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How to Care for Dwarf Fescue

By Keith Dooley ; Updated September 21, 2017

Dwarf fescue is a relatively newer variety of fescue grass with unique properties not found in traditional fescue grasses. Appearing very similar to traditional fescue in blade shape, the dwarf variety is dark green, slow growing and more drought tolerant than other varieties. Dwarf fescue is durable and suitable for use around the home as well as high-traffic commercial property applications.

Plant dwarf fescue in a prepared area at a rate of 8 to 10 lbs. of grass seed per 1,000 square feet. Cover the seed with no more than 1/4 inch of soil and keep the seed and soil moist. Allow 30 days or so for the grass to reach at least 2 inches in height before mowing.

Allow the grass to grow and strengthen for at least eight to 10 weeks before allowing use, especially in high-traffic areas such as parks and especially ball fields and recreation areas.

Set the cutting blade height on a riding or push lawn mower to between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 inches. Mow the dwarf fescue as needed to maintain the set height every 10 to 14 days, or longer, as needed based on the slower growth of the grass.

Water the dwarf fescue with a sprinkler less than traditional fescue varieties. Use irrigation as needed to maintain the moisture level in the soil and especially during periods of extended drought. Avoid overwatering of the grass to prevent mold development.

Fertilize dwarf fescue with a balanced fertilizer formula containing nitrogen. Apply the fertilizer to the dwarf fescue with a spreader. Set the spreader to deliver the fertilizer at a rate of 2 to 3 lbs. per 1,000 square feet. Consult the manufacturer's directions for proper spreader adjustment.


Things You Will Need

  • Topsoil
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Lawn mower
  • Sprinkler
  • Fertilizer
  • Fertilizer spreader

About the Author


Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.