How to Care for your Tall Fescue in Summer: 4 Lawn Care Tips

August 18, 2020

In 1976 All American Turf Beauty was the first company in Iowa to offer programmed lawn care. The company founders literally invented and developed the industry in Iowa. Get a beautiful weed-free lawn with our professional lawn care services!

fescue in summer
Summer is often a demanding time for most homeowners with tall fescue lawns. During the scorching summer months, it’s a challenge to minimize the propensity to infection and heat stress on a tall fescue lawn. Tall fescue, a cool-season grass, grows best during the cooler days of fall and spring. This grass type offers higher heat tolerance compared to other cool-season grasses as well as higher cold tolerance compared to warm-season grasses. With proper care for fescue in summer, you can ensure that your tall fescue lawn gets through the season smoothly.

Why Tall Fescue Grass Deteriorates during Summer

The most common reasons your tall fescue grass may decline or go brown in the summer heat are related to soil that’s too wet, drought stress, or brown patch disease.

In mid-summer, growth of glass typically slows down slightly, following the natural growth cycle of grass, since the carbohydrates (food reserves) used by grass is more than that it makes. Hence, if the grass is affected by any disease or stress, it recovers slowly. Plants with drought-stress have a purple to grayish color and a “curled up” or narrower leaf blade. Additionally, the grass becomes spongy where you can see footprints for several minutes after walking on the lawn.

Brown patch also affects a lot of lawns. This fungus typically causes tan-brown patches of medium to large size. Sometimes, some “cobwebby” fungal strands are also seen in the morning dew. When infected with brown patch, there are tan lesions on individual leaves with a border of deep brown color when the fungus is active. This hue fades to just brown once the damage is done.

This disease can be treated with the application of easily-available fungicides – the common active ingredients include propiconazole, azoxystrobin, and chlorothalonil.

“Although it’s best to apply the fungicides preventatively, i.e., before the occurrence of the weather conditions for this disease, you can also apply them curatively to arrest the progression of the disease.”

However, remember that fungicide application will not result in automatic recovery. If properly applied, the fungicide will arrest the fungus. But if the weather is hot and leaves are already damaged, the affected area will take some time to generate new leaves free from disease instead of the old damaged leaves.

Also, follow the label directions for any pesticide item.

 Brown patch in a lawn

Brown patch in a lawn

How to Keep Tall Fescue Green in Summer

Here we offer you some effective tips to help your tall fescue in summer survive the heat and stay lush and healthy throughout the hot months.

1. Mow Accurately

Ensure that your mower is at its highest setting when you’re mowing your tall fescue summer lawn. Ideally, you should mow tall fescue at 3 ½ to 4 inches. Additionally, mow only when necessary. Prolonged dry periods can interfere with lawn growth and mowing. When the grass is affected by moisture stress it can result in further lawn damage.

lawn mowing services

2. Water Properly

If you don’t have an irrigation system in place, set up a sprinkler to water your lawn during prolonged spans of no rain (like more than 5 days) and elevated temperatures. This will help your lawn to withstand the environmental/heat stress.

Tall fescue grass protects itself from prolonged drought by turning brown (going dormant). It’s not dead and revives itself when rainfall occurs. However, if drought stays for long enough and the temperatures are too high, it can die.

In case there’s an irrigation system in place, set the system to run during the early morning, between 4 and 6 am. This allows water to enter the soil and the loss to evaporation will be less. Early morning watering will also help in disease control compared to watering in the middle of the night or evening.

lawn watering

3. Reduce the Inputs

Avoid adding anything to your lawn in the stressful months of summer. If needed, apply just enough fertilizer necessary for maintaining plant health and protecting them from diseases. Don’t apply any weed killers to your tall fescue summer lawn, except for any special circumstance.

“It’s best for your tall fescue lawn to tolerate minor infestations of weed during summer until fall when you can kill weeds more safely.”

4. Schedule Fall Lawn Care

Fall is the time your tall fescue lawn will repair and revitalize. A damaged lawn can be revived with treatments like lawn aeration, seeding, and composting. These practices can also prevent healthy lawns from damage and falling into disrepair.

Stay on top of your lawn care needs by scheduling a September aeration during summer. All American Turf Beauty can help you plan your fall lawn treatments for your tall fescue lawn.

Fall lawn care

Wrap Up

Follow these valuable lawn care tips for your tall fescue in summer and help your lawn survive and thrive during the hot months. In case of any summer lawn care concerns like seeding fescue in summer or planting fescue in summer, contact All American Turf Beauty and we’ll be happy to help you. We service many areas in and around Iowa including Ames and Spencer. Our summer lawn care experts can effectively cater to all the needs of your tall fescue lawn in Spencer & Ames!

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If you are not completely satisfied with an All American Turf Beauty application to your lawn, we will re-apply the application at no additional cost and continue the regular lawn treatment program. Alternately, we will fully refund your cost for the application and cancel any further obligation on your part.

To qualify for the guarantee, you must call All American Turf Beauty within 30 days of application.

Our goal at All American Turf Beauty, Inc. is a simple one:

To provide you with the highest quality products and methods available.

We offer every kind of service that it takes to develop and maintain a beautiful lawn in Iowa based on the climate, soil types, and the varieties of grass that are commonly grown here.

One of the keys to the success of the program is that we provide treatment to lawns approximately every 8 weeks throughout the growing season. This ensures that the grass has fertilizer (food) available throughout the growing season. Dandelions and other Broadleaf weeds are controlled as they germinate thus enabling a weed free lawn, and our Turf Specialist is at the property four to six times per season to address problems as and when they arise.

Another key to our service is our people. The most important person to you in our company is the Turf Specialist assigned to treat your lawn.

We are proud to say that our Turf Specialists are the best trained and most experienced in the lawn care industry.

When you become a customer at All American Turf Beauty, a Turf Specialist is assigned to your account. You will have the same person treating your lawn each time. It is their responsibility to service your lawn, make sure it is receiving the correct applications as scheduled, and to provide you with the best personalized service possible. Their jobs depend on it.

We have several programs to choose from. Your Turf Specialist will recommend the best program that fits the needs of your lawn and your budget.


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