The Fine Fescues

Festuca sp.


The fine fescues are composed of several different Festuca species and subspecies. All are fine textured compared to most other commonly planted turfgrasses. Fine fescues have long been used in mixtures with other grasses and are generally considered the standard for shade tolerance in cool season grasses. In recent years, the fine fescues have received attention as low input environmentally sustainable grasses. Most retail lawn mixtures contain at least some fine fescue.

Botanical Characteristics:

Low Maintenance Turf?

Low Maintenance Turf?

What is a low maintenance lawn? Who sets the standards? An honest answer to both of these questions is probably "I don't know". By my standards most people in western Oregon already have low maintenance lawns. Their lawns are mowed sporadically in spring, occasionally in summer and fall and not at all in winter. A clear majority don't irrigate at all and of those who do, few irrigate consistently. Perhaps seventy percent of these homelawns are never fertilized and very few are ever treated with herbicides for weed control. Sounds pretty low maintenance to me.

Reduce or Eliminate Fall Watering

As I drove into campus this morning, I noticed several sprinkler systems running.  After a week of on and off rain, day temperatures in the 70s and night temperatures in the 40s, it is time to reduce watering times and/or days or even better, turn the irrigation system off.  The turf is using very little water this time of the year and it will allow the turf to naturally harden off as the winter months approach.  An additional benefit of turning your irrigation system off is that the lack of moisture will greatly reduce the survivability of European Crane Fly eggs.  So, turn the irrigation