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How to Grow Fescue

By Melody Dawn ; Updated September 21, 2017

Fescue is a hearty grass that likes to grow in cool, moist areas. The grass is very tolerant of drought conditions and can grow in shade and extreme, hot temperatures. Fescue is the most popular grass in the Piedmont areas of Georgia, according to the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. It thrives in well drained, fertile soils that have a ph of 5.5 to 6.5. Fescue likes clay-type soils that are high in organic matter, such as in low-lying pastures.

Growing Fescue

Prepare your seedbed before you begin planting fescue. It's a good idea to till in organic matter such as a manure fertilizer that will add nitrogen to the soil. Use approximately one-and-a-half to two pounds nitrogen per every 1,000 feet of seed. Use a tiller on the soil to a depth of four to six inches. Remove all stones and other debris and then use a roller to pack the soil before planting the seed.

Plant fescue seed during the cooler months of fall or spring. Fall is the best time to plant fescue as it will produce less loss of grass because of summer heat and drought. Use five pounds of seed for each 1,000 square feet. Use a rake or drag the area so the seed in planted one-half inch into the soil.

After the seed has been planted, roll the area again to pack the soil. Rolling the soil will help to prevent erosion.

Water your seed daily with enough water to keep the ground moist and from drying out. Water daily for three weeks until the seeds have developed. After the fescue begins coming up, decrease the number of times you water slightly but increase the amount of water you use.

Mow the fescue when it reaches a height of 2 1/2 inches. Mow the grass down to 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Grass should never be mowed wet as this can damage the plants. Fescue looks best when it is kept short and trim.

Fertilize the fescue every four to six months using 2 to 4 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Keep the ground moist but not drenched and contact a county extension office with any questions concerning growth patterns in your area.


Things You Will Need

  • Fescue seed
  • Soil
  • Fertilizer
  • Nitrogen fertilizer
  • Tiller
  • Mower
  • Roller
  • Rake
  • Water

About the Author


Based in Atlanta, Melody Dawn has been writing business articles and blogs since 2004. Her work has appeared in the "Gainesville Times," "Player's Press" and "USA Today." She is also skilled in writing product descriptions and marketing materials. Dawn holds a Master of Business from Brenau University.