Understand fescue lawn challenges for this month, and why (even with them) fescue is a safe bet for your lawn in North Carolina.
August is one of the more difficult times of the year for cold-season lawn care (though it doesn’t detract from how great fescue is in our state). Here are some of the main challenges you’ll be facing with fescue, including high air and ground temperatures, potential diseases pressure and common weeds.
Cold-season turf like fescue uses more energy than it can store in the summer, which leads to its decline around August. It began to lessen and lose root mass once ground temperatures reached 80 degrees and dry air temperatures passed 80+ degrees. Proper irrigation can help, but only so much.
Pre-emergent weed control applications in late winter/spring have broken down by now, which allows crabgrass and broadleaf weeds (like chamberbitter) to germinate and develop. While your first instinct may be to return to pre-emergent weed control applications, these will prevent fall fescue seed germination.
This mimosa tree-looking broadleaf weed is thought to have been introduced from Florida from pine straw about 15 year ago. It is a prolific seeder and its seed pods move around NC from straw and other means. Usually first appearing around pine straw and bird feeders, it will grow straight up like a tree until mowed.
Generally, crabgrass will germinate in areas with thin turf, hard surfaces and/or high spots. Fortunately, it will often stop germinating around the end of August.
All managed fescue lawns in NC will have to deal with some level of brown patch fungus. However, brown patch fungus is just one of many diseases that can negatively impact cool-season grasses. Others common ones include dollar spot and pythium, which we can also assist with.
For both new and existing fescue lawns, fescue seeding should be annually in late summer or early fall, around September or early October. Seeding during this time allows the turf a chance to grow and mature, without encountering the problems that spring-established fescue may face. When planted in spring, fescue is even more susceptible to drought, heat and fungal diseases.
Fairway Green’s hand-selected fescue seed mix, Southern Perfection, contains three turf-type tall fescues (and 0% weed and 0% other crop contamination). These varieties were specifically chosen because they have the highest heat and drought tolerance/recovery, disease resistance and color and texture quality. To get started on a custom fescue approach for your home, contact our experts today.
Core aeration seeding is a common practice for seeding fescue in the fall, which Fairway Green is happy to offer. This process involves creating small holes in soil (done by removing thatch and soil) reducing compaction and helping preparing the seeding bed. This ensures the best seed-to-soil contact, which is crucial for good germination and lawn establishment.
Core aeration will also:
PLEASE NOTE: Due to factors beyond our control (watering, soil and climate conditions, adverse weather conditions, etc.) we cannot guarantee a stand of turf after seeding. We can guarantee, however, that Fairway Green will do the seeding job properly and use the best seed available on the market. If you have any concerns about services performed by us, you MUST contact us within three business days of when they were done.
Otherwise, success is in your hands! Watering is the key, but if you cannot water, just be patient. The seed will still germinate but it will take much longer.