In the garden: Caring for tall fescue

Chad Frey
The Kansan

Established Fescue Lawns

Soon your tall fescue lawns will begin to grow a new flush of growth once September rolls around and the cooler temperatures set in.

Soon your tall fescue lawns will begin to grow a new flush of growth once September rolls around and the cooler temperatures set in.  This will be perfect timing for those that were damaged by the Fall Armyworm invasion.

The following is a calendar of what to do and when for your tall fescue lawn:

Mowing:   Mow turf-type tall fescue 2 to 3 inches.  For K-31 tall fescue mow at 2 1⁄2 to 3 1⁄2 inches.  Raise height to the upper end of the range during the summer.

Fertilizing:   Tall fescue is a cool season lawn grass.  Apply nitrogen is September, November, May.

Watering:   Spring: minimal. Summer: 1 to 11⁄2 inches per week. Fall: only as needed to prevent wilting.

Planting:  When the weather is cool.  September is the ideal time, however, you can also plant March through April, using 6 to 8 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet.

Dandelion Control:   Applications of herbicides are most effective in the fall.

Crabgrass:   Apply a pre-emergence herbicide before redbud trees reach full bloom.

Grubs:   Treat May through July depending on when grubs are present.

Aerating:   This is done in early spring or fall, as needed.  Core aeration is best.

Since tall fescue is a cool-season lawn grass following a recommended schedule for this grass will produce the best results for your lawn.

Scott Eckert

— Scott Eckert is a Kansas State Research and Extension Agent for Harvey County. Horticulture is his specialty.