It’s been a hot and dry summer overall in the Carolina’s, so our fescue turf has struggled to do well. Since fescue is a cool-season grass, it does not do as well with hot temperatures and when soil moisture is lacking, so it may thin out during the summer. Fall is then the ideal time to overseed with fescue and thicken up the turf with new grass plants.
Even with the best seed possible used, and with good soil preparation, it’s all for naught if not irrigated properly during germination. For the first 10 days or so, the seed bed needs to stay consistently moist for best germination. So homeowners will need to provide irrigation, since Mother Nature cannot be depended upon to do that. One should see some seedlings germinate and pop up through the soil after about 10 days, but watering still needs to continue. These are very small grass plants with a weak root system still, so soil moisture still needs to be consistent. We’ve seen cases where the seeds germinate just fine, only to wilt and even die from a lack of moisture weeks later. So this falls on the homeowner to continue to supply good amounts of irrigation on the new seedlings.
As the seedlings grow and develop a stronger root system later in fall, irrigation can be cut down to 3-4 times per week, depending upon what normal rainfall is received. Even during the winter, do not let the turf dry out completely, so irrigation may be needed if we go over 10 days without rainfall. The seeded fescue will not really mature until the following spring, which by then, should be a thick turf with a solid root system. Normal irrigation schedules of 2-3 times weekly then should suffice.
Now is the time of the season to set up your fall fescue seeding, so contact the professionals at LawnAmerica for information and a price quote.