How and When to Plant Tall Fescue Grass Seed?

April 24, 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!

tall fescue grass seed for lawns in IowaIf you’re planning to create a new lawn or revamp an existing one, and have chosen tall fescue as your turf type, you’re guaranteed to have a vibrant and beautiful lawn! Tall fescue turf grass can adapt to a range of climates and has good tolerance to heat, cold, shade, and drought. This turf type allows lawn owners to improve the durability and resilience of their lawns and based on your location, tall fescue grass seed can be a great choice for you.

Key Characteristics of Tall Fescue Grass:

  • Cool-season grass with a high heat tolerance
  • Suitable for transition and northern zones
  • Drought, heat, and shade-tolerant
  • Disease resistant
  • Growth habit of forming bunches
  • Limited ability of self-repair

Planting Tall Fescue Grass Seed in your Lawn

When it comes to seeding your lawn with tall fescue grass seed, there are several steps involved that, when followed properly, can lead to healthy turf growth. If you’re a resident of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a reputed lawncare company, like All American Turf Beauty, can help you with the seeding process by following the steps outlined below:

1. Selecting the Seed

The quality of your lawn will largely depend on the quality of the seed you choose. So, the first step to growing a lush tall fescue lawn is selecting good quality seeds. All American Turf Beauty can help you with selecting a high-quality fescue grass seed for your lawn.

A high-quality grass seed will have added resilience, which will enable your lawn to flourish in conditions that other grasses might struggle in.

If you live in an area with limited sun, you should go for a shade-tolerant fescue seed. For tough southern climates, seeds with a high drought and heat tolerance can change the game for your tall fescue lawn.

2. Choosing the Timing

To optimize your seeding project, try aligning the timing of seeding with the natural growth cycle of tall fescue. Since tall fescues are cool-season grasses, the best time to plant tall fescue grass seed is from late summer to early fall when the weather is cool, supporting vigorous growth. The second-best time for planting fescue grass seed is early spring.

The germination of tall fescue grass seed is best when the soil temperature is around 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. To seed in the fall, allow the soil to cool down and reach this temperature range before seeding. For spring seeding, you need to wait until the soil warms up. Planting tall fescue grass in these optimal timings of strong growth and cool temperatures allows you take advantage of the spring and fall rains. This, in turn, reduces the supplemental watering and additional labor needed for the process.

3. Testing the Soil

The health and performance of your tall fescue lawn depend a lot on the soil and its nutrients, including the nutrients, added through fertilizer. So, conducting a soil test before seeding is the starting point for grass nutrition and soil improvement.

Soil testing informs you about your soil’s organic matter, pH, and other valuable factors. Lawn care professionals at Cedar Rapids can recommend soil amendments and starter fertilizers to improve your lawn. Following these recommendations can help you get a healthy, thick, and vibrant lawn.

Tall fescue grass can adapt to different types of soil and tolerate a broader range of pH compared to many other grass types. A soil pH between 5.5 and 7.5 works best for this grass because it provides essential nutrients under these conditions.

Soil amendments like elemental sulfur or lime may be needed to ensure nutrient availability and restore pH balance. Before seeding, add all the test-recommended amendments and fertilizers into the top 6 to 8 inches.

4. Preparing the Site

Early site preparation involves removing unwanted grasses and weeds, we recommend using a sod cutter for any existing turf. Another option is using non-selective herbicides that kill grasses as well as broadleaf plants. With many herbicides, multiple applications and considerable waiting periods are required before you can start seeding so you’ll have to begin this process well in advance.

For final site preparation, create a flat, level surface for planting by raking the area. In case of any low-lying areas, fill them up to prevent water accumulation and drainage problems. Rectify any grading issues, to restrict water flow towards your home. Regulate the flow of water, so that it’s easier to mow the lawn. In case of any steep grades in your property, seek the advice of lawn care professionals to prevent potential mowing problems and erosion.

5. Planting Seeds

Quality seed products come with proper seeding recommendations. Get the best results by following the label guidelines about seeding rates. For new lawns, you need almost twice the seed amount than required for overseeding a thin, existing lawn. Seeding at a lower or higher rate than what’s recommended in the label can waste both labor and quality seeds.

Measure the seeding area carefully. Subtract the area of your home and other structures and determine the spreader and seed settings accordingly. Consider using a drop spreader for precision seeding of lawns that are less than 5,000 square feet. A rotary or broadcast spreader is suitable for less precise seeding or for larger lawns. An experienced lawn care specialist can help you successfully accomplish seeding your lawn.

Wrapping Up

Once the seeding is done, your lawn care specialist can assist in post-seeding care, which is needed for healthy turf growth. Our lawn care professionals have expertise in planting tall fescue grass seed at Cedar Rapids and can help you get the beautiful and lush lawn you’ve always wanted! Give us a call at (515) 996-2261 today for a lawn care consultation. These are tough times, but as the trusted lawn care professionals in Cedar Rapids, Iowa we will ensure that your lawns don’t suffer, even in lockdown.

Guarantee of Satisfaction

Our services are guaranteed!

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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