fescue grass seed for lawn

Best Tall Fescue Seed for Your Lawn 2021 (Ratings and Reviews)

Fescues is a great shade grass and has several benefits with it’s tolerance to cool shady yards. It doesn’t require as much care as some other types of grass. A fescue lawn hill have a deep green beautiful tone. Tall fescue has grown in popularity over the years as a more people are planting trees and enjoy the benefits of the shade these trees provide but need a grass that will thrive in the shade.

Should I Use Tall Fescue Grass Seed in My Lawn

Tall Fescue is more common than Fine Fescue. Tall fescue is used for home lawns (especially in shaded areas), sports fields, play areas and parks in warmer climates. It’s hardy enough to hold up to the hot temperatures but also grow in a shaded area. It has a similar look and feel to bluegrass. It grows rapidly and can function in higher traffic areas. Another benefit is established tall fescue can survive with less water than some of it’s counter parts. While any grass will grow better with frequent irrigation it can survive seasons with lower rain fall totals.

Turf-type Tall Fescue (or Dwarf Tall fescue) is the more common of the two categories. Tall Fescue grass seed is a cool-season bunch species used for home lawns, parks, and sports fields in warmer parts of the country. Generally, this type of lawn looks similar to bluegrass, except with slightly wider leaf blades.

tall fescue growing in the shadeOur top picks for tall fescue:

1. Scotts Turf Builder Rapid Grass Tall Fescue Mix: up to 5,280 sq. ft., Combination Seed & Fertilizer, Grows in Just Weeks, 16 lbs.

Get outside and enjoy your lawn with Scotts Turf Builder Rapid Grass Tall Fescue Mix. With our unique, proprietary mix of seed and fertilizer in one effective formula, your lawn benefits from extended feeding, resulting in full green grass! Compared to seed alone, your lawn will grow 2 times faster (when applied at the new lawn rate, subject to proper care). Use on either new lawns or overseeding existing grass. Scotts Turf Builder revolutionary tall fescue seed combination grows green, lush grass, in just weeks! For best results, rake top layer of soil before applying with a Scotts spreader. After application, water daily or as needed to keep soil surface moist until the seedlings reach at least 2 to 3 inches tall. Each 16-lb. bag seeds 5,280 sq. ft. based on overseeding rate. And be sure to apply Scotts Lawn Food products every 8 weeks throughout the season to help maintain your thick, green lawn.

Review:

Not the cheapest grass seed, but worth the money. I seeded over an area about 10′ x 4′ where grass had been choked out by weeds. When I did a Weed&Feed product, discovered there wasn’t any grass left. I put this seed down using a hand spreader, covered it with about a half inch of top soil. Within a month I had a nice section of grass. I fenced it off while it was growing to make sure it didn’t get stepped on. My opinion, don’t cheap out & buy a lesser quality seed. Scott’s was well worth it.


 

2. Pennington Smart Seed Smart Tall Fescue Grass Seed, 20 lb

Pennington Smart Seed is a low-growing grass seed that requires less mowing than other fescues. Smart seed will also use 30% less water year after year. The exclusive Pennington Seed Penkoted Seed Technology improves each seed’s ability to grow into a healthy plant, resulting in a thick, beautiful lawn. It only takes the smart seed grass seed to between 7 to 21 days to germinate. This grass also requires less mowing than other fescues and it adapts to a wide range of soils, including poorly drained areas.

Review:

Had a few trees removed, and some bare patches in my yard (approx 300-400 square feet total). Full sun spaces, with a sprinkler too. I seeded with this heavily at first, then 2 times more just to be certain, usually before a heavy rain or just after. I also once smashed the seeds into the wet ground after a rain using some old shoes. After about two months, the grass looks like new! I had a couple of weeds that made it into the soil before these took hold in one of the two major spots, but because it only happened on one part of the yard, I believe this seed is very pure. It was recommended by my landscaper based on the varieties that are easy to buy. If you want to go down the rabbit hole, there are some boutique grass vendors out there but I don’t think it’s necessary to go there, based on my experience with this.


 

3. Scotts Turf Builder Thick’R Lawn Tall Fescue Mix – 40 Lb. | Combination Seed, Fertilizer & Soil Improver

Scotts Turf Builder THICK’R LAWN Tall Fescue Mix has everything you need to help turn weak, thin grass into a thicker, greener lawn. With this 3-in-1 solution get up to a 50% thicker lawn with just one application, THICK’R LAWN contains soil improvers for enhanced root development, seed to fill gaps with new grass, and fertilizer to feed new grass and thicken and green existing turf. This product is intended for use on an entire lawn and can be applied easily with a Scotts spreader. Subject to proper care. Results may vary based on current condition of the lawn.

Review:

Last year I attempted to fill in our bare front lawn using spot filler, but it did not take. Because it technically wasn’t bare- there was dead grass- I decided to try this. Dethatched the dead spots using a rake and then sprinkled a little bit of fresh soil on top. Literally, just a sprinkle of soil, something for the seed to grab onto not even 1/8″ thick. Seeded as suggested on the package but by hand. Watered daily for 2 weeks then one to two times a week after depending on the weather. Was iffy at first, nothing seemed to happen for 2+ weeks but then all of a sudden our entire front lawn filled in green. Time lapse in the pictures is 4 weeks, first is the day seeded.


7 Steps to for Planting your Tall Fescue Seed

  1. You will need about 3-4 pounds of Tall Fescue seed per 500 sq ft of lawn that you’d like to seed.
  2. Tall Fescue see will take approximately 7-14 days to germinate. Be patient.
  3. Start by raking or tilling the soil to provide a smooth surface.
  4. Measure the seed and utilize a seed spreader to properly cover the ground. (Try not to over seed the area. More is not always better as you could weaken the individual plants by overpopulation.)
  5. Once the seed has been scattered use a rake to continue to spread the seed and cover the ground.
  6. The fresh seeds can be covered with straw to prevent erosion during the germination phase. (Don’t use hay due to the amount of weeds that could be present.)
  7. Make sure to water regularly as your new grass takes root.
planting tall fescue seed

Sowing Tall Fescue seed in the yard.

In Conclusion:

Finding the right tall fescue for your lawn can be a challenge. Hopefully we’ve narrowed down the selection enough to help you find a winner.

 

Matt McWilliams
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Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for American Lawns. I've been a home owner for over 15 years. I've also had the pleasure of working with some experts in lawn care and outdoor living. I enjoy writing about everything related to your lawn, pests and types of grass. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.