While some of the older tall fescue grass varieties are still available
in some stores, but these should be avoided. These grass types are the coarse textured Kentucky
Tall fescue grass has been used traditionally as a low maintenance grass
in areas where a coarser texture is not objectionable. This grass species
is coarser textured than the other recommended turfgrass species.
fescue tolerates soils of low fertility, persists well under low
maintenance and possesses good tolerance to insect and disease invasions.
This species germinates and establishes quickly but slightly slower
than perennial ryegrass.
When mature, tall fescue grass has excellent wear
tolerance and, due to its deep-rooted nature, tolerates drought and
will remain green throughout most midwest summers without supplemental
irrigation. Juvenile tall fescue seedlings are not cold-tolerant
and will be prone to winterkill. However, well-established seedlings
and mature lawns will endure most cold winters.
Recently, a number of improved "turf-type" tall fescue cultivars
have been commercialized. These improved tall fescues are finer textured
than the old "Kentucky-31" cultivar. These improved cultivars
are less coarse, grow more upright, and exhibit a darker green color.
All tall fescues grow rapidly in the spring and require more frequent
mowing than Kentucky
bluegrass. The popularity of the improved turf-type tall fescues
is increasing and they are now being used on many lawn sites, playgrounds,
parks and low-maintenance athletic fields where the use of coarser textured
grasses is not objectionable .
There are now many improved tall turf cultivars that have a finer texture,
but not as fine as bluegrass. Many have improved disease and insect
There is some confusion between tall fescues, turf-type
tall fescues and fine fescue. For most home lawns, only consider
the turf-type tall fescues except for blends, which may include
Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescues and some type of perennial ryegrass.
For cool season and transitional turf grass areas of the country, these
blends are well suited. As the seedlings establish themselves, the
suited for particular areas (shady / sunny) of the lawn will become
Mowing Height: 2-1/2" — 3"
Availability: seed or sod
Common Pests: brown patch and leaf spot