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When to Plant Fescue

By Meg Butler ; Updated September 21, 2017

There are many varieties of fescue. Short, densely growing varieties are used for hardy evergreen lawns; tall varieties attract grazing animals; and attractive, shorter blue fescue is an ideal ornamental plant. But despite their physical differences, all fescue grasses have essentially the same needs. For the best results, plant fescue in the fall so that the grass can establish the strong root systems that will help them withstand drought and high summer temperatures. However, with special care, fescue can be planted at nearly any time of the year, with varying degrees of success.

Plant fescue in the fall for the best results. Ideally, fescue should be planted between September and November when temperatures fall to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Plant fescue in the spring. Any time between February and April, when temperatures first reach 60 degrees, is suitable for planting fescue. The earlier you can plant fescue, the better. Fescue needs as much time as it can get to establish strong roots before the hot, dry summer months hit. When they do arrive, be sure to water your fescue whenever the soil dries out to prevent heat and drought stress.

Plant fescue in summer only when absolutely necessary. Never plant when nighttime temperatures are above 70 degrees. Fescue planted in summer must be well watered throughout the season or the grass will succumb to heat and drought stress. High heat can cause the grass to go dormant and be unable to establish itself.

 

Warning

  • Fescue planted in spring is more susceptible to Fusarium blight and other diseases.

About the Author

 

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.