The fescue genus of grasses contains more than 100 species. Generally, they are cool-season grasses that are both drought and shade tolerant. They are also quite tough and can stand up to heavy traffic. In fact, the tall fescue variety is often grown on golf courses, in the roughs. Care of your fescue lawn can depend upon which species you are growing, but there are some common elements.
Plant fescue grass in the early fall or spring. Cool season grasses have their best germination rates when soil temperatures are between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. According to turf growers at Fescue.com, this is the temperature of soil when daytime air temperatures are between 60 and 75 F.
Water the fescue grass with 1 to 2 inches of water per week. More frequent watering may be necessary during periods of warm, dry weather. Turf specialists at Pike Nursery suggest setting an empty tuna can, which will hold 2 inches of water, on the lawn to measure the amount of water it is receiving. Tall fescue requires less frequent applications of water and agriculturists at Texas A&M University advise that you actually let the grass wilt a bit before watering it to a depth of 3 to 4 inches.
Begin a preventative fungicide program to prevent infections. Your county extension office agent will be able to help you determine which product is best in your area.
Fertilize your fescue grass with 3 lbs. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn area per year. Divide the fertilizer into two applications, one in October and one in February or March. Avoid fertilizing fescue grass in the summer.
Mow your fescue lawn to a height of 2 to 3 inches and allow the clippings to remain on the lawn.