I am looking for a curley fescue grass to plant in a yard with some very wet areas in the rainy months, very dry in the dry months, some clay, hot sun in spots with some dense shade. Also would like to find something that does not take much mowing. Is there a fescue that fits this description? Many thanks.
We are not familiar with anything known as curley fescue. There is a corkscrew rush, which looks somewhat like grass. It is an ornamental grass which like wet areas.
In general, the hardiest and most drought tolerant fescue for Maryland is tall fescue. It will take sun or part shade, wet or dry--though not standing water for days. If you have standing water for long periods in your lawn, you may want to install a rain garden there with plants that enjoy those conditions--many will tolerate periods of drought also.
Search 'rain gardens' on our website. You can plant shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses to make a beautiful bed. Alternatively, you can fill in low spots with top soil and seed. (Fall is the best time to seed lawns.)
If you do not want to mow often, consider planting hardy fescue. This is a type of fine fescue. It only gets mowed a couple of times a year and is very low maintenance, but does not take a lot of heavy foot traffic. Read up on it before you invest and install.
Incidentally, many people mow too much anyway. Grass should be mowed high (3-4") and never mowed during drought.
Please read through this fact sheet for how to have a successful lawn in Maryland: http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG102-Rev-...