You may have heard that Tall Fescue is the best cool-season turf grass for landscaping in Rockville, MD. Cool-season turf grasses have their maximum growth during cool spring and fall weather, and may become semi-dormant during hot and/or dry periods of summer.
What makes Tall Fescue grass the better than other cool-season grasses? In general, Tall Fescue grass requires less maintenance (mowing, fertilizer, and watering) and is more environmentally-friendly than other cool-season grasses used in landscaping in Rockville, MD. (Please note that each fescue grass variety will require it’s own maintenance schedule, according to the variety that is used, and the conditions under which the grass is grown.)
Watering Tall Fescue Grass
During most of the year, Tall Fescue needs 1 to 1 1⁄4 inches of water every week (and it’s better to spread this out, and not provide all of that water at one time.) Using a screwdriver, you’ll want to check that you are watering enough so that the soil is wet to to a depth of 4 to 6 inches.
How you water will depend on your soil type. Sandy soils require more frequent watering (about 1⁄2 inch of water every third day). Clay soils accept water slowly; therefore you just want to water until runoff occurs, wait until the water has been absorbed, and begin watering again. Continue until the desired depth or amount is applied. Proper irrigation may prevent or reduce problems later in the summer. Watering between 2 and 8 a.m. decreases the incidence of certain diseases.
In the summer, either water as needed to prevent drought stress or allow the lawn to go dormant. Dormant lawns must be watered once every 3 weeks during a drought. A dark bluish-gray color and wilted, folded, or curled leaves indicate that it is time to water.
Aeration of Tall Fescue
Tall Fescue should be aerated in the fall, but usually does not require thatch removal. This is especially important if you have clay soil.
Overseeding Tall Fescue
Tall fescue should be overseeded as needed in the fall or spring for thicker sod formation and to repair thinning areas. (If aerating, aerate first, then put down seed.) Heat stress, insect damage, diseases, or other factors play a role in the lawn becoming thinner over the course of the year.
Mowing Tall Fescue
From March – May, you will want to mow to 2 ½ to 3 ½ inches. From June – August, you will need to mow to 3 ½ inches, before the grass gets taller than 5 inches. September – November, mow to 2 ½ – 3 inches, and remove leaves and other debris. December – February, mow to 3 inches, and remove leaves and other debris.
For more information about Tall Fescue for your landscaping in Rockville, MD, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. For over 30 years, East Coast Landscape Design has designed and installed beautiful landscape and hardscape projects around Rockville, MD, and surrounding communities.