Care for a Fescue Lawn


Fescue is a cool-season grass that's commonly used for lawns, pastures and some athletic fields. More than 30 varieties of fescue grass exist, divided into two main categories of fine-leaved and broad-leaved. Growing well in shady and high-traffic areas, fescue grass is doesn't survive in extremely hot or dry conditions. Fescue is used in for lawns in climates that receive moderate rainfall and have colder winter. Fescue lawns need frequent mowing due to the grass' fast growth rate. You'll need to keep your fescue grass at a slightly longer height than other lawn grasses, because fescue becomes injured by close cropping.

Step 1

Water your fescue lawn during the growing season to ensure that the grass receives 1 inch of water each week. Water the grass to supplement rainfall, soaking the soil to a depth of about 4 to 6 inches.

Step 2

Feed your fescue lawn five pounds of 20-5-5 NPK (nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium) fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of lawn in March or early April. Feed your fescue lawn again in mid-September and again in November with the same rate of fertilizer.

Step 3

Mow your fescue lawn to maintain a grass height of at least 2½ to 3 inches. Mow your fescue lawn once or twice a week during the growing season to avoid cutting more than one-third of the total grass height in a single mowing.

Step 4

Apply a pre-emergent crabgrass herbicide in late February or early March, following the instructions on the label. Apply a post-emergent broadleaf herbicide in the fall, if you see dandelions or other weeds infesting your lawn.

Step 5

Rake away all fallen leaves and debris from your fescue lawn during the fall and winter. Keeping leaves off the fescue grass will prevent too much shade on the grass.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't fertilize your fescue lawn during the summer months after May or during the winter because this will stress the grass.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • 20-5-5 NPK fertilizer
  • Lawnmower
  • Pre-emergent crabgrass herbicide
  • Post-emergent broadleaf herbicide
  • Garden rake
  • Lawn aerator (optional)
  • Fescue seed (optional)


  • Lawn Care Guide: Fescue Grass
  • University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture: Lawn Care Calendar---Tall Fescue

Who Can Help

  • Seedland: Tall Fescue Grass & Fine Fescue Grass for Use in Lawns & Pastures
Keywords: fescue lawn care, fescue grass maintenance, caring for fescue grass

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.