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Tall Fescue grass in lawn in USA, Identity, cold winter season, process of growing from seeds

Most people choose Bentgrass or Bluegrass for their lawns in cold seasons. But surprisingly, Tall Fescue grass is far better and multipurpose grass than these two. We can use it as pasture and make compost from it too. Tall fescue grass can handle the same difficulties that Bluegrass and Bentgrass can have. It is popular but still, not the first choice of most people. 

Tall fescue and fescue are slightly different from each other and terms of soil type and features looks. Tall fescue has more rough blades than normal fescue grass and the color is slightly lighter.

Here, we will understand the steps of every process to grow Tall fescue grass on the lawn with all the requirements.  

Tall fescue grass for lawns in USA

Tall fescue grass is cold season grass in the USA. Tall fescue grass is among the few cold season types of grass that can handle high foot traffic easily. Also, Tall Fescue grass don't spread itself fast as other lawn grasses and not even quick invading in nature.

Tall fescue lawn in winter in USA

Let's understand all the requirements and processes of growing on lawns. 

Identity of Tall fescue

To identify Tall Fescue grass easily, you should match the grass with the following factors- 

  • The shape of leaves- Slightly broad and long
  • Leaves- Wide with prominent veins
  • Height- Maximum 6-8 inches
  • Color- Medium green to dark green
  • Nature- Less invading 

Season of germinating Tall fescue grass

In cold regions, when summer is about to get end and fall starts, you can start growing Tall Fescue grass. The ideal temperature for this period is 60 degrees Fahrenheit to grow Tall Fescue grass. During this period, seeds germinate properly and soil temperature remains moderate for seed germination.

Requirements to grow Tall fescue 

Let's understand what are the basic requirements to grow Tall Fescue grass on the lawn-

Soil type and pH

Unlike any other lawn grass, there are good chances that Tall Fescue grass can grow in many cool climate soils. Tall Fescue can grow in Clay soil, Sandy soil, and Loamy soil. 

But it is always good to germinate and grow Tall Fescue in highly fertile clay soil. Maintaining soil pH acidic to neutral always helps to grow Fescue grass. 

Climate and temperature

Although we say that Fescue grass likes colder temperatures(62 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit), too cold(below 45 degrees F) or freezing temperatures are bad for Fescue grass growth. 

Fescue grass doesn't like hot weather or low humidity. It grows better in moderate to higher humidity. 


Like any other lawn grass, we need the following safety and working tools to grow tall fescue grass-

  • PPE kit 
  • Seed spreading tool or machine
  • Aeration tool 
  • Mowing machine
  • Sprinklers for irrigation
  • Long handle plastic reck

Tall fescue seeds

You should buy high-quality pure tall fescue grass seeds for your lawn. Hybrid or mixed seeds can change your lawn grass looks or germinate as weeds with tall fescue. Check the germination rate of tall fescue seeds first and then buy them. So be aware of the quality of tall fescue grass seeds. 


Most of the time, we take market organic fertilizers(liquid and powder both) but compost can be an alternative for fertilization. But, compost should be properly decomposed which can help to maintain the soil pH as mentioned above.

Fertilizers are good for Tall Fescue grass, that contains N-P-K 50%, 20%, and 30% Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium respectively. You can also use fertilizers that contains 30 to 40% Nitrogen too. Don't forget to follow the instructions on the packets. 


Pre-emergents help to keep restrict the weeds in the soil. Pre-emergents are helpful to stop almost every kind of weed that appears on lawn grass. 

Dimension 2EW is most common pre-emergent herbicides that we use on lawn grass when we grow it from a turf. 

Process of growing Tall fescue on the lawn 

It is not rocket science to grow Tall Fescue grass on your lawn but you should be aware and careful while following the process of growing. 

Following are the steps of the process to grow tall fescue grass-

Soil inspection

Friends, soil inspection help to figure out the details of soil fertility, pH, and current health. Take a sample of your lawn soil and send it to the nearest laboratories for inspection. Make a data sheet of two columns. The first one of the current status of soil and the second column of the requirements.

Soil preparation

After soil inspection and studying the soil condition, plow your soil 3 to 4 inches. Now, you should clean and filter the stones, large particles, pieces of wood, dead plants, and weeds from the soil. 

Use pre-emergent herbicides(if you grow directly turfs) and organic fertilizers(just for initial fertile) in the soil. Mix the soil with fertilizers properly and spray some water to keep moisture in the soil. 

Seeds spreading

Take high-quality tall fescue seeds and spread them with the help of a spreading tool or machine. You can also spread them with your hands. Don't overseed in starting otherwise it can reduce the rate of germination. 

If the temperature give supports you and you follow the basics till now, then surely your lawn will have germination after 12 to 18 days. 

Various states and fertilization

Fertilization is very important to feed and fertile your soil for better growth of lawn grasses. Following are the stages when you should fertilize your Tall Fescue grass throughout the year- 

  • 5 weeks after germination
  • Mid-growth and fertilization(Every 35 days)
  • Annual fertilization(2 to 3 times)


You should keep continuing regular irrigation every week. In winter, reduce the irrigation and irrigate up to 1.5 inches every week to maintain moisture. 

In summer, you can irrigate your lawn grass 2 inches every week to handle higher temperatures. 

Mowing of tall fescue 

Well, mowing duration depends on the growing rate of your tall fescue grass on the lawn. But still, tall fescue lawn owners should mow their grass 3'(inches) above the ground. Regular mowing keeps your lawn healthy, good looking, and get direct access to sunlight to the main portion of the grass.

Advantages of Tall Fescue lawn grass

Well, Tall Fescue has unique advantages over other summer season lawn grasses. Following are the advantages of Tall Fescue grass- 

  • Traffic handling capacity

Tall Fescue grass is ideal to handle high walking traffic of humans or animals. That's why tall fescue grass is used in sports grounds and winter parks.  

  • Cool handling grass

Tall Fescue grass can handle cool seasons easily. You can grow them in most of the cold regions of the USA. Even in winters, tall fescue doesn't get 100% dormant and its root still grows slowly. 

  • Use as pasture

We can also use Tall Fescue grass for the pasture of sheep, goats, and cattle. It is good to make compost too. We can use the cuttings after mowing every month in a large amount. 

  • Shade handling capacity 

Tall Fescue grass can handle the shade in winter and summer both. More than 2 hours in a day and 12 hours dark is pretty handling for tall fescue grass.

  • Less irrigation requirement

If you don't irrigate your lawn for two weeks in moderate temperature, then Tall Fescue grass can handle this easily. Even less water in regular irrigation doesn't make big trouble for it. But in hot summer, regular irrigation is important for every kind of lawn grass. 

Is Tall Fescue grass good to have on the lawn in cold regions?

Every single leaf of the Tall fescue grass lives for 40 to 45 days and then again a new leaf appears. This process continues during the entire growth. In cold regions of the USA, tall fescue grass is ideal to grow but in freezing or snowfall regions, it is not a good idea to have Tall Fescue on the lawn. 

In cold regions, people also like animal husbandry. Tall Fescue grass can be very helpful to fulfill the pasture need of animals.

As a lawn grass, Fescue grass performs better in cold regions comparatively Bentgrass and Bluegrass. But still, other grasses are not that bad tools. 

Apart from advantages, you should keep in mind that maintenance of Tall Fescue may bother you sometimes. In case of dormancy, you have to treat it well otherwise you have to start your lawn grass germination from the start. Weather conditions and seasons matter for fertilization, irrigation, and aeration. 

Overall, with many advantages, you have to maintain, care for, and treat your Tall Fescue grass as well. 

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