How to Plant Fescue Grass Seed in Late Winter


Fescue is a cool growing season grass that declines in growth during summer. The grass grows tall with a course texture and is often used as a turf grass. Fescue has a fast germination time which is a benefit for controlling erosion. It is necessary to over-seed existing lawns on an annual basis to regrow areas that are damaged from hot temperatures and dry conditions.

Step 1

Choose a planting time between mid-February and April to plant fescue grass seed.

Step 2

Use a tiller to work and loosen the ground prior to planting. Smooth the surface with a rake making sure to remove vegetative growth.

Step 3

Sow the seed in the soil at a depth of ¼ to ½ inch. Add a layer of straw mulch over the seed to retain moisture and prevent the seed from blowing. The seed will take 14 days to germinate.

Step 4

Water the seed bed thoroughly after planting. Continue to water regularly keeping the ground moist while the seed is germinating. Water at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per week once the grass has sprouted. Increase the water amount during the summer months to prevent the ground from drying.

Step 5

Mow newly seeded fescue grass to a height of 1 to 2 inches after it has grown past 2 inches tall. Continue to mow regularly when the grass reaches this height, being careful to not mow shorter than 1 inch because this will cause the grass to weaken.

Step 6

Apply fertilizer two to three times a year after the roots have been established. Apply a fall season fertilizer in October to strengthen the roots and prevent winter damage to the grass. Apply a high-nitrogen slow-release fertilizer in early March and again the beginning of May to stimulate growth.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not use a crabgrass-preventing product at the time of seeding because it will prevent germination.

Things You'll Need

  • Fescue seed
  • Tiller
  • Rake
  • Water
  • Fall grass fertilizer
  • High nitrogen fertilizer
  • Mower


  • Fescue Care
  • Fescue -- Planting Seed
Keywords: how to seed fescue, growing fescue grass, cool season grass seed

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.