How to Grow Fescue Grass in Your Yard

Map of the U.S. with growing region for most fescue grasses
Green area indicates the growing region for most fescue grasses in the United States.

Advantages of Fescue Grasses

There are over 30 different varieties of fescue grasses. In general, most fescues are:

  • Shade Tolerant: Though it varies by type, fescue grasses in general can tolerate more shade than other cool-season lawn grasses and are frequently included in shade-tolerant seed mixes.
  • Drought Tolerant: All grasses need water, but fescues are moderately drought tolerant and slower to go dormant than other cool-season grasses.
  • Erosion Resistant: Fescues – particularly coarse, clumping varieties – become established quickly and are great for slopes and erosion control.
  • Traffic Tolerant: Fescues hold up well in heavily trafficked areas and are often used for home lawns, playing fields, and other areas that get a lot of foot traffic.
  • Tolerant of Poor Soil: Many varieties of fescue are easy to grow even in compacted, clay-based soil and low-fertility, sandy soil.


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17 COMMENTS

  1. We have new fescue grass this year. This Fall we left a 6″ boundary forit to grow on a side. Will it take 2 or 3 mos. for the side of the yard to grow with the fescue grass
    enlargement/root system.

  2. MOST INFORMATIONAL! I SEEDED REBELS FESCUE 2 MONTHS AGO AND IT IS GROWING! I PLANTED IN BARE AREAS AND WATER TWICE WEEKLY! I LIVE IN SC, AND IT GETS PRETTY HOT! I REALIZE I SHOULD HAVE WAITED BUT I PLAN TO SEED THE REST OF MY LAWN IN SEPT.
    THANKS!!

  3. Can I cover fescue grass with the weed control ground cover mesh to keep birds from eating the seeds? How long can I do that? Only dug up soil to clear root and weeds the topped soil with seeds covered and walked across to push soil down a little. I’m new.

  4. I have Tall red fescue self seeding,on a new lawn planted in may, grew in beautiful, on a shady hillside in Maryland. Now it is all brown and red? What did we do wrong?

  5. hi I am new to this lawn growing business and my problem is I live in the far southern part of Alberta, Canada only a few miles North of the Sweet Grass Hills of Montana. The land it purchased has a beautiful house but the yard was always neglected and it shows as the grass has grown in large clumps with bare patches everywhere. My question is can I drag a Diamond Harrow of these clumps to break them up and spread the fescue seed to help fill in the barren ground….. I would drag the harrows over the lawn during each rain as I do not have good water on site to water the new seed, the artesian well I have is very soft but also very high in Sodium. My lawn covers about 12 acres..

    Thanks,

    Roy

  6. My fescue has always had brown patch in mid July
    Thru august but this year many spots irregular in
    Size and shape gray in color, dead spots and
    Bald spots. Can you tell me what you think
    Has happened.

  7. HELLO
    I have a hard clay soil only 2-3 inches on top of coarse sand. There are many oaks and cedar in the area which leaves the soil rather acid. It is south central Wisconsin with some erosion of the lawn due to grade. I can do fall seeding but prefer spring seeding. The lawn only gets 3-4 hrs of sun at most and everything I have planted seems to die off in the winter and not grow very full or hardy in the summer, What can you suggest?

  8. I tilled yard in February in Athens TX. then immediately fertilized sandy soil with 13.13.13 Waited 30 to 45 days planting fescue seed. Started coming up but now the first of May it all looks brown and dead. What did I do wrong ? Billy

  9. I just planted tall Fescue in really hard clay soil. I’m crossing my fingers, but this article was so informative and will take the guesswork out of how to care for it. Thank you!

    • Hi, Juanita,
      We suggest contacting your local Master Gardeners association for the best recommendation tailored to your geographic area.
      Here’s where you can do that: https://mastergardener.osu.edu/home
      Master gardeners train on a range of topics so they can provide advice, at no charge, for people in their area.
      Thanks for your question, and good luck!

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