Fall Fescue Seeding

 

GreenGrass offers fall seeding and overseeding of fescue grass in shade areas.


Fescue overseeding in shade areas each year will keep your fescue thick and healthy.  All fescue areas should be overseeded each fall, because in Tulsa we're in a transition zone that is really too hot for fescue.  Fescue will grow in full sun in climates farther north, but here we plant it in the shade.  Each summer, our 100° plus weather will kill out a lot of our fescue.  Fescue also needs sunlight.  When we seed it in the fall, the leaves are falling off the trees and the temperatures are cool.  Fescue will thrive in the cool temperatures and the sunlight and get a good start for next year.  Using the sunlight, they will make food and build carbohydrate reserves to last into the summer.  In the spring, the trees leaf out again, and the fescue is in the shade which stays cooler.

 

Our price for FESCUE SEEDING/OVERSEEDING is $75 for the first 1000 square feet, plus $40 for each additional 1000 square feet.

 

What we do:

Call you to advise you when we'll be out so you can water the areas to be seeded.

Broadcast the seed, which is a fescue and rye blend.

Apply a light covering of peat moss to thin or bare areas.

 

What you do:

Water lightly 2-3 times per day to keep the seeds moist (in the absence of rain.)  If the seeds dry out, they will not germinate.  If the seedlings dry out, they will die.  Water is essential to the success of the seeding, but don’t water too much.  Heavy watering will cause puddles and your seeds will clump up in spots.  Water just until it starts to stream, then stop.

 

Don't mow until the seed is up and growing.  When you first mow, be careful when turning, so you don't gouge the soil.

 

Keep the leaves off of the seedlings so they can get sunlight.  DO NOT rake, or you will pull up the seedlings.  Blow leaves off of them.

 

Some points about seeding:

  • Fescue seeding is for areas in the shade only.  Fescue is heat-intolerant.  It does need some sun, and will not grow in total shade.
  • Fall is the best time for seeding fescue. 
  • Oklahoma is in a transition zone – too hot for cool-season grasses and too cold for warm-season grasses.
  • Bermuda grass is rarely seeded in our zone, but rather established by sod or sprigs. 

 

We do these seedings in the fall, because fescue and rye are cool-season grasses, as opposed to bermuda & zoysia which are warm-season grasses. Mid to late September through October is the beginning of the growing season for cool season grasses, while spring is the beginning of the growing season for warm season grasses.

 

We do not recommend seeding fescue in the spring.  If you seed fescue in your shade areas in the spring, it doesn’t have enough time to establish a root system before the heat of the summer, and you may lose a lot of it.  However, if you have bare areas in the shade that you just can’t live with, seeding in the spring is a temporary solution.  Be sure no pre-emergents have been applied to the area you want to seed, or you’ll be wasting your time!  And be sure to let us know if you plan to seed in the spring, so we won't put down an early pre-emergent (which could be in January, dependent on weather conditions.)

 

Tulsa is located in a unique area called the transition zone, where it gets too hot for the cool-season grasses and too cold for the warm-season grasses.  This is why our bermuda grass goes dormant in the winter, and our fescue looks a little peaked in the hot summer, and some of it even dies.  The transition zone is a band in the middle of the U.S., south of the cool zone and north of the warm zone, encompassing all of Oklahoma, most of Kansas, and a little of northern Texas – from there, it spreads directly east, at the same latitudes, all the way to the Atlantic coast.

 

If kept healthy, warm-season grasses like bermuda spread rapidly by underground rhizomes and aboveground stolons (runners.) They never need overseeding, and are much better established initially by sod or sprigs rather than seeding.

 

On the other hand, cool-season grasses can’t quite take those 100° days, so some of it dies out during the heat of the summer, especially if it’s not watered properly.  Fescue and rye do not spread like bermuda or zoysia.  Due to the die back every summer, fescue needs yearly overseeding in the fall to keep it thick and healthy.