I am re-seeding my lawn. I am confused by the difference between the terms...

Asked August 21, 2016, 12:13 AM EDT

I am re-seeding my lawn. I am confused by the difference between the terms tall fescue, fine fescue and turf fescue. What seed should I use in SW Ohio? I have an irrigation system, but i want something that is drought resistant.

Warren County Ohio lawn renovation lawn care and management

2 Responses

The majority of lawns in Ohio are seeded using turf-type tall fescue. Here's a quick overview of the different types of fescues:

  • Tall Fescue is a hardy, clump grass. The old varieties (Kentucky 31) were tough but unattractive and should NOT be used when you want a high quality lawn. The newer varieties are called "Turf-Type Tall Fescue". They have an improved look, tighter clump and a more refined blade which makes them better for use in lawns. As I said earlier, most newly seeded lawns now use turf-type tall fescue because it is more drought tolerant and has less problems than Kentucky bluegrass.
  • Fine fescues are also a clump grass, but the blade is extremely refined (almost hair like). Fine fescues are more tolerant of shade than other grasses, but are not as hardy as most other grasses. They don't handle foot traffic well. If you have a really shady landscape, then they could be considered. If not, then they are aren't the best choice. Fine fescues should never be seeded alone (most times they are seeded with Kentucky bluegrass).
If you have more questions, you can email me direct at meyer.213@osu.edu.

Greg Meyer


Thanks for the quick response. That is precisely the information I needed.

You probably don't remember me, but you came out to look at my lawn (if you could call it that) about 10-12 years ago after I built this home and the contractor put in the lawn. Your soil analysis helped me as I killed off the old grass and replanted with turf fescue. It looks wonderful. I just have to re-seed where a trampoline was.

Thanks for all your help.

Take care,
John LaRocca