What is the Number 1 thing I need to know to have a successful Fescue lawn?
By Dalton Quigley of Quigley’s Landscaping
Wow Dalton you must really know something special or why would you put the number 1 thing? Yes I am going to share with you the absolute most important thing you will need to know and have to achieve a fescue lawn. First lets talk about the root system of Fescue grass, well it is spindley and thin and you could compare it to a spider web. If you were to dig up a Fescue plant it would become obvious instantly that this plant must have some sort of way to store nutrients and it just doesn’t seem to be very much in the root system. If we were talking about Bermuda or Zoysia and we dug one plant of each up what you would see are fat heavy thick roots that store carbohydrates and water for leaner times. This storage helps those grasses survive droughts, winter, and when people mow really short for that sculpted look. With nutrients being really important where does fescue store them?
Where does Fescue Store Nutrients?
Surprisingly lets start with the plants growth habbit. Fescue wants to be 7″ or even 8″ tall and this poses a problem since your local buzybody will have a notice sent to your home to either cut the grass or pay a fine. Ok so lets mow the grass really short for that sculpted look mentioned earlier, slow your roll son fescue has to be mowed at least 4″ tall. Fescue uses its leaves to absorb sun light, breathe through respiration, for water storage, and for nutrient storage. Oh yes you read that right I said water storage. Cutting this type of grass shorter than 4″ depletes the storage of vital water during the drought, is similar to a person having lung surgery, and going on a diet. So why would you invest in seed, aeration, and fertilization or sodding just to choke off everything vital to the plants survival? You wouldn’t if you knew better right? Water is critical to the life of your grass, do you promise to water?
You promise you will water?
I know people are well intentioned and when it comes to spending money once committed they become even more conscious on having the benefits of a beautiful lawn. When it comes to fescue success I have both seeded and sodded many times over for clients who promise to water. I have driven by later to see how well they were doing during dry times and when clients had trouble. It has been so common for people to promise to water but get busy or just mentally exhausted from dragging the hose around over and over each day that I see many fail. When is the best time to water? Early in the morning. Do you have a couple of hours to spend each morning watering one area for 10 to 15 minutes and then turning the hose off so you can move it to another spot again and again in your work clothes? So like I said most people are well intentioned but cannot live up to watering at the rate that is needed. There is a concept and it is called underwatering, this is when you are busy and water just a bit here and there thinking the lawn will survive, you think you can make the statement that you watered right? No sir / mam underwatering is the same as not watering when it comes to whether the grass lives or dies. So what did we learn?
So we learned something.
We learned that there is a major factor determining why we someone fails at having a fescue lawn right? And in all of that riggermarole there were the words water storage. Let me tell you that even if you mow to the right height, fertilize, and have the right lighting conditions you can still lose large patches of fescue each year and struggle. So you are wondering what my number one thing you need to know is well here is your answer. You need an irrigation system. No matter how much you promise that you will chase the hose around the yard and be very thorough with watering one thing is for certain. And that is I have had many years of helping clients grow fescue lawns and those have been hundreds so I can speak from clear experience. Whether you install your own system or get one from a professional a sprinkler system that is on a timer, and will water on a set schedule is the single most important thing you can do to achieve a successful fescue lawn.
Here is the Number 1 thing you need to know.
So the number one thing you must know to have a successful fescue lawn is watering is critical so you need an irrigation system. In the Nashville Middle TN areas of Brentwood, Franklin, Spring Hill, and Nolensville if you need an irrigation system go here — > Irrigation Estimate for Successful Fescue Lawns