How to Start Fine Fescue


Chewings fescue, creeping red fescue and hard fescue are three varieities of fescue known together as fine fescue. Fine fescue is most commonly used as ground cover in dry, cold, shady and windy areas because it is quite drought and cold tolerant. However, fine fescue will not tolerate excessive traffic and it tends to grow in bunches that make it look less manicured than other lawn grasses. Although it lacks style, fine fescue is quite hardy, easy to start and even easier to maintain.

Step 1

Start preparing to plant fine fescue in the fall. Clear the planting area by hand weeding any weeds or grasses (don't forget to remove their root systems or they'll pop back up) and removing debris.

Step 2

Hand or roto-till the area to a depth of four inches.

Step 3

Apply a commercial starter fertilizer with high levels of phosphorous with a fertilizer spreader (Read the manufacturer's instructions to determine the amount for your lawn size).

Step 4

Hand broadcast a one-inch layer of organic compost.

Step 5

Till the soil again, to a depth of four inches.

Step 6

Use a seed spreader to spread the fine fescue seed at a rate of five lbs. per 1,000 square feet.

Step 7

Rake the soil.

Step 8

Lightly compact the soil by walking over it or by using a soil roller that has been lightened by emptying out most of the water.

Step 9

Water the soil so that it is moist but not soaking. The best way to do this is with a sprinkler system timed or turned on to water the soil so that it remains consistently moist.

Things You'll Need

  • Starter fertilizer
  • Soil roller
  • Rake
  • Fertilizer spreader
  • Seed spreader


  • Fescue: Creeping Red Fescue
  • Hume Seeds: Starting a New Lawn
Keywords: start fine fescue, seed fine fescue, fine fescue

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.