Fescue can be an excellent grass choice for planting in Nebraska. Fescue is highly drought-tolerant, which allows it to survive extended dry periods in a dormant state. This grass would be especially well-suited for the central and western part of the state, where rainfall is less abundant. Fescue is well adapted to a wide range of soils and can tolerate summer heat sufficiently. For this reason, it is widely planted in the transition zone between cool-season and warm-season grasses. To achieve successful germination, you must adequately prepare the planting area before seeding.
Rototill your entire planting area to a depth of 3 to 4 inches. Rake the area to remove any debris and to also smooth the soil.
Roll the soil with a lawn roller that is filled with water. This will firm the planting area. A planting bed is sufficiently firm when you only sink in 1/2 inch or less while walking upon it.
Fill your broadcast spreader up with tall fescue seed and set the dial to the indicated rate on the grass seed bag. You should aim to apply 6 to 8 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet.
Walk across the planting area in a back and forth fashion to spread the seed with your broadcast spreader. You will be walking in the same way as if you were mowing your lawn.
Use a garden rake and rake the seeds into the soil. Rake until they are buried approximately 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch.
Use lawn sprinklers to water the seedbed. It should be kept moist at all times for 14 to 21 days. The duration and number of times per day you need to water will depend on individual soil and weather conditions.
Reduce watering once complete germination occurs. Water weekly and apply 1 inch of water over the entire planting area.
Mow your lawn once it reaches 3 inches in height. It should be mowed down to 2 inches. Increase mowing height to 3 inches in summer months.
Apply nitrogen at a rate of 1 pound per 1,000 square feet a month after planting your fescue. Apply with your broadcast spreader.