What to Expect from Your Fescue Lawn
Spring is Fescue turf’s favorite time of year. With about six months of root development over the winter under its belt and temperatures above 60 degrees, but below 85 degrees, fescue is right where it wants to be in the spring. The fescue clumps planted in fall are filling in nicely and your lawn is making you (and King GREEN) happy. We love answering the phones in March, April, May (and then again in October and November). Everybody is loving their lawn and their lawn service! 🙂 Then comes the heat and we are in the doghouse!!!
Georgia and the Carolina’s are in the transition zone which means that there is no type of turf that will look good all year long. Warm season grasses like bermuda go dormant in the winter and cool-season grasses like fescue suffer and die back in the heat of the summer. The fescue lawn you have in August is not the same one you had in April and there is just nothing that can be done to change that.
The biggest culprit is heat stress and its cousin drought stress. In temperatures over 85 degrees, fescue just simply needs more water than its root system can take up. A well-maintained/ watered and established lawn will fare better in the heat, but you just can’t water your grass out of 90+ temperatures.
BROWN PATCH DISEASE
Another constant problem is brown patch disease which is always active in the summer months. Its severity is determined by many factors, most notably heat and humidity. The hotter and wetter the summer, the worse it is. We know this is terribly frustrating as the grass needs the water but that same water will encourage the brown patch!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Mow your lawn high. You want to keep the lawn at 3.5-4” during the hotter months.
- Water well. Continue to water long and deep, but you can now water more often (2-3 times per week). Avoid watering between 10 am and 10 pm. Early morning is best.
- Don’t kill the grass with kindness. Do not add fertilizer or minerals as the lawn is not in a position to use them and they may actually do more harm than good.
- Use Fungicides to help prevent brown patch disease. Fungicides are expensive, but they do work pretty well. If it is worth it to you to try and keep the lawn as nice as possible through the summer, you may want to use our fungicide program…or just wait and save your money to…
- Aerate and Seed. We begin doing this in late August and do recommend having the seeding done early, but offer the service through October. It fixes summer damage. (Spring seeding is not recommended.)
- Remember, there is no 12-month grass in Georgia and the Carolinas! Fescue, as a cool-season grass, takes the summer off.
- Above all, don’t panic! The temperatures will go down and your grass will come back!!
Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.