Turf-type Tall Fescue (or Dwarf Tall fescue) is the more common of the two categories. Tall Fescue grass seed is a cool-season bunch species used for home lawns, parks, and sports fields in warmer parts of the country. Generally, this type of lawn looks similar to bluegrass, except with slightly wider leaf blades.
Turf-type grass grows rapidly and has excellent wear tolerance, making it ideal for high-traffic yards with children or dogs. It greens-up in early spring and remains green late into fall, while maintaining resistances to heat, drought, wear and disease during peak temperature summer months. One of the most beneficial characteristics of Tall fescue lawns is their low water use. However, realizing this benefit requires a shift from traditional watering tendencies familiar to most people in their Kentucky bluegrass lawns. In short: in order to encourage its deep roots, Tall fescue must be watered for longer periods of time, but less-frequently than traditional bluegrass types.
Tall fescue grows under varying conditions from sunny to semi-shady; wet to dry. The Tall variety can be allowed to go dormant during hot summer months, which will give it a brown or “dead” look until temperatures cool or it is watered again.
Fine Fescue include various cool-season bunch and sod-forming species that can be used in water-wise lawns. Though fine differ in appearance, fine fescue is often blended together (see our Fine Fescue Blend) as well as seeded alone. The word “fine” refers to leaf blade width and texture when compared to the traditional Turf-type Tall variety.
Fine fescue lawns are an excellent choice for heavily shaded areas, especially dry shaded areas receiving moderate foot-traffic. They tolerate poor soils (and thus need little, if any, fertilizer), are water-wise, and stay green longer into the season than many other common lawn grass. Fine is also sometimes used for non-traditional, un-mowed (or infrequently-mowed) naturalized lawns, to create a rugged, wild “meadow” look. All of the fine fescues tolerate very cold temperatures, making them excellent for northern latitudes and high elevation yards.
Fine fescues include:
Sheep (Festuca ovina) is a long-lived, dark green, bunch grass, sometimes with slight grey or blue tint depending on the variety. Can be grown alone or blended with other cool-season grasses. An ingredient in our Fine, Sun & Shade and Northeast blends.
Creeping Red (Festuca rubra) is a quick establishing, sod-forming grass sometimes called Red fescue. It has a deep green color which can be grown alone or mixed with other cool-season grasses. Prefers shadier, cooler areas. It is a component of our Fine and Sun & Shade blends.
Chewings (Festuca rubra commutata) is a non-creeping grass with the most upright growth of the fine fescues, even though it is the finest textured of all the fine fescues. Very dark green yet not frequently seeded alone but as a component in other blends. Not as traffic-tolerant as the others. Grows well on sandy, poor quality soils. An ingredient in our Fine, Sun & Shade and Northeast blends.
Hard (Festuca trachyphylla) is a slow-growing, low maintenance bunch grass with beautiful blue-green coloring. Better heat tolerance than the other fine varieties. A salt-tolerant, drought-tolerant and disease resistant variety that can also grow on poor soils and under heavy shade. A component of our Fine and Sun & Shade blends.
Mow Turf Type Tall lawn to a height of approximately 2” (up to 3” during hot, dry summer months) and Fine lawns to approximately 2”. Chewings can be mowed shorter (1½”).