Planting Tall Fescue in the Fall – Late summer to early autumn is the optimal time to plant tall fescue seed. The autumn offers various benefits that are unavailable at any other time of year. As fall air temperatures decrease, the earth maintains summer warmth.
- Tall fescue seed requires cool nights, temperate days, and warm soil for rapid, complete germination and robust establishment.
- Fall planting has additional advantages.
- Typically, autumn rainfall occurs when optimal air and soil conditions coincide.
- During germination, tall fescue seed requires constant moisture, and fall rains satisfy this demand.
Fall soil is more likely to retain adequate moisture levels than spring soil, which frequently becomes too wet. As temperatures fall, many aggressive lawn weeds become dormant, reducing weed competition for young grass. Insect pests become less active in the fall, resulting in fewer pest issues.
- Depending on where you live, the optimal autumn planting timing for turf-type tall fescues, such as The Rebels ® Brand Tall Fescue Blend, varies.
- Plant tall fescue at least 45 days before your region’s average date of the first fall frost.
- This offers sufficient time for the 7- to 21-day germination phase of turf-type tall fescue as well as root establishment before the onset of winter.
For lawns in the Upper Midwest, mid-August might provide excellent conditions. In places in the transition zone, such as North Carolina and Arkansas, September is often the optimum time to plant tall fescue seed.1 Expect lower germination rates and less robust root development if you plant late.
- However, ungerminated seed may remain viable throughout the winter, and further germination may occur in the spring.
- With early fall planting, seed has a complete growth season in the autumn.
- The spring then offers another phase of development during the chilly season before the onset of summer stress.
The use of high-performance seed, such as The Rebels ® Brand Extended Root Seed Varieties, provides enhanced resistance to heat and probable drought. These exceptional turf-type tall fescues produce 40 percent more roots at deeper depths than standard grass seed, resulting in increased heat and drought tolerance as well as enhanced nutrient absorption.
What is the optimal planting month for fescue?
When to Sow Fescue Grass – Fescues are cool-season grasses, thus it is ideal to plant their seed in early fall, between mid-August and mid-October, when typical outside temperatures are between 70° and 75°F. So, the immature seeds will be less susceptible to heat, stress, and disease.
- If you miss this opportunity to plant, you can still do it without having to wait until the next autumn.
- You can try again when spring temperatures reach around 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mid-spring is an ideal period since the temperature is still cool enough for seeds to germinate and build a robust resistance before summer arrives.
Avoid planting during the summer and winter months at all costs. Young fescue goes dormant at temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Late winter is the second-best time to overseed a lawn. Last year, my grass did not look good. Is it true that grass seed may be planted over snow in the winter? What is the ideal grass kind for this region? This is somewhat accurate. Late winter to early spring is an ideal period to start a new lawn or to thicken an existing one.
- Depending on the weather, the second-best period for lawn grass sowing is often mid-February to late March, however September is the optimal season.
- Wait until there is no snow on the ground, and perform the sowing when the ground is not frozen or muddy, so that the seeds may be covered with loose soil.
From late spring until June, sowing is typically unsuccessful because to weed competition and moisture stress. In Kentucky, cool-season grasses are suggested for residential lawns. Even though we have numerous high-quality Kentucky bluegrass lawns, tall fescue is the grass that is best adapted to Northern Kentucky.
Tall fescue should almost always be planted on problem lawns with shade, poor soil, or excessive foot activity. Additionally, fine (red) fescue and perennial ryegrass have limited use in lawns. If you currently have a somewhat healthy bluegrass lawn, however, you should overseed with bluegrass and not fescue.
Never combine the two. Do a soil test immediately (provided for free by your local county Extension Service Office in Kentucky) to identify the specific lime and fertilizer requirements of your grass. Excess lime might result in inadequate nutrition absorption.
- New lawns should be seeded into loose, prepared soil, or by hiring a power seeder, also known as a vertical or slit seeder, which creates grooves in the soil, drops the seed in the grooves, and then softly covers it, all in one pass.
- To avoid conspicuous rows of seedlings, you must make a second pass at a straight angle.
