Starting your tall fescue lawn with The Rebels® Brand premium seed gives you complete control to create a lawn that perfectly suits your needs. Follow best practices for tall fescue seeding – from seed selection through post-planting care – and you'll start your lawn on the path to outstanding resilience and beauty.
- Seed selection
- Optimal timing
- Soil testing
- Site preparation
- Seed planting
- Post-planting care
One of the important aspects of seeding your lawn happens before you ever lift
a tool. Your lawn is only as good as the seed you grow. Turf-type tall fescues
can produce a high-performance, low-maintenance lawn that you can take pride
in. Choosing high-quality tall fescue grass seed such as
The Rebels® Brand Tall Fescue Blend helps ensure you get outstanding turf-type varieties you can count on
The Rebels® Brand Extended Root Seed Varieties offer added advantages beyond the benefits of a turf-type tall fescue
lawn. Developed through extensive research and innovations, these varieties
grow up to 40 percent more roots at deeper depths than ordinary grasses. With
added resilience, these high-performance varieties position your lawn to
thrive under conditions that cause other grasses to struggle and fold.
When your lawn includes areas with limited sun, selecting shade-tolerant seed
can make the difference between failure and success.
The Rebels® Brand Shade Mix for tall fescue lawns combines shade-tolerant turf-type tall fescues
with fine fescues, the most shade tolerant cool-season lawn grasses. In tough
southern climates, varieties with superior heat and drought tolerance, such as
The Rebels® Brand Southern Classic Blend and
The Rebels® Brand Southern Classic Shade Mix put your tall fescue lawn in a new league.
Timing your seeding to correspond with tall fescue's natural growth cycle
optimizes every aspect of your seeding project. As cool-season grasses, tall
fescues establish best during late summer to early fall when cool weather
supports vigorous growth. Early spring offers the second best planting time
for tall fescue seed.
Tall fescue germinates best when soil temperatures near 60 to 65 degrees
Fahrenheit. For fall seeding, wait for soil to cool to this range. Hold spring
seeding until soil warms. By planting during these optimal seasons of cool
temperatures and strong growth, you also take advantage of fall and spring
rains. That means less supplemental watering and less labor for you.
Proper soil preparation is key to your seeding success.
Your tall fescue lawn's health and future performance depend in large part on
your soil and the availability of its nutrients, including those added through
fertilizer. Doing soil tests before you seed reveals your starting point for
soil improvement and grass nutrition.
Soil testing confirms your soil pH, organic matter and other measures.
Reputable soil laboratories will provide detailed recommendations on starter
fertilizers and soil amendments to benefit your future lawn. Follow test
recommendations. They help ensure the thick, healthy, vibrant lawn you've
Tall fescue adapts to various soil types and tolerates a broader pH range than
many other lawn grasses. It does best when soil pH stays between 5.5 and 7.5,
where essential nutrients remain available to your grass. Your soil may need
soil amendments, such as lime or elemental sulfur, to restore pH balance and
nutrient availability. Mix all test-recommended fertilizers and amendments
into the top 6 to 8 inches of soil before you seed.1
Early site preparation focuses on removing weeds and unwanted grasses. If you
have existing turf, removing it with a sod cutter is one option. Non-selective
herbicides, which kill both broadleaf plants and grasses, offer another
approach. Many herbicides require multiple applications and significant
waiting periods before you can seed, so time early site prep appropriately.
Rake the area to create a flat, level planting surface. Fill in any low-lying
spots where water could accumulate and cause drainage problems. Correct
grading issues that could complicate mowing or send water toward your home
instead of away. A gentle grade that drops about 1 foot per 50 feet should
drain well without draining too fast.1 If your property has steep
grades, consider professional advice to avoid erosion and potential mowing
If you live in the south,
prevent destructive fire ant mounds by using the
best fire ant killers.
Newly planted seed requires consistent moisture and care.
Quality seed products provide accurate seeding recommendations for best results. To get the
most from your tall fescue seed, follow the label guidelines for seeding
rates. New lawns require about twice the amount of seed needed to overseed a
thin, existing lawn. Seeding at rates higher or lower than label
recommendations wastes quality seed and labor.
Take time to measure your seeding area correctly. Subtract for your home and
other buildings, and calculate seed and spreader settings accordingly. For
precision seeding or lawns less than 5,000 square feet, consider a drop
spreader. For larger lawns or less precise seeding, a broadcast or rotary
spreader works well.
Once your tall fescue seed is down, rake it in so 1/4 inch of soil covers the
seed. This allows for the right amount of protection and light penetration.
Then roll the area with a lawn roller to ensure good soil-to-seed contact.
Grass seed requires consistent moisture for germination and establishment.
Proper watering is critical to seed success. Irrigate newly seeded areas
frequently, so the top 1 inch of soil remains moist.1 This may
require several waterings per day as tall fescue seed germinates over seven to
With seedlings up and growing, lengthen the time between waterings. Water
deeper and less often, until you gradually reach your norm for established
lawn. Let new tall fescue grow about 4 1/2 inches tall before you mow it. As
with all lawn grasses, only remove one-third of the leaf blade at a time. Mow
as needed to maintain a recommended height of 3 to 4 inches.1
Avoid all weed control products until you mow your new planting at least three
times. Protect new fescue lawns against heavy foot traffic, including children
and pets, as seed becomes fully established during its first growing season.
When you combine high-quality, high-performance, turf-type tall fescue with
best practices for planting seed, you lay the foundation for a beautiful,
durable, resilient lawn.
The Rebels® Brand is dedicated
to providing you with the finest in tall fescue grass seed and helping you
enjoy the best tall fescue lawn possible.
The Rebels is a trademark of Pennington Seed, Inc.
1. A. Patton and J. Boyd, “Seeding a Lawn in Arkansas," University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.