Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

When to Plant Fescue Grass Seed

Fescue grass is among the most hardy cool-season grass you can plant for a year-round green lawn. Fescue grasses include the tall, bunching grasses known as tall fescue and the finer, shorter fescues known as creeping red, hard fescue, chewings fescue and sheep fescue, according to the website Fescues are also drought- and shade-tolerant.

When to plant

Fescue grass seeds grow best when planted in fall or spring, according to, and can be planted in the United States from the Upper South and Midwest to the Northern areas. Planting fescue grass seed in the early fall is best because it gives the seeds more time to germinate under ideal growth conditions. Fescue grasses grow best when soil temperatures are between 50 and 65 degrees and the outside temperature is between 60 and 75 degrees. In order to increase coverage on particularly troublesome areas of your lawn, fescue can be planted in both fall and spring.

Prepare your soil

Fescue seeds, like all grass seed, grow better when planted in freshly tilled, pure soil that does not have any other plants or weeds in it.

Seed and soil contact

Among the keys to getting fescue grass seed to germinate or grow is making sure that the soil comes into direct contact with the seed itself. Fescue grass seeds should be planted about 1/8 to 1/4 inch below the soil's surface.


Soil should be moist when planting grass seeds. Using a light roller to compact the soil around the seeds when help them sprout and grow.

Summer planting and dormancy

Water becomes an important factor if you plant fescue grass in the summer. However, fescue grass should not be planted when nighttime temperatures are above 70, according to Cool-season grasses like fescue become dormant when temperatures are above 90 or below 50. Freezing temperatures and frost can kill seedlings that have not had enough time to mature and survive dormancy.

Garden Guides