How to Care for Fescue Lawn


Fescue grass is a heavy-duty grass that works well in a variety of soils and is drought resistant, according to Aaron Patton and John Boyd of the University of Arkansas. Tall fescue grows in bunches and, when mowed regularly, works well as a sod grass. Tall fescue does not spread, making it easy to manage. Turf-type tall fescue varieties are now available as cultivars, which are shade tolerant with finer leaves. Caring for fescue requires mowing regularly, fertilization and aeration.

Step 1

Mow fescue grass a height of 2.5 to 4.0 inches. Mow so that only a third of the grass blade is removed at a time. This prevents disease and prevents the buildup of grass clippings.

Step 2

Fertilize fescue grass between March and May 1 or between September and January 1. Apply 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of lawn. Nitrogen is the most important element for a lawn's growth, according to the University of Colorado, and requires application twice a year.

Step 3

Water fescue grass regularly between April and October. Watering is not needed as often during the spring unless the weather is hot or the fescue is planted as sod. Water when the grass turns a dark bluish color, when footprints are visible after walking on it, or when the leaves begin to curl slightly. The University of Missouri recommends watering in the early morning to prevent the burning of leaves.

Step 4

Aerate the lawn between March and May or September and November. Aeration removes small plugs of dirt from the soil, removing compaction and increasing water absorption. Aerating increases the effectiveness of fertilization, according to the University of Missouri, so aerate before application of fertilizer.

Things You'll Need

  • Mower
  • Rake
  • Fertilizer
  • Water


  • University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture: Lawn Care Calendar Tall Fescue
  • Colorado State University Extension: Lawn Care
  • University of Missouri Extension: Natural Lawn Care
Keywords: fescue lawn care, grow fescue lawn, care for fescue

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.