Installing Fescue Sod

Fescue sod is a very common form of grass that’s installed in yards all across the nation. That should tell you something right there. Since sod is often delicate and can go wrong and die if conditions aren’t just right, many people like to go with something like fescue which is both beautiful and has a long tradition of growing well. Some fescue varieties do better in colder climates, and others do better in warmer climates, but if you’re looking to install fescue sod in your lawn, your local sod distributor should be able to tell you which variety will do best for your region.

In a recent article I wrote, I detailed the different tips, steps, and conditions that are involved in properly laying sod. But in that article, I didn’t talk about what kind of sod to choose for your yard. Are some kinds of sod better for yards than others? The answer depends on a lot of things. One of those things is the location. In my last hub, I wrote about zoysia sod and how it grows great