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What Is Tall Fescue Grass? Is It A Good Option For Your Lawn?

Tall fescue is praised for its hardiness and ability to adapt to several climates and conditions. In its proper growth zones, it is a beautiful grass with many options for care and improvements. In this post, we're going to cover what tall fescue is and whether or not it is a good option for you.

What is tall fescue?

Tall fescue is one of the most popular grasses in the United States. It originated in Europe and was introduced to the States in the 1800s. For many years, though, tall fescue was reserved for agricultural use in pastures until the 1900s. Kentucky 31, a variety of tall fescue, really transformed this wild pasture grass into lawn grass.

Since the development of Kentucky 31, many varieties of fescue have sprouted. These range from dwarf to turf varieties. Some are darker, some are lighter. Some fescues do better in the shade, sun, and even hillsides.

Tall fescue, as a whole, is a cool-season grass that thrives best during early spring and fall.

Benefits of tall fescue grass

One of the biggest reasons tall fescue is so highly praised is because of the strong growth and high density it can achieve.

Tall fescue roots are thick and deep, making this grass ideal for the harshest of environmental conditions.

With this robust growth, it is exceptionally hardy and durable. Tall fescue also adds texture and movement to the lawn when cut correctly. These characteristics make tall fescue a prevalent choice among homeowners.

Tall fescue is highly drought-tolerant, low-maintenance, and evergreen in the mid-Atlantic section of the US. It is an excellent option for us here in Western North Carolina.

Growing tall fescue

The best time to plant a new tall fescue lawn is during peak growing seasons. In this case, the best time to seed would be early spring or fall. Tall fescue will benefit from overseeding to avoid a clumpy appearance and to ensure consistent texture and coverage.

Before planting, you may want to perform a soil test to see what nutrients your lawn may need. For example, the pH should lie somewhere between 5.5 and 7.5 for tall fescue. If the pH falls anywhere outside of that range, you may need to add some amendments to the soil.

Tall fescue lawn care

Be sure to regularly irrigate your lawn for best growth results during the growing seasons. We recommend keeping the blade length at a medium height. Too short, and it may burn, too tall, and it may get out of hand. Medium grass heigh really ensures the best look for your lawn.

Keep an eye on how the seed is taking, keep it moist, and once it's mature, irrigate regularly. Often, plants will tell you what they need just by looking at them. So listen!


Tall fescue is a perfect option for a well-managed lawn in Western NC. As you know, yards have many annual problems that can be solved with a few simple steps. This being said, many of us who want to have our lawn be as beautiful as possible are usually disappointed. That's where tall fescue comes in. For the most part, tall fescue will not have problems if you plant and maintain it right. But, like any grass, if you do it wrong, you will most likely be disappointed.

If you're unsure what to do with your landscaping or lawn needs, reach out to Gardens of Eatin today, and we can help you make your property sustainable and beautiful.

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