How to Grow Fescue Grass From Sod


Fescue grass is a type of cool-season grass that provides feed for livestock and ground cover for lawns and parks. Used along roadways, fescue grass controls areas of soil erosion. Fescue withstands heavy traffic, droughts and floods. Many varieties of fescue grass thrive in poor soils, making this grass an ideal choice for many locations. Soil preparation and correct sod planting techniques provide the optimum conditions for a healthy fescue lawn.

Step 1

Test your existing soil. Purchase a soil test kit to determine your soil's nutrient composition. Although fescue grows in many types of soils, it grows best in soil that contains clay and adequate organic matter. Follow the instructions on this kit when taking the soil sample from the ground. Read the results to determine which nutrients your soil requires. Purchase the recommended soil additives listed on the test results.

Step 2

Prepare your soil in early fall to provide adequate time for fescue to establish before winter. Immature fescue grass suffers under summer heat and drought conditions. Remove all existing vegetation growing on your planting site. Pull out roots, rocks and other debris. Rototill the top few inches of soil. Add any nutrients recommended by your test results to the tilled soil. Add nutrients at the rate recommended on the package instructions. Rototill the additives into the loosened soil. Smooth the tilled soil with a garden rake to provide an even surface for laying your fescue sod.

Step 3

Lay your sod as soon as it arrives. Lightly sprinkle the sod to keep it slightly moist. When laying large amounts of fescue sod, keep sod in a shady area until ready for use. Since most types of fescue grass take a long time to fill in bare spots, carefully cover all areas evenly when laying this type of sod.

Step 4

Water your fescue grass regularly after planting. Keep the sod moist for the first two to three weeks. Gradually reduce the watering frequency after the sod shows signs of root growth. Test this by gently lifting a corner of a piece of sod. Resistance to lifting signifies new root growth. Mow after the grass reaches an initial height of 3 inches. Remove one-third of the length of the grass blades when mowing.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not mow fescue grass shorter than a couple of inches tall.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test kit
  • Rototiller
  • Garden rake
  • Fescue grass sod
  • Lawn mower


  • Arizona University: Lawns
  • Texas A&M University: Tall Fescue
  • University of Arkansas: Managing Fescue for Horses
Keywords: fescue grass, plant sod, sod lawn

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.