With the introduction of
turf-type fescues, many homeowners are deciding to establish fescue lawns.
Unlike traditional tall fescues (i.e.
Surface Preparation -
Evaluate the area that will be seeded. If you have a newly constructed site with bare soil then you may skip ahead to the soil preparation step. If, however, you are in the majority of Nashvillians then you most-likely have a Bermudagrass lawn that needs to be eradicated. Bermudagrass is a warm season grass that is actively growing right now. This means that now is the time to kill it. Once the temperatures begin to drop, Bermudagrass will quickly become dormant and impossible to root out. The most effective method of eliminating a
Soil Preparation –
Create a blank canvas by removing debris, rocks, tree stumps, and your now dead lawn. When removing
Amend the soil according to pH and nutrient needs, (turf-type fescues prefer a pH of 6.5 to 7.0) till the amendments 4-6 inches into the soil and rake to grade.
Finally, everything is ready for broadcasting the seed. The recommended rate is 5 – 8 lbs. per 1,000 square feet. It is a good idea to spread half the seed in one direction and then the other half at a 90 degree angle to ensure uniform distribution. Rake the seed into the soil no more than ¼ inch deep. Or, lightly top-dress the seed with topsoil. One very important step is to press the seeded area to firm the soil and establish good seed to soil contact. This can be done with a lawn roller available at your local equipment rental shop. Then water, water, water, and water some more! But do it lightly and often. The idea is to keep the seed surface moist at all times but not soaking wet to the point of run-off. Usually this means misting the soil 3 to 5 times a day until germination. Once the seed has germinated gradually reduce the frequency of watering and increase the duration to allow the water to seep deeper into the soil. Once the grass has reached 3 inches it is alright to mow. Remember, tall fescues (including turf-type tall fescues) like to be tall so do not mow any shorter than 2 inches. One last note, hot dry summers can thin a fescue lawn and make it lumpy and susceptible to weeds. To keep the lawn lush and healthy, overseed every fall with about 2 to 3 lbs. of seed per 1,000 square feet.