How to Improve Tall Fescue in the Fall

Overview

The most common lawn grass in the United States is tall fescue due to the fact that it is one of the heartiest grass varieties on the market. With proper care and maintenance, there is no reason that the grass should not stay greener longer through the fall and into the winter. The grass is a very hearty variety that can resit drought conditions as well as extremely moist conditions for shorter periods. The grass will create a thick, rich lawn, which makes it very popular with sod farms and many golf courses.

Step 1

Aerify the lawn with the aerator. This will produce plugs of grass and soil--leave these on the lawn. The break down of these plugs will add more nutrients to the soil.

Step 2

Fill the walk-behind spreader with the fertilizer. Make sure to fill the spreader on a hard surface so spills can be easily cleaned up.

Step 3

Set the spreader to spread the fertilizer at a rate of 50 pounds per acre. Check the manual for the spreader to get the correct setting.

Step 4

Spread the fertilizer over the entire lawn. Do not overlap the passes with the spreader. This will cause striping in the grass when the fertilizer takes effect.

Step 5

Fill the spreader with the grass seed. Make sure to fill the spreader on a hard surface so spills can be easily cleaned up.

Step 6

Set the spreader to spread the seed at 25 pounds per acre. Check the owners manual for the spreader to ensure the proper setting is used.

Step 7

Cover the entire area with seed using the spreader.

Step 8

Cover the entire area with seed from the spreader a second time. Make sure the passes are made 90 degrees to the first passes.

Step 9

Water the entire area for 20 minutes. This will help to break down the fertilizer and aerification plugs.

Tips and Warnings

  • Overlapping fertilizer passes will cause striping in the lawn when the fertilizer takes effect. Make sure to clean shoes before entering a home. Nitrogen fertilizer will burn and stain cloth and furniture. Wash hands after handling fertilizers.

Things You'll Need

  • Aerator
  • Walk-behind spreader
  • Fescue seed (50 pounds per acre)
  • Nitrogen fertilizer (50 pounds per acre)

References

  • West Virginia University Extension Service: Tall Fescue Management
Keywords: tall fescue, fall grass, improving tall fescue