If for any reason Before you plant fescue seed, you want to do a bit of preparation to your lawn. Tall fescue grows rapidly and requires frequent mowing but does not tolerate close mowing. Petersburg. The best way to weigh the option of … Proud to provide services to central & southside Virginia. The best way to weigh the option of planting fescue in spring is with a pros and cons list. I also cover what kind of fescue is best. Planting fescue in spring is not as ideal as planting it in the fall, but it does have some merits for a fescue lawn that has struggled since its fall seeding. In transition zone states, such as North Carolina or Arkansas, September is typically the best month for planting tall fescue seed. A pre-emergent chemical will prevent germination of ANY seed – weed or turfgrass. Ideally, the soil temperature should be between 50 and 65 degrees F. This will normally occur when the air temperature reaches 60 degrees F, according to turf growers at Fescue.com. Choosing the appropriate grass is the first step, and briefly put, the only two cool-season grasses that have application in the Piedmont and Tidewater regions of the state are tall fescue and the new hybrid bluegrasses. You can also plant fescue grass in early spring. Deciding when to plant fescue is a consistent decision for most lawns where fall seeding is concerned, but it has to be a case by case decision when thinking about planting fescue in spring. Water the planting area with the fine mist setting on your hose or sprinkler and water daily until the seeds germinate. To seed, or not to seed? … If it has been two weeks and there are no grass sprouts or very few then reseed and make sure you water thoroughly. So, you will lose about half of what you seeded, maybe more. Pour the amendments, at the rate suggested by the soil analysis, over the planting bed. Fescue is a cool season turf, which means that it does best in mild conditions. Level the soil with the rake, removing any hills or depressions. Proud to provide services to central & southside Virginia: Chester | Seedlings require more care and consideration than sod and have a longer time from planting to germination, which means the cooler temperatures throughout fall and winter are thoroughly utilized. There is no bigger influence on this than seasonal weather. To start, the most obvious consideration in deciding when to plant fescue is the chance of success for the seed’s germination and development. Choose a planting time between mid-February and April to plant fescue grass seed. The first step in forage management is the proper establishment of pasture and hay fields. Tall fescue is a moderate- to coarse-bladed grass that can be grown in the shade and in many soil types. You can use a commercial turf grass planter, slit seeder, or sow the seeds by hand, or just as easy and much preferred, buy a lawn grass seeder. Bermuda, St. Augustine, Centipede and Zoysia are all good choices. Common amendments for a fescue lawn include nitrogen, lime and compost. Fertilize the soil before planting the seed, then again in late winter. Hopewell | 1 If you plant late, expect lower germination rates and less hardy root establishment. At the end of the day, the greatest benefits to successfully planting fescue in spring are the improvements to a lawn’s overall health and appearance as well as the faster results in a lawn this option can provide. However, ungerminated seed may stay viable through winter and some additional germination may come with spring. As a result, tall fescue grass seed does not germinate properly unless soil and air temperatures average around 60 to 75 degrees. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Such is the case with pre-emergents and fescue. Late Winter: Fertilize fescue lawns in late winter when soil temperatures rise to a consistent 50° in order to stimulate deep root growth. This brings us to the second downside to spring seeding, which is the need for homeowner involvement. This in turn depends on proper seeding. You will need 3 to 5 … Lawns that are seeded in the spring and carefully maintained to maximize on the lawn’s ability to survive the summer see faster improvement and will be thicker and healthier during the season that they’re most enjoyed than lawns that have to wait until fall. Seeding at less optimum time may result in reduced fill which may increase weed germination. Fescue is a cool-season grass; that means it grows best in the spring and fall when temperatures are cooler, and it struggles during the heat of summer. As a result, a fescue lawn that had seed put down in the spring is very likely to see more weed activity for that year than a lawn that received its normal amount of weed control. Rake the area lightly so that the seeds are just slightly covered. A: Although late fall is the optimum time to plant fescue, mid- to late February is a workable alternate. Test your soil before sowing the fescue seed. Business Address:23421 Old Cox Rd Dinwiddie, Virginia 23803, Copyright © 2019 Picture Perfect Lawn Maintenance. The good news is if you hurry, seed can still be planted in October with the hope that it will survive the upcoming winter. Analyze the soil test results to determine which, if any, amendments will be required. Planting Fescue in Spring…..Is It Right For My Lawn? As we mentioned, a lot can go wrong in a year for a fescue lawn. Ft Lee | However, if you are faced with either a sparse turf or the need to plant a new lawn this spring, you have no other choice but to do the best you can. Fall is the optimal time to plant fescue grasses. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. If it is too high, establishment costs will be prohibitive. The most important aspect in choosing when to plant the fescue seed is the temperature of the soil. Plant your cool season grass seed when the fall temperatures reach 75° and are dropping as winter approaches. For colder climates, you can plant grass seed in the winter for overseeding purposes. Unfortunately, there are several cons to planting fescue in spring that can seriously impact not only whether or not the service is appealing to a homeowner, but also the actual germination success of the tall fescue grass seed. This can reduce the need for fertilizer by 20-30%. It is subject to brown (large) patch, especially in prolonged periods of warm, wet conditions. When fescue is put down around September or October, it has all of the fall to germinate and begin developing, all of the winter to extend its roots, and all of the spring to thicken up and mature its blades. The third issue with spring seeding is the significant limitations it puts on weed control, which is most heavily applied during the spring. Til them into the existing soil until the soil in the area is loose and there are no large clods. