It’s that time of year again! Yearly fall fescue seeding is a must to maintain healthy fescue turf, and this is the ideal time to do it, right now!
Within our planting zone here in the Tulsa area, it’s really too hot for fescue. But bermuda grass, which is suited to our zone, won’t grow in the shade and grows poorly in semi-shade. So we seed fescue grass under trees where bermuda won’t grow and where fescue will be out of the hot sun.
However, fescue grass is really heat-intolerant, so during our hot summers, some of the fescue will die out. That’s why we need to reseed it every fall to keep it looking its best.
Note: if you have an area that gets absolutely no sun, not even dappled sunlight between tree branches, fescue will not grow, period. (Example: an area between 2 houses or other very densely shaded areas. See the link in the last paragraph for another solution.)
Fall fescue seeding is simple. Buy some fescue seed or fescue-rye blend (you'll need between 4-8 lbs. per 1000 square feet) and use a spreader (either a push spreader or a hand-held spreader) to distribute it evenly. If you have bare areas, break up the dirt a little with a garden weasel or a hard rake, put down the seed, and cover with a little peat moss to hold it there.
Keep the seed damp by lightly watering twice per day or more depending on how hot and windy it is. Once the seed is up and the new grass is growing well, you can return to a regular watering schedule.
Blow leaves off the fescue (don’t rake – you’ll pull up the new seedlings.) Fescue will need the sun when the leaves fall off the trees so it can make food and store up carbohydrates to make it through next summer when it’s in the shade again.
Note: if you do not keep the seed damp, it will not germinate. If you don’t keep the new seedlings moist, they will die.
So, there you go!
Oh, if you don’t want to do your own seeding, we’d be happy to do it for you. Click here for a free fall fescue seeding estimate. Click here for more info on fescue and seeding. Unfortunately, you will still have to do the watering!
Maybe you don’t want to mess with fescue at all, but you have shady areas where your bermuda won’t grow. See our alternative solutions for The Dreaded Shade Areas.