In pre-loosened soil or for tiny areas, a rotary seeder or the typical drop-type seed and fertilizer spreader is typically used for sowing. Per 1,000 square feet of lawn, utilize six pounds of tall fescue seed or four pounds of bluegrass seed. Cover the seed with a gentle rake or a roller with water-ballast.
Straw should be used to mulch the region. The mulch layer should be thin enough to reveal around fifty percent of the soil surface, which equates to approximately one bale of straw per one thousand square feet of land. Frequently water your plants, especially if you do not use mulch or if precipitation is low.
Keep the soil’s surface wet for many weeks until the seedlings are well-established, otherwise they may perish. Refer to the Cooperative Extension article “Weed Control Recommendations for Kentucky Bluegrass and Tall Fescue Lawns and Recreational Turf (AGR-78)” for recommendations on weed control.
Sadly, the majority of lawn pesticides also destroy grass seedlings. Review product labels thoroughly. Don’t be frightened to mow a new grass. After the grass has reached its regular mowing height (about 4 inches), you may begin your early spring mowings (once or twice per week), cutting bluegrass and fescue to a height of around 212 inches.
You should never remove more than one-third of the blade’s length at once. By mowing early and without allowing extra grass to grow, the texture will get finer, several upright weeds will be eliminated, the turf will become denser, and the lateral spread will increase.
Can fescue seed withstand the winter?
Dormant seeding is the technique of sowing grass seed during the winter months. In spite of the fact that the seed will not germinate in low temperatures, it will be prepared for success when spring temperatures arrive. When properly timed, dormant seeding can be quite successful.
- Follow these recommendations for dormant seeding success for the best results: Wait until soil temperatures fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit before planting.
- Plant throughout late winter.
- The success percentage of seeds planted in February or March is significantly greater.
- Plant on bare soil.
- Do not sow seeds on thick snow.
Use a rake, if feasible, to softly cover grass seeds with dirt. In the spring, crabgrass preventers and other pre-emergence herbicides should not be used. If you missed the window for autumn seeding, which is optimal for the majority of cool-season grasses, winter seeding is the next-best alternative. Tall Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass, and Perennial Ryegrass all perform exceptionally well when winter-seeded.
How late can you plant fescue?
Late-Autumn Lawn Seeding Considerations – Return to Lawn Agent Articles Is it too late to sow in October? The optimal period to plant fresh tall fescue and bluegrass seed is between the beginning and middle of September. People sometimes question whether it is too late to put new seed in October.
- The good news is that, if you act quickly, you may still sow seeds in October with the expectation that they will survive the winter.
- Although September is optimal, grass seed may typically be planted until October 15 with acceptable results.
- The difficulty with planting late in the season is that nature is working against us.
Shorter days and lower temperatures delay the seed’s germination and establishment. Establishment of the sensitive grass is essential for its winter survival. Late-seeded grass may perish from exposure to cold, severe circumstances or dehydration. The repeated freezing and thawing of the soil, in conjunction with a lack of moisture, makes the delicate roots and crowns prone to desiccation.
Late-season sowing still requires the same procedures. Proper soil preparation is an absolute need. This is most effectively achieved by either verticutting or core aeration. These devices allow the seed to come into contact with the soil by exposing the surface. Additionally, timely watering is highly crucial.
Once the seed has been planted, the top surface of the soil must always remain moist. This may require mild treatments everyday. It relies entirely on the amount of sunlight and wind. Prepare to water as required, as a shortage of water will inhibit plant growth.
A fertilizer treatment at the time of sowing is also recommended. This will nourish not just the new seedlings, but also the current grass, which desperately needs it. Providing the establishing grass with sufficient nutrients will also aid in accelerating the process and enhancing its winter hardiness.
Normal mowing height for a grass is between 2 and 3 inches. Avoid the error of allowing it to grow too long, since this hinders the seedling’s capacity to form a beautiful crown. Clippings need not be collected so long as they do not smother the fresh seed.
To prevent suffocating, fallen leaves should be raked up. At this time, anxiety about weeds is unnecessary. During this procedure, no chemical treatments are permitted. As a general rule, herbicides should not be administered to fresh grass until it has been cut at least twice. Consult the product label for specific details.
Late-season sowing is still possible, but time should not be wasted. Today is preferable to tomorrow. By following a few easy procedures and relying on nature, your lawn should be in pristine condition by summer.