During these final cool months, Tall Fescue is the brightest green carpet around.
You will need to mow your Tall Fescue every week during the spring months ahead, because it will be growing like a rocket with the cool nights and sunny days.
Fertilizing Tips for Tall Fescue Lawns
- Main Update for March: When it warms up later in spring, back off on fertilizing Tall Fescue for the summer. Now, while it's still cool out, it's a great time to topdress Tall Fescue with Soil³ compost to take the place of one fertilization. It's too late to aerate, but you can still spread compost to build soil structure and add nutrition. Plus, we have a deal on Soil³ to encourage you to topdress with compost.
- Soil³ compost has natural nutrients and will take the place of a monthly fertilization, but if you'd rather spread fertilizer, you can order online and schedule pick up of 16-4-8 fertilizer for Elite Tall Fescue lawns through the cool growing season.
- Review the fertilizing schedule in our Tall Fescue Maintenance Guide. Sign up for Lawn Coach and we'll automatically mail you all the right products when you need them.
- Along with fertilization, you may need to apply a fast-acting lime that neutralizes the pH of your soil. Always take a soil test to confirm if you need to apply lime or fertilizer. Balanced soil pH is critical for your grass to be able to use the nutrients supplied by your fertilizer.
Mower Tips for Tall Fescue Lawns
- Mowing Tall Fescue Seedlings: The first time to mow a new Tall Fescue lawn (at a 2.5-3" cut height) is when it reaches 3-4" tall. In fact, mowing will promote growth! So don't be timid. Mow it! Read: How Soon Should I Cut My Grass?
- Continue to mow as needed throughout winter and spring at a 2.5-3" cut height. This summer we'll remind you to raise it up again.
Getting Rid of Visible Weeds in Tall Fescue Lawns
- It's too late to apply pre-emergent to prevent summer weeds such as crabgrass. However, the window opens again in April for a second application. We'll nudge you then.
- Right now, the best solution for winter weeds is pulling them by hand. This may not be what you want to hear. Happily, there is hope for preventing a weedy infestation next winter and Clare explains the steps in Tackling Winter Weeds.
- Another method to combat weeds you see now (such as chickweed and annual poa), is to mow those weeds down before they go to seed. They are flowering now and are about to go to seed if they haven't already! Mowing is an effective way to suppress weeds because it cuts off flower/seed heads and that stops weeds from making more weeds, thus breaking the life cycle. If you have bad winter weeds, mow on a weekly routine and don't let the weeds get ahead of you.
- A robotic lawn mower will mow for you when you'd rather not be out in the cold. Models with "H" in the name are available with cut height up to 3.6", perfect for Tall Fescue Lawns.
- Post-emergent herbicide in Established Tall Fescue lawns: Weather permitting, you can apply post-emergent liquid herbicides like Quincept and 3-Way Max for weeds you can see now in established Tall Fescue lawns. These post-emergents work best above 65 degrees so they will work if we have any other extended warm spells like we did in December. Read the label and follow instructions.
- Post-emergent herbicide in New Tall Fescue Lawns: If you planted Tall Fescue seed or laid new sod and in the process tilled up existing soil, you've probably kicked up weed seeds and exposed them to the light. As a result, the weeds are probably germinating alongside your Fescue seedlings.
👍 Rule of Thumb: It's okay to apply a post-emergent liquid herbicide labeled for Tall Fescue lawns (Quincept and 3-Way Max) after you've mowed your new lawn 3 to 4 times.
- Mulch suppresses winter weeds in flower beds. Spread your favorite mulch 2-4" thick and keep it 1-2" away from touching the trunks or stems of your plants. Rake/blow leaves off your lawn and into your beds and natural areas rather than bagging them.
- Hairy bittercress is rampant right now and getting big! Learn about this common lawn weed and how to stop it: March Weed of the Month: Hairy Bittercress
Hairy bittercress is flowering now and starting to go to seed. It's not a big weed, but it's prolific.
Overseeding & Laying Sod
It's still a great time to lay Tall Fescue sod! Get instant impact with Elite Tall Fescue sod, available as a single roll or in full pallets. You can order rolls or pallets of Tall Fescue in our store.
The window has closed until September for overseeding Tall Fescue lawns with fresh seed. If you regret missing that window, consider ordering a pallet or individual rolls to patch bare areas.
Dig into why we recommend laying new sod with Soil³ by reading this short article: Laying New Sod with Soil³.
Come back next month for April's Lawn Tips for Tall Fescue lawns!