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Sheeps fescue?

Posted by Emmo oklahoma city (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 15:56

Thanks to our growing trees, bermuda grass is no longer surviving our lawn. So, we've tried planting fescue in the fall (cant remember what kind) and it gets beautiful in the spring, but dies in the summer. We just can't seem to keep up with the watering. So, it has lots of bare spots now. I came across something called sheeps fescue which seems to be pretty drought resistant. Has anyone tried it? I wonder if I overseeded with it- if it would survive. Granted- I know it's April now :/


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RE: Sheeps fescue?

Emmo, i did a simple google search on this and read that it is a drought resistant grass. It has been so cool where i am that i would definitely overseed now if i needed to. I dont know about where you are.

Just google sheeps fescue and you will gwt a lot of info on it.

Good luck

E


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RE: Sheeps fescue?

I've never seen sheep's fescue here in OK, but I assume surely someone grows it.

However, you're aware that it, like all fescues, is a cool-season grass, right? It is the summer temperatures that make it go dormant, as do all cool-season grasses once the temperatures hit a certain range. It doesn't matter how much you water it, the temperatures at some point will make it go dormant and turn a tan color. There's nothing you can do to prevent that.

Dawn


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RE: Sheeps fescue?

Dawn,

What if she mixed it with Rye? Would that work? Or does Rye die back too?

I seem to remember years ago using fescue in the shade and overseeding it every spring with rye? My memory isnt what it used to be so i could be totally off.


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RE: Sheeps fescue?

My guess is that you have too much shade. Remember ALL grasses prefer full sun including fescue. It pains me how many people think they "like" shade. Don't confuse tolerance for shade with thrive in shade. As a side note fescue naturally thins over time. That's why my you always mix bluegrass with fescue. Growing any grass under a dense canopy like those of a Bradford pear is almost impossible.


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RE: Sheeps fescue?

Count me in as one of the people who thought that fescue did better in shade!

Thats why i love this place, i learn something on every thread.


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RE: Sheeps fescue?

As you can tell by my name, turf is one of my favorite topics. Bermuda has its place, but for me there are better options for lawns in OK. When talking about cool season lawns remember that drought tolerance is not the same thing as drought resistance. Tall fescue is quite drought resistant for a cool season turf. That means it does well at staying green during drought because of its deep roots. On the other hand fescue has quite poor drought tolerance. That means that once it goes dormant during drought (turns yellow or brown), it doesn't recover we'll after water returns. That is why it thins out and doesnt seem to perform for some people. Fescue can really only take a week or 2 without water once dormant before you start losing plants. Kentucky Bluegrass on the other hand is somewhat the opposite. It is not drought resistant, meaning it goes into drought induced dormancy rather quickly, but it is very drought tolerant. It can go for months in a dormant state and once water returns it will green back up and be thick as ever. That is why anyone who has a fescue lawn should include 10% bluegrass by seed weight (it turns out to be about 50-50 by seed count since bluegrass seed is tiny). This mix gives you the best of both worlds and delivers a lawn better able to handle adversity. For those who think a fescue/Kentucky bluegrass lawn isn't possible in central OK. Here is the proof. This is my 3/4 acre lawn after the last 2 horrible summers.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


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RE: Sheeps fescue?

and how high is your water bill?

I have bermuda. I actually hate it.

But, it does come back green in the spring, or during the heat of the summer, as long as it gets a good rain.

Yes, rain.

I refuse to water grass.

Moni


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RE: Sheeps fescue?

I have a well to water the lawn, but I paid for water at my last house. The key is watering smart, not just a lot. I actually had well issues the summer before last and the whole lawn went dormant, but I kept watering when I could and after the first rain the lawn was lush and green again. More than anything cool season lawns take discipline, it's not hard, but you can't slack. If you are a person that doesn't want to work at it, Bermuda is the grass for you. I'm talking to all those people who have irrigation and spend lots of money on bermuda. To me cool season looks a lot better and wouldn't take much more if any work.


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RE: Sheeps fescue?

I have a well to water the lawn, but I paid for water at my last house. The key is watering smart, not just a lot. I actually had well issues the summer before last and the whole lawn went dormant, but I kept watering when I could and after the first rain the lawn was lush and green again. More than anything cool season lawns take discipline, it's not hard, but you can't slack. If you are a person that doesn't want to work at it, Bermuda is the grass for you. I'm talking to all those people who have irrigation and spend lots of money on bermuda. To me cool season looks a lot better and wouldn't take much more if any work.


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RE: Sheeps fescue?

Emma, We overseed our Bermuda grass lawn with rye every autumn and the rye starts dying back usually in May once the temperatures start getting hot. We don't overseed for appearance. We do it for fire protection since we are surrounded on all sides by thousands of acres of native grassland, much of which is heavily invaded by cedar trees. Having a green envelope around the structures in winter enables me to worry a little less about the winter wildfire season. As a bonus, we "get to" mow the rye grass about 2 or 3 times a week in spring so it provides a lot of grass clippings to use as mulch or to put on the compost pile. We mowed Tuesday in advance of the rain and will need to mow again on Friday. Mowing rye grass gives me something to do while it still is too cold to be planting warm-season plants.

Dawn


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RE: Sheeps fescue?

Turf - your lawn is gorgeous. I am one of those people very lazy about the lawn but passionate about the garden, but I do love the look of a thick, lush green carpet. Love to walk around without shoes, spread a blanket under a tree and read a good book... ah. Heaven.

We maintained minimal watering of our front grass last year (some kind of fescue under the oak tree that shows netting through the bald patches, so sodded I suppose, and bermuda elsewhere), but let all the backyard turf go dormant. This year, we plan to attach a rain barrel to our pool filter so when we have to run water to waste when cleaning, we can harvest the runoff and irrigate the lawn/ornamental bed areas with it.

Our neighbor would overseed with rye every fall and winter, and I disliked it because it would always infiltrate the strip between our houses. I prefer not to mow in the winter but that darn strip would always look ratty with his taller rye.


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