How to Plant Tall Fescue


Tall fescue grass is an easy-growing grass that can be found anywhere in the United States. It is the most popular grass in the Piedmont areas of Northern Georgia. Fescue is native to Europe and is found in low-lying damp pastures and wetlands. This hardy perennial grass adapts to a wide range of conditions including drought and extreme temperatures. Major growing times for fescue are spring and fall and the grass stays green when other grasses are brown and dormant.

Step 1

Prepare the soil before you plant your grass seed. Test the soil so that you can maintain a proper pH. Ideally, the pH should be between 5.5 to 6.5. If the pH is too low, you can apply lime to the soil. Follow the instructions on the container. If your pH is too high, you should apply a layer of manure or sulfur. Again, follow the directions on the container depending on how large the area is and the pH of your soil.

Step 2

Apply a layer of starter fertilizer into the soil and use a rake to mix the fertilizer into the soil at a depth of approximately 4 to 6 inches. Use enough fertilizer to apply 1.5 to 2 lbs. of nitrogen per 1,000 feet of planting area.

Step 3

Choose seed that has a blue tag on the label. The blue tag means that the seed has been certified and will be a high-quality seed that is low in weeds.

Step 4

Use a mechanical spreader to go over the prepared soil. Spread 5 lbs. of fescue seeds per 1,000 square feet of ground. Your grass will come in thicker if you plant half of the seeds while going in one direction and plant the other half at a right angle to the first application of seeds.

Step 5

Rake the area after the seed has been applied. You will want to cover the grass seed with a quarter inch of soil. Go over the entire planted area with the rake and then use a roller to pack the soil down so that the seeds will remain planted and will not be spread by the wind or water.

Step 6

Water your newly planted seed with an eighth of an inch of water daily to prevent the surface from drying out. Once the seedlings begin to establish themselves, you should decrease the number of times that you water to approximately twice a week, but water with about an inch of water. During extreme drought water your grass every other day.

Things You'll Need

  • Fescue seed
  • Rake
  • Water
  • Roller
  • Fertilizer
  • Lime
  • Manure
  • Sulfur
  • Mechanical spreader


  • Texas Cooperative Extension: Tall Fescue
  • University of Georgia College of Agricultural: Tall Fescue Lawn Management
Keywords: fescue grass, planting fescue, growing fescue

About this Author

Melanie Hammontree has a master's in business and is working on a master's in journalism from the University of Tennessee. She is a member of the Society for Porfessional Journalists and has been writing for five years. Works include publications with Hall County Crime Examiner, Player's Press and The Gainesville Times.