Is tall Fescue really tall?

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TBillT
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Is tall Fescue really tall?

Post by TBillT » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:47 pm

I was a pretty good lawn expert in my day, but we never used Tall Fescue.
Now that's about all you can buy, although I usually avoid it if possible.
Are the new tall fescue varieties better(shorter) or something than the old days?
Need some help here.

dwickenh
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Re: Is tall Fescue really tall?

Post by dwickenh » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:52 pm

I have 3/4 of an acre in tall fescue and have found it to be easy to maintain. I also cut it at 3.75 to 4 inches to reduce the need for watering. It is about 6 years old and very thick without lawn service. I do fertilize in the spring and fall including weed/feed and pre-emergent.

Dan
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jebmke
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Re: Is tall Fescue really tall?

Post by jebmke » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:55 pm

I have about an acre in tall fescue with a little perennial rye mixed in. Normally keep it cut at 4.25 inches for most of the season - a little shorter in cooler weather -- especially if it is rainy. Never water. Very sparingly fertilized - only a couple times a year when it is legal to fertilize here.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Kenkat
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Re: Is tall Fescue really tall?

Post by Kenkat » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:44 pm

Only if you don't mow it.

The best grass to plant will depend on how much sun it gets, how much you are willing to fertilize and water, how much traffic it will get, etc.

Fine fescue is good for shade, tall fescue good for sun if you don't want to water too much, perennial rye and bluegrass are good for sun if you have irrigation readily available.

Each particular variety of grass has its strengths and weaknesses so it will really depend on what is best for your particular situation. A good locally owned garden store can probably offer you lots of different varieties of grass seed and be able to help you pick the best seed for your yard vs. buying a big bag of whatever Lowe's or Home Depot has.

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David Jay
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Re: Is tall Fescue really tall?

Post by David Jay » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:53 pm

It does seem to have low resource needs (esp. compared w/bluegrass) but it is a clump grass, it doesn't fill in like bluegrass with those long offshoots.
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Kenkat
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Re: Is tall Fescue really tall?

Post by Kenkat » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:59 pm

The other question that begs answering: "is Kentucky Bluegrass really blue?"

iamlucky13
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Re: Is tall Fescue really tall?

Post by iamlucky13 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:31 pm

It's not particularly tall, but is taller than other fescue varieties. Most of what you'll see these days has been bred as a turf type with moderate texture that does just fine mowed 3-4 niches. I'm on an acre+ lot that needed some grading in order to be maintainable, so I planted a mix that was mostly tall fescue (some red fescue and perennial ryegrass also) when I did that. A lot of that doesn't get mowed meticulously, and seed heads seem to like to form at 12-18 inches.

It's kind of a transition variety good in a lot of different conditions for mild climates - decent in moderate shade, seasonally wet ground, moderate traffic, and moderate drought, but not so great for any extremes.

I don't water, and it goes completely dormant and brown every summer except in the low lying parts of the property, but comes back just fine in the fall.

TBillT
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Re: Is tall Fescue really tall?

Post by TBillT » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:57 am

All - OK thank you - I have some backyard areas where it might work best.
jebmke wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:55 pm
I have about an acre in tall fescue with a little perennial rye mixed in. Normally keep it cut at 4.25 inches for most of the season - a little shorter in cooler weather -- especially if it is rainy. Never water. Very sparingly fertilized - only a couple times a year when it is legal to fertilize here.
What are your fertilization laws? We should probably have something too for the Chesapeake Bay watershed. But I do sparingly.

jebmke
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Re: Is tall Fescue really tall?

Post by jebmke » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:13 am

TBillT wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:57 am
All - OK thank you - I have some backyard areas where it might work best.
jebmke wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:55 pm
I have about an acre in tall fescue with a little perennial rye mixed in. Normally keep it cut at 4.25 inches for most of the season - a little shorter in cooler weather -- especially if it is rainy. Never water. Very sparingly fertilized - only a couple times a year when it is legal to fertilize here.
What are your fertilization laws? We should probably have something too for the Chesapeake Bay watershed. But I do sparingly.
I don't know the specifics. I live in the critical area (1,000 feet) of Chesapeake tributary. Critical area is a Maryland designation. Nitrogen can go down in spring and limited time in the fall. It isn't often enforced on individual homeowners (although the river keepers do take water samples - I have seen them along our shoreline). There is also a lot of social pressure about excessive fertilization. The lawn pros know that if they get caught out of the time zones they will lose their license and thus their business so they are pretty strict. I'm not sure but this may be enforced at the county level. Mine is very strict. If you cut down a tree in the critical area without permission you are in a world of hurt if they catch you.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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bertilak
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Re: Is tall Fescue really tall?

Post by bertilak » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:25 am

Our lawn is primarily Bermuda and we consider Tall Fescue to be a weed, or invasive specie. Grows in clumps here and there in the lawn. Like lawn pimples! Don't know how to kill it without killing everything. One suggestion was to do just that: use Round Up to kill everything then reseed. Not about to do that!

Uprooting is tough.
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jebmke
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Re: Is tall Fescue really tall?

Post by jebmke » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:35 am

bertilak wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:25 am
Our lawn is primarily Bermuda and we consider Tall Fescue to be a weed, or invasive specie. Grows in clumps here and there in the lawn. Like lawn pimples! Don't know how to kill it without killing everything. One suggestion was to do just that: use Round Up to kill everything then reseed. Not about to do that!

Uprooting is tough.
Interesting. TF is the grass of choice here and Bermuda is considered a weed (except for some varieties used on golf courses). In the lawn it is called wiregrass here. The only way to get rid of the wiregrass is to nuke (Roundup) and reseed. We did that on the front last year and the back is going to be redone this year.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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bertilak
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Re: Is tall Fescue really tall?

Post by bertilak » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:41 am

jebmke wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:35 am

Interesting. TF is the grass of choice here and Bermuda is considered a weed (except for some varieties used on golf courses). In the lawn it is called wiregrass here. The only way to get rid of the wiregrass is to nuke (Roundup) and reseed. We did that on the front last year and the back is going to be redone this year.
Bermuda is tough and spreads aggressively. It also looks nice when kept mowed. I see why it is called wire grass: it sends out long vine-like feelers to spread itself. If you develop a bare patch Bermuda grass hunts it down and takes over! I see that as an advantage but DW sees it as a threat to flower beds.
Listen very carefully. I shall say this only once. (There! I've said it.)

Juliajones54
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Re: Is tall Fescue really tall?

Post by Juliajones54 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:20 pm

Kenkat wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:59 pm
The other question that begs answering: "is Kentucky Bluegrass really blue?"
No.

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