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Elite Tall Fescue Lawn Maintenance

You’ve grown your Elite Tall Fescue with care from its very first sprout. Now follow these steps to maintain the unique blend selected especially for the lawn of your dreams.

Mowing Elite Tall Fescue Sod

  • Mow at 2.5 inches cutting height; taller to 3 to 4” in summer months.
  • Mow no more than 1/3 of the leaf off at one mowing. Use sharp mower blades. Mow with a rotary mower.
  • Mowing may be required on a 5-to-7-day interval.
Mow when grass is this tall:3.25 inches (8.2cm)
Set cutting height of mower to:2.5 inches (6.3cm)

Watering Elite Tall Fescue Sod

Water to supplement rainfall shortages only. Avoid fixed timer irrigation settings.

Tall Fescue performs best when it receives at least 1 inch of water per week; 2 inches in the heat of summer.

If one (two in the heat) or more inches of rainfall occurs in a week, additional irrigation is not necessary. (Example: if 1/2 inch of rain occurs within a growing week, apply 1/2 inch by irrigation.)

Do not waste water by over watering; avoid run-off and standing water for any period of time. (How and When to Water)

Fertilizing Elite Tall Fescue

  • Apply 3 to 4 pounds of nitrogen fertilizer per 1,000 square feet annually. Begin application in the fall and continue until spring, during Fescue’s peak growing months.
  • Fertilize according to the schedule below, based on feedback from soil test recommendations.
  • Special note: don’t fertilize your Elite Tall Fescue lawn with high nitrogen fertilizer in May, June, July, and August. (Our 5-10-30 fertilizer is low nitrogen, so is safe.)
  • Read about How to Calculate Fertilizer Rates.
  • Lime can safely be applied any time of year. Lime based on feedback from soil test recommendations.

Weed Control for Elite Tall Fescue

  • The best weed control is preventive:
    • Regular mowing
    • Use of pre-emergent weed control products in the spring is recommended. Fall pre-emergent control is tricky with Tall Fescue, due to the timing of seeding; do not apply pre-emergent herbicides within 90 days before seeding.
  • Apply pre-emergent and post-emergent weed control products that are specifically labeled for Fescue lawns. Apply pre-emergent weed control according to the table below. Read and follow label directions.
  • Apply post-emergent weed control to seeds you can see, as needed.
  • For assistance with weed identification contact your nursery/garden center, landscaper, local Cooperative Extension Service agent, or browse our Weed of the Month section.

Look up Gladiator Sod & Landscape’s yellow spreader settings here.

MonthFertilizer & Weed Control (lbs/1,000 sq.ft.)Timing
Feb16-4-8 + Iron w/ pre-emergent @ 6 lbs.First Week
April16-4-8 + Iron w/ pre-emergent @ 6 lbs.First Week
July5-10-30* + Iron w/ Acelepryn (insecticide) @ 5 lbs.Second Week
Sept5-10-30* + Iron @ 6 lbs. (no pre-emergent)**Second Week
Nov16-4-8 + Iron @ 6 lbs.middle of month

*Low nitrogen so it’s safe to apply in warm months

**Be sure to omit pre-emergent when overseeding in Autumn

Additional Elite Tall Fescue Care

Fungus Control: Tall Fescue sod is susceptible to fungus during the hot, humid summer months. It is best to take preventative action and apply fungicide during the warm months by following the schedule below.

To care for your Tall Fescue lawn like a pro, we recommend applying Professional Grade Fungicide every 14-28 days during summer, coupled with 5 preventative cultural practices. Begin lawn fungicide applications when nighttime low temperatures rise to 60°F.

Month Fungicide Timing
May Professional fungicide Second Week
June Professional fungicide Second Week
July Professional fungicide Second Week
Aug Professional fungicide Second Week

Thatch Removal: Tall Fescue doesn’t build up a layer of thatch in the same way that it builds up in warm season lawns. However, if the lawn has become “thatchy” with dried-up leaf debris from the summer, remove the debris in early fall before you reseed. Use a commercial dethatching machine or rake heavily. Collect and remove all debris.

Need landscaping in west Knoxville near me? Call Gladiator Sod & Landscaping.

Get Started Today!

Ready to transform your outdoor space with the best landscaping services in Knoxville, TN? Contact Gladiator SOD and Landscaping today to schedule a consultation. Let us help you bring your vision to life and create the beautiful, functional outdoor space you’ve always dreamed of.