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! If you plant grass seed in the wrong season, it will not germinate properly or even survive. Should I be planting Fescue in Spring?? Some winter weeds begin to develop after fall seeding, but these are generally controlled with post-emergent weed control in the spring, at which point pre-emergent weed control is also applied to prevent most summer weeds. You will need 3 to 5 pounds of fescue seed per 1,000 square feet of planting area, according to the Virginia Cooperative Extension. you are not 100% satisfied with our service, please contact us immediately, and we will make it right---no questions asked! Be sure and use the correct rate for seeding Fescue grass. When fescue seed is put down in the fall, maintenance herbicide applications are halted to prevent the risk of harm to the seed or baby grass. I have found that the most important factor when planting grass seed is water. The key is getting good seed-to-soil contact. These include cool season grasses, such as ryegrass, fescue and Kentucky bluegrass, which will germinate and then flourish in spring when snow has melted. Most grasses grow readily from seed and do well with fall planting. After you plant your grass seeds, you should see new sprouts no later than two weeks afterwards. The most important aspect in choosing when to plant the fescue seed is the temperature of the soil. Design ... You should plant tall fescue seed in the fall, and it may require annual reseeding. About Fescue Grass Lawns. Some products are available that serve as pre-emergent and post-emergent weed control without being a risk to the germination or development of fescue seed, but these are usually quite expensive and would be an additional cost with a turf management company. Unless you keep it thoroughly irrigated, you will lose some of your fescue to our hot summers, every year – which is why you should overseed it every fall. Even under ideal conditions, you can expect approximately one third of those individual grass plants to die off due to fungus and/or heat stress. In addition to this, adult fescue grass is easily stressed and damaged by high temperatures like those RVA experiences in the summer. Check with your county cooperative extension office for soil-testing facilities or purchase testing kits at a gardening center or nursery. When it's October, people often wonder if it is too late to plant new seed. Although fall is considered the best time to plant fescue seed, planting in spring is also possible. This is over six months of crucial development as it prepares to withstand the stress of summer’s heat. How often you need to mow will depend on how quickly the turf grows, which will vary with temperature, fertility, and moisture levels. Use high-nitrogen, low-phosphorus fertilizer like 18-0-4 that includes a pre-emergence weed control (unless you plan on reseeding in the spring). It is not as important as you think it is, but everyone’s first thought is what fescue … When seed is put down in the spring, a standard weed control program has to skip the pre-emergent weed control and restrict the post-emergent weed control. Fescue is a cool-season grass. After all, getting your fescue seed planted is only part of the battle. The older leaves adhere to the plant and spoil the bright coloration. Our Work is 100% GuaranteedWe want you to be over the top ecstatic with our PPLM Lawn Care, Landscape Maintenance, and Fertilizer services---So thrilled that you will refer us to your family, friends and neighbors. Master gardeners at the Gloucester County, Virgina, extension suggest that residential plantings of fescue do not require a straw mulch. If you missed the window for fall seeding of a cool-season lawn, you can still plant a lawn for spring. Although fall is considered the best time to plant fescue seed, planting in spring is also possible. When trying to decide whether or not to spring seed, homeowners should talk with their professional turf management company to decide whether or not it’s recommended for their lawn. These issues include the threat of summer, the need for homeowner involvement, and conflict with spring weed control. At PPLM, we like to get the bad out of the way first. However, you can simply comb them out with your fingers. As a result, many homeowners are discouraged by thin or bare areas in their lawn coming out of winter when faced with having to wait until fall to seed again. Seeding fescue in spring offers a compromise that cuts this “wait time” in half. Chesterfield | Do not fertilize during the spring or summer, when weeds grow, but fertilize again in the fall to nourish the grass for the winter. Overseeding – Planting Fescue In Spring. Seeding aftercare is important in the fall between watering, delaying any mowing, and monitoring for problems, but each part of this homeowner care is ten times as important with a spring seeding. All Rights Reserved. Keep in mind, however, that a fescue lawn that is already uniform and healthy can actually be harmed by spring seeding. Spring seeding should be planned if there any obvious areas of exposed soil. Rye Grasses The rye grasses are also appropriate for October planting in warmer climates. It tolerates heat and drought. Planting in the Fall presents the least risk of planting failure for cool season grass. There are some key things to keep in mind when planting grass seed in the winter months. Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Many times a herbicide can’t tell the difference between a “weed” and your grass. Pour half of the fescue seed and half of the sand into the broadcast spreader. However, when temperatures climb in the summer problems begin to occur. Mow newly seeded fescue back to 3” when it reaches 4.5” in height. Once your seeds are sowed, rake or drag the seeded area, so that as many of the seeds as possible are lightly covered (1/4 inch is ideal covering). Although fall is considered the best time to plant fescue seed, planting in spring is also possible. Priming can be accomplished by soaking the seed in warm water for 24 hours then partially drying it on a layer of newspapers in your garage. I have tips on planting a new lawn or an existing lawn, whether with seed or sod. Prince George | These areas can represent a large percentage of the property, or be as small as a baseball or basketball. If a lawn is still experiencing significant thin or bare areas as a result of harsh weather, damage, or subpar fall seeding results, spring seeding may be a viable option if the proper precautions are taken. Fescue is a cool growing season grass that declines in growth during summer. As a result, spring seeding has a much higher risk of loss in the summer than a fall seeding does. Walk over the planting area in an east-to-west direction, sowing the seed as you walk. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, University of Illinois Extension: Planting a New Lawn, Virginia Cooperative Extension: Establishing Lawns. Planting fescue in spring is not as ideal as planting it in the fall, but it does have some merits for a fescue lawn that has struggled since its fall seeding. 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