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    THe GREEn insider

    Tall Fescue Grass Seed: The Benefits in Ohio

    Posted by: Hannah McIntire on April 13, 2018

    tall-fescue-grass-seedOhio has some strange and wise differences in temperature from season to season. We are located in an area of the globe this is considered a transition zone. A transition zone is a place where it is too hot for cool season grasses but too cold for warm season grasses. Tall Fescue grass seed is great for transition zones. Tall Fescue grass seed has many benefits for Ohio yards. It works well with our cold winters and hot summers. There are Fescue types that look just as pretty as Kentucky Bluegrass but will stand up better to Ohio weather. If you are planning on choosing new grass seed for your yard, consider this information about Tall Fescue grass seed.

    Strong and Tolerant

    Tall Fescue grass seed is very drought resistant compared to other Ohio grasses, like Kentucky Bluegrass. Tall Fescue lawns are more tolerant of the heat of summer and can handle going some time without a rainy day. The Tall Fescue roots grow deep into the soil, making it easier to retain water internally. This also protects the roots from direct sun and heat. To encourage deeper root growth, water thoroughly but infrequently in times of low rainfall. It is important to choose a grass seed that is tolerant of drought because it will make it easier to have a greener and healthier lawn during the summer.

    With proper mowing and watering, your Tall Fescue grass seed will thrive in the summer. This grass seed is like a super hero. Not only is it resilient to heat and lack of water, but Tall Fescue grass seed is also very resistant against many lawn diseases. If your yard catches one of the many types of lawn diseases, it makes the grass look a little icky. If you are like us and want pretty green lawns, disease will not do! Planting Tall Fescue grass seed will keep your lawn healthier than other cool season grass seeds.

    Buying The Seed

    If you purchase Tall Fescue grass seed by yourself at a store, there are a few things you should know. You do not want to buy pure grass seed. You will want to buy a 75/25 mixture with 75 percent Tall Fescue grass seed and 25 percent annual rye. The annual rye is mixed in to protect the Fescue seedling and make sure it is able to sprout and grow.

    Annual means that the rye does not grow back after the first year. Rye grows faster than the Fescue so it will be able to protect the seeds from being dried out by the sun or washed away. The annual rye is important to make sure your Fescue grass seed is able to germinate safely and to protect the hard work you did spreading the seed.

    When to Plant New Tall Fescue Grass Seed

    You can plant Tall Fescue grass seed in the spring and fall when the daily temperatures are low. The low temperates ensure the seeds will not get dried up in the heat. Fall is the best time to plant new grass seed because the weather is great for steady growth. The springtime is second best. Ideally, spring would be when you are filling in bare spots around the yard. Fescue grass seed germinates quicker than Kentucky Bluegrass and other seeds. Therefore, it is able to sprout up and fill in your lawn a little faster.

    Tall Fescue Grass Care Tips

    Here are some tips and tricks for making sure your seed grows tall and strong giving you a beautiful healthy lawn.

    Aeration

    Aeration is a treatment that pairs well with seeding. Aeration is needed when a lawn's soil is compacted. Compaction can happen very easily in some yards. Soil compaction could be caused by a number of things like kids or animals running around, use of heavy equipment, parking on the lawn, or just having high clay amounts in your soil.

    Pooling or flooding after rain, bare spots, and a lot of weeds in your lawn, are all signs your lawn needs to be aerated. Core aeration will pull out plugs of your soil to relive the compaction and allow room for air and water to get to the roots. Seeding is great to pair with aeration because, when there are holes in the ground, it makes it easier for the seed to come in contact with the soil. The extra room in the soil allows for the roots to spread out and helps the grass grow healthy and strong.

    Mowing Tall Fescue Grass

    You would think mowing your grass shorter would make it healthier like a haircut does for your split ends, but that is not the case with lawn mowing. The recommended height for tall Fescue grass is 3 to four inches (closer to 4 inches when there is a drought). The taller grass allows for maximize water absorption, keeping the grass hydrated and green. The longer grass blades also provide shade to the roots which will help keep them protected from the hot sun.

    Watering Tall Fescue Grass Seed

    Watering new seeds is important because if the seeds dry out, they will die. The seeds should be constantly moist until they have germinated. However, be careful because flooding your lawn may wash the seeds away or make them clump together. Some areas of the lawn may need to be watered more depending on the amount of sunlight they receive throughout the day. It may take 30 days or more for the seeds to sprout and start growing. Be sure to keep up on the watering.

    Fertilizing Tall Fescue Grass Seed

    Feed your Tall Fescue grass seed and baby grass with fertilizer. Fertilizer provides your grass with the nutrients it is lacking or not getting from the soil naturally. Think of fertilizer like vitamin supplements for your lawn. Do some soil testing to see what your soil needs. Then, buy the corresponding fertilizer at the store. You can help your grass grow green and strong by giving it the “vitamins” it needs.

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    Hannah McIntire

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