Turf-type Tall Fescue
The confusion between tall fescue and fine fescue was increased by the
introduction of the turf-type tall fescues because they are also promoted
as "fine-leafed" like the fine fescues. The tall fescues are
finer leafed than K-31
but not as fine leafed as the fine fescues.
Turf-type tall fescue are becoming a popular turfgrass for homes and
industrial sites. Turf-types are more coarse than bluegrass, though not
as thick as traditional tall fescue commonly used as pasture grasses.
The fescue is a bunch type grass, as
opposed to the rhizomatic growth of bluegrass. Newer cultivars have the
same rich green color as bluegrass.
Tall fescue are more drought resistant than many other lawn grasses
such as bluegrass or perennial ryegrass because roots penetrate deeper
into the soil.
Tall fescues are also more disease resistant and wear
tolerant, making them ideal for heavy foot traffic areas and athletic
fields. Like bluegrass, they are considered a cool season grass, remaining
green for eight to nine months out of the year.
Tall fescues must remain dense to keep blades thin. Proper mowing and
fertilizing practices help keep blades thin; overseeding every other year
may be necessary to improve the stand.
A coarse-textured medium to dark-green grass. Leaves are rolled in the
bud. It has short, rounded auricles, a short membranous ligule, and an
extensive root system. Because tall fescue has a bunch-type growth habit
rather than a creeping-type, open areas may develop and need to be re-seeded.
September and October are generally the best time to plant tall fescue.
Earlier seeding tends to undergo excessive heat stress and seedling
diseases, and later planting may not be fully established prior to winter.
Depending on the area, seeding in December and early spring is generally
not recommended because the plant does not have time to develop the deep
root system needed to survive the hot summer.