Fescue is a cool season grass that thrives in the spring and fall, but may struggle during hot, dry summers. The best time to start seeding or overseeding existing fescue is between mid-September and mid-October, which gives the new fescue plenty of time to establish roots before the summer heat starts. You can also seed in the spring, but results usually aren’t as good. Our service area (Anderson, SC) technically gets to hot for fescue because it is in a transition zone. Call your lawn care company and tell them you plan to seed. Make sure they haven’t already applied pre-emergents, otherwise the seeds won’t germinate and you are wasting your time.
Step by Step:
1. Before you decide to seed, water the area heavily several days before you start seeding. This makes it easier for an aerator machine or slit seeding machine to push the seeds into the soil - just throwing them on the ground will yield very bad results.
2. Generally, you will need 3-8 lbs of seed depending on the thickness of the turf. If you are overseeding, be sure to mow existing fescue short before running the aerator.
3. Water newly seeded areas 1-2 times a day for at least 10 minutes for the first two weeks (the seed must be kept moist so that it will germinate and come up). Continue to water regularly after the seeds begin to sprout.
4. Keep pets, children and leaves off the fescue until it has been established. Take care if you choose to rake leaves off new seedlings; if you are too rough you might rake up the grass and it’s generally recommended to either use a leaf blower or pick up leaves by hand.
And that’s it! When your new grass is about 2 inches tall (usually between 7 and 14 days after seeding, start mowing. After that, you can use a light fertilizer before enjoying your new lawn!