Red fescue is a cool-season grass used in cool, shaded, mountain sites, such as camps, resorts, and cabins where low-input of mowing, fertilization, and irrigation is desired. It does not do well in hot climates, except in shady, dry situations. In areas where Kentucky bluegrass does well, red fescue forms an excellent companion grass to increase shade tolerance. Red fescue germinates and establishes slowly. It is moderately wear resistant.
A very fine-bladed grass with a deep green color. The leaves are folded in the bud, there are no auricles, and there is a short membranous ligule present. Red fescue has two distinct growing habits: creeping red fescue spreads very slow by very short rhizomes and Chewings fescue is a bunchgrass with an upright growth habit.
Red fescue requires very low maintenance. It does not require much fertilizer and does not need excessive amounts of water. A high mowing cut is recommended. Red fescue has a high tolerance for cold temperatures and shade, moderate tolerance for drought and wear, and low tolerance for heat.
Planting and management tips for red fescue
Mow at 1.5 - 2.5 inches or keep unmowed as a groundcover.
Fertilize using 1 - 2 lbs. nitrogen/1000 sq. ft. per year during the period of active growth (March - June; October - December).
Seed at 5 lbs. seed/1000 sq. ft.
A low to moderate amount of water is required. Water 1 - 2 times/week during the warm season; red fescue can go dormant in the summer if watered too infrequently or if no water is available.
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