a bunch-type growth habit. It has the highest heat and drought tolerance of any of the cool-season grasses but is not as heat or drought tolerant as warm-season grasses. It is widely planted in home lawns, particularly in warmer transition zone areas. Like other cool-season grasses, it does well when planted with other cool-season species and is commonly found in mixtures with Kentucky Bluegrass, Fine fescue, and other cool-season mixtures.

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