So you’ve always wanted that picture-perfect, make-the-neighbors-green-with-envy, fescue lawn? Regular over-seeding is the key. While over-seeding fescue is not difficult, there are a few tricks and tips that can ensure your fescue seeding success. Whether you are starting a new lawn or area, or just performing your annual “over-seeding” ritual, these tips can turn even the blackest thumb into a green one in no time.
- Inform your lawn maintenance company about your intentions to seed BEFORE the seed goes down. Some early season products that are very beneficial to established lawns will thwart your fescue seeding attempts before those little shoots even have a chance.
- Earlier is better. Fescue seeding should be done in the spring before the weather turns too warm. The first time after mid-February when the lows at night stay above freezing for 10 or more days should signal your fescue-seeding urge.
- If you are seeding in a new area or in poor soil conditions, top dress with about 1” of peat moss or ProMix before seeding.
- Once your seed goes down, water GENTLY for about 5 minutes. This will get the seeds damp, allowing the germination process to begin without moving the seeds around.
- Don’t rake after your seeds have germinated. If you need to remove leaves or debris, a blower is a good option. Raking will damage your delicate shoots. You shouldn’t rake a fescue lawn, even when well established.
- Keep the soil consistently damp until your seedlings are 2-3” tall. The worst thing you can do is let your precious new grass seedlings dry out. Be especially cautious as the temperature warms and on windy days. You may have to water daily for a couple of weeks.
- Wait until your seedlings are at least 3” tall before you mow. Then be sure to mow on the highest setting. Fescue should be kept at about 3” year-round. Mow regularly so you are cutting off less than 1/3 of the leaf at each mowing.
- After the first mowing, continue watering at a rate of 1 ½” per week, until the grass is 3” tall.
- Sit back and watch the magic happen. With a little work and a few tricks, you can have the fescue lawn of your dreams.