Planting Red Fescue


Red fescue grows in cool, mountainous areas. The grass is easy to maintain, requires minimal watering and tolerates wear. It also tends to be low-growing, so you won't need to mow it as much. Red fescue is a fine-bladed, deep-green grass that grows either in a slow-creeping fashion from rhizomes or in a bunching pattern. A red fescue lawn can withstand extremely cold temperatures and periods of drought, but it has a low tolerance for heat and humidity. Seed red fescue in the fall or the spring for best results.

Step 1

Till the soil to a depth of 6 inches prior to planting red fescue. Remove and discard any weeds or plants that you turn up in the tilling process.

Step 2

Spread the red fescue seeds on the prepared seedbed with a seed broadcaster. Use 4 pounds of red fescue for every 1,000 square feet of lawn. Germination will begin 12 to 22 days after seeding.

Step 3

Lightly rake the seeds into the soil using a rake once seeds are spread. The seeds should have no more then a ¼ inch of soil covering them.

Step 4

Roll the seeds into the soil using a lawn roller. Red fescue germinates best in firm soil, so rolling is important to help firmly establish the root system of the seeds.

Step 5

Spread 1 inch of dry straw over the newly planted seeds and seedbed. The straw helps the soil retain moisture and prevents the seeds from blowing away. It also helps keep birds from eating the seeds.

Step 6

Water the newly planted seeds frequently, but don't overwater. You should keep the soil moist but not flooded.

Step 7

Rake off the straw once the seeds have germinated and the blades are at least 1 inch high. Dispose of the straw.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn roller
  • Tiller
  • Seed broadcaster
  • Dry straw
  • Rake
  • Nitrogen


  • University of California: The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns: Red Fescue
  • Seedland: Methods of Seeding Fescue Grass Seed
  • Seedland: Maintaining Fescue Grass Lawns
  • U.S. Dept. of Agriculture: Plants Profile: Red Fescue

Who Can Help

  • U.S. Dept. of Agriculture: Plant Fact Sheet: Red Fescue
Keywords: planting red fescue, seeding red fescue, sowing red fescue, red fescue care

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.