Can I Plant Fescue In The Spring (2022)

Can I plant fescue in the spring? In short Spring season second best time to tall fescue seed to plant. 

The air temperatures and soil temperatures are 60 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer and the air temperature is stable at 68 to 77F. Planting turf-type tall fescue under ideal conditions will provide your seeding project with a significant edge.

Proper timing is essential whether sowing a new lawn or overseeding an existing turf with grass seed products to ensure good germination rates and thorough establishment.

Time your planting to capitalize on spring grass seed tall fescue’s capabilities and fulfill its needs to get the most out of your grass seed and seeding efforts.

When Is the Best Time to Plant Grass Seed in the Spring?

You must be able to respond “yes” to all of these questions in order to have success growing grass in the spring.

In the spring, cool-season grasses including bluegrass, perennial grasses, fine fescue, and tall fescue take a while to get going. Before development may begin, soil temperatures must reach 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

It’s also the temperature at which cool-season grass seed will germinate. The soils take a long time to warm up compared to the ambient temperature.

These soil temperatures may not arrive until late April or perhaps mid-May in some circumstances. If the seed is planted today, it is at risk of becoming waterlogged and rotting before germinating.

Pros of Fescus Spring Seeding

The most major benefits of properly planting fescue in the spring are the improvements to a lawn’s overall health and look, as well as the quicker results this option may give.

As previously said, a fescue lawn might experience a number of problems in a single year.

Extreme weather, fungus, and construction can either jeopardize the success of a fall seeding or create so many problems in a lawn that a single fall seeding won’t be enough to restore the turf’s integrity.

Cons of Fescue Spring Seeding

We say start with the bad. However, there are a number of drawbacks to planting fescue in the spring that can have a significant impact on not only whether or not the service is desirable to a homeowner, but also whether or not the tall fescue grass seed germinates well.

The threat of summer, the necessity for homeowner involvement, and the clash with spring weed care are among these concerns.

Does fescue grass spread?

Can I Plant Fescue In The Spring

14 to 20 days fescue grass seed

Most fescue seeds germinate and show signs of growth in 14 to 21 days. Temperature, oxygen content in your soil, and watering schedule are all aspects that influence the germination time.

Fescue is a bunch-type grass, meaning it grows erect and spreads in bunches over time. The spread and growth characteristics of fescue grass are critical for gardeners to understand. The growing habits of this cool-season grass might help you figure out if it’s good for your lawn or if there’s a problem.

The Spreading Habits of Fescue

According to “Grounds Maintenance Magazine,” fescue grass lacks rhizomes and stolons. Stolons are aboveground stems, while rhizomes are subsurface stems. Warm-season grasses are known as spreading grasses because they are spread by rhizomes and stolons. Fescue takes significantly longer to cover the lawn than other spreading grasses because it grows in bunches. While this has a number of drawbacks for gardeners, fescue’s growing habits and requirements can help people with shady lawns.


Gardeners may see a large number of weeds sprouting among their fescue. Weed seeds take advantage of the bare soil and lack of competition because this grass takes a long time to fill in an area after being planted. Furthermore, using a pre-emergent herbicide on a lawn before planting fescue will not prevent weed seeds from sprouting. Both weed seeds and fescue grass seeds are prevented from germinating by pre-emergent herbicides.


Fescue grass thrives on shady lawns with four to six hours of daily sunlight. Some fescue varieties do better in the shadow than others. Shady circumstances are tolerated by hard fescue, chewings fescue, and creeping red fescue. Allow your fescue to grow a half-inch to one-inch higher than fescue growing in the sun to help it spread in shaded lawn areas. Allowing fescue to reach its full height encourages the grass to spread.

Problems are becoming more widespread.

To encourage fescue lawns to spread, gardeners should fertilize them. According to gardening expert Walter Reeves, fertilizer should be used when fescue grass is actively growing, which is between September and June. Fertilizer should be applied in late September, November, February, and April. Avoid fertilizing fescue grass in the summer, when the combination of high temperatures and nitrogen fertilizer causes the grass to burn. Apply an inch of water to your fescue lawn after fertilizing to keep it from burning.

Fall Planting of tall fescue seeding

Fall Planting of tall fescue seeding

However, plant tall fescue grass in the fall and wait for it to germinate and grow. Tall fescue and other cool-season lawns benefit from renovation and sowing in the fall.

Remember that the tall fescue lawn that gets planted in the spring is more sensitive to drought, heat, fungal diseases, and weed invasion. Spring sowing is unlikely to provide a year-long stand of robust tall fescue under regular summer weather patterns.

These grasses were chosen because they generate high-quality turf and have been demonstrated to be less sensitive to brown patches in North Carolina. 

Some people like to add a little Kentucky bluegrass (which has a darker color and finer texture) or fine fescue to their blend (for shady areas).

When planting fescue grass in the fall, there are six stages to follow.

Soil Preparation

Once you’ve found the perfect spot, prepare the soil so that it’s ready to plant. Loosen the soil’s top layer by five to six inches.

Move back and forth with a garden tiller or a tractor until the soil is loose enough. Break up the large soil clumps and remove all the sticks, stones, and other materials from the area.

Growing in too fine a soil, on the other hand, is not recommended. It’s fine if there are a few small clumps. To prevent additional water from gathering, level all of the areas that have depressions.

Plant the Seeds

At least five pounds of fescue seeds are required for a 1,000 square foot lawn. So, before you go out and buy seeds, take a measurement of your grass.

Make sure the seeds are equally distributed over the area. Spread them out widely to give the lawn a full appearance once the fescue grass has grown in. Cover the seeds with a rake once they’ve been evenly distributed.

Find the best spot

You’ll need to choose a spot that’s weed-free and has the proper soil PH. In slightly acidic soils, fescue lawn seeds thrive.

To avoid wasting time on something that will not grow as intended, test the acidity of your soil first. A lawn care company or a garden center near you can provide you with testing kits.

Garden lime should be used if your soil is excessively acidic. Treat it with compost or a soil conditioner if it’s alkaline. Two weeks before planting, eliminate any weeds.

Make Use Of Fertilizer

At least twice a year, fescue grass should be fed.  You should fertilize your lawn before or after planting the fescue lawn seeds.

Fertilizer should never be used in the summer.

Your grass will be at risk of fungal infections and drought damage if you do so. Ensure that the fertilizer has a higher nitrogen concentration, such as 3:1:2

Applying Water

You need to water the area as soon as you have planted all of the seeds. If you have a large lawn, you can use a hose or an irrigation system to water it.

Make sure at least two inches of the soil’s top layer is moist. Once a week, water until all of the seeds has germinated and sprouted.

Reseed the Fescue:

Reseed Once a year, the Fescue Fescue needs to be reseeded. Cut the old grass to one or two inches tall before reseeding to allow new seeds to reach the soil.

Sow new seeds and aerate the soil. Per 1,000 square feet, you’ll need three to five pounds of fresh seeds.

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