Red Fescue grass is a member of a group of Fescues known as Fine Fescues. Along with all the Fine Fescue varieties, Red Fescue is an excellent grass for all the cooler Northern climates, it copes well with the cold weather and mixes very well with other Cool Season grass types to gain the greatest benefit for the area being turfed.
As a native grass type in North America, Red Fescue is extremely well suited the North American climate, it will thrive in poor soil conditions and under low water levels. Red Fescue has a very fine leaf blade with a rich green color, and tolerates shade very well, especially dry shade, which make this lawn very unique. It is a Cool Season grass which means it is a clumping type or bunch type of grass. One of the only negative aspects of all Fine Fescues is that they don't handle wear and tear very well.
New Varieties Of Red Fescue
Developments in Red Fescue research have led to a new cultivar being launched which has been extremely popular and well received by homeowners. These new varieties of Red Fescue are known by a few different names such as Evergreen, Pernille, Lustrous and Boreal.
The most unique characteristics of these new varieties of Red Fescue are that they now contain stolons. In everyday terms this now means they are like they are between the Cool Season bunching grasses, as well as now having above ground creeping stems which allow them to spread and repair themselves very easily and quickly.
Mixing Red Fescue With Other Grasses
Red Fescues mix well with other Cool Season grasses, mixing with Ryegrass gives the sod greater wear and tear abilities and allows it to recover from damage much quicker. While mixing Red Fescue with a Bluegrass will give the lawn a beautiful dark green color. Proven mixtures of Red Fescue with other grasses are readily available in seed and sod options.
Red Fescue Lawn Care
Being such a hardy grass type, Red Fescue can continue to survive and thrive with very little care on the part of the homeowner. It's water requirements are very low and it barely needs any fertilizers to stay healthy, in fact not fertilizing the lawn is often the best option to maintain the best health. The lawn can be regularly mowed to an optimum height of 3 - 4 inches, but equally can be left to grow as a No Mow lawn under some conditions. If left as a natural no mowing lawn Red Fescue will reach a maximum height of around 10 inches.
Planting A New Red Fescue Lawn
As with all other Cool Season grasses, Red Fescue is best planted with either seed or sod in the cooler months of Spring and Fall. Planting in the Summer only puts great stress on the new lawn which can result in permanent damage or even death to the lawn.