Lawn of Tall Fescue

Asked March 19, 2020, 12:21 PM EDT

I"ve had a lawn of what I think is clumping tall fescue that I think may have been sodded over ten years ago (we've been here for ten years). Last summer, for unknown reasons, maybe grubs, about half of it died - see the pictures. It looks and feels like a cow pasture. Last fall I planted what I thought was a match - another fescue, but it does not match at all. Not sure what to do. I would like to plant more matching clumping tall fescue and would like to know where to buy it and what it is called. (I could not download a picture.) Thank you.

Delaware County Pennsylvania

1 Response

This disease of tall fescue may be caused by Rhizoctonia *brown patch"(. This disease occurs in the hot, humid months of summer and is especially severe when the turf is heavily fertilized with nitrogen fertilizer. Other damaging diseases of tall fescue are net blotch, red thread, rust, and Pythium blight.

Before you treat your fescue lawn with fungicide, make absolutely sure that you have correctly identified the fungus. Extract a 4-inch by 4-inch turf sample from an area where the diseased grass and the healthy grass intersect. Then immediately take it to your local county extension office for testing (take it on a Monday or a Tuesday so they can mail it to a local lab and get results with little to no delay).

Fungal fescue diseases can be treated with fungicide, but these treatments can be quite expensive. and will likely have to be applied season after season. Proper lawn maintenance is the only long-term cure.

  • The best time to aerate your fescue lawn is in the fall, from September to November. You should aerate your fescue lawn once each year, if you have heavy clay soil or high foot traffic on the lawn.
  • Don't fertilizer your fescue lawn in the spring or summer, after mid-March, because doing so will stress the grass.

Fescue can be tall or fine. Be sure to check for tall fescue.