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When to Plant Fescue Grass Seed

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Tall & Fine Fescues are planted from the upper south and Midwest to Northern areas with some tall fescue varieties growing well in parts of the Western USA and California. These year round green grasses, in cool season grass growing areas, are best planted in the fall and spring of each year. Early fall is considered by turf experts to be the best planting date because this allows for more growing time under ideal growth conditions (fall and spring growing season). Spring is considered second best. In some cases both fall and spring plantings help to increase successful cover on problem areas. We recommend that you check with your local Extension Agent before planting a grass species in your area. We have provided a state by state list of Extension Agents for your convenience.

Soil Temperature Needed For Fescue Grass Germination

PLANT FESCUE GRASS WHEN DAYTIME TEMPERATURES ARE
BETWEEN 60 & 75 DEGREES:

Cool season grass such as Fescue, germinate best when the soil temperatures are between 50° and 65° degrees F. These soil temperatures usually occur when the daytime air temperatures are between 60° and 75° degrees. The fescue grasses, when planted properly, germinate within 10 to 14 days.

When To Plant Fescue Grass

Fall is the best time to plant fescue and other cool season grass. Planting in the Fall presents the least risk of planting failure for cool season grass. Plant your cool season grass seed when the fall temperatures reach 75° and are dropping as winter approaches. Alternately the second choice is to plant in spring when spring temperatures have reached 60 ° and are rising in the spring. Planting in summer can occur, but irrigation becomes a critical factor in establishment. High temperatures of summer can cause fescue grass to go dormant so planting during summer is not recommended. Planting when night time temperatures are above 70° should be avoided.

Dormancy in Fescue & Other Cool Season Grass

Dormancy can occur in fescue and other cool season grasses affecting their growth when temperatures are above 90° and below 50° . In other words, cool season grass will stop growing when dormancy occurs. Also, be aware that a freeze and/or frost can damage or kill immature seedlings that have not had enough growing time to establish and survive a return from dormancy.

Summer plantings (June / July / August) can be at higher risk of establishment issues if the grass is not closely monitored.  In the southern US it is best to avoid planting cool season grasses during this period of the year (warm season grasses are okay to summer plant)... as you move into northern states you can certainly plant at this time but you will need to be able to monitor water needs and irrigate consistently, especially if temperatures spike or rainfall is absent. - Periods of high heat and no rain or water can result in stand losses or even poor germination or seedling germ failure or death.

PLANTING METHODS? How to plant grass seed.
SEASON TO PLANT? When to plant other types of grass seed.

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