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    Types of Turf Grass - Focus on Tall Fescue

    Posted by: Jennifer Dombeck on April 26, 2017

    tall-fescue-grass-cool-weather-grass.jpgTurf grasses (the grasses that are considered lawn grasses) are divided into two categories related to the climates in which they thrive: cool season grasses and warm season grasses. Ohio falls within the transitional climate zone, which makes it tricky to choose an appropriate turf grass, as the weather often gets too warm for many cool season grasses, but is cool enough, often enough, that warm season grasses will not thrive for more than a few months. Fescues are prized for their endurance in transitional regions, and today we will look at the Tall Fescue variety, which performs well across all of the upper United States.

    There are several Fescue grass varieties, all considered cool season grasses. Fescues were originally pasture grasses, but have been developed into lawn grasses as well. All types of Fescues share the characteristics of drought resistance and shade tolerance, and if properly maintained, will stay green year round. Tall Fescue has some additional properties that make it a favorite among home owners and landscapers alike.


    Tall Fescue is a bunch type grass that is established from seed. It is coarse bladed and dense, and grows well is shady areas. It also has a dense root system, which makes it very resilient to drought conditions. This, along with its tolerance of shade, makes Tall Fescue a desirable grass in seed mixtures for home lawns. It also stays green year long, giving a typical lawn a sense of aesthetic beauty. Tall Fescue is able to endure heavy foot traffic and other forms of wear and compaction. For that reason, it is also used on many athletic fields, in parks and by hospitals and large corporations wishing to maintain a neat, professional landscape when their public image leaves little room for error. 

    Within the Tall Type Fescue turf grasses exist numerous varieties and adaptations. Kentucky 31 is the most popular and well known type, but there are many others. To see all the varieties, with their specific strengths and weaknesses, please click here.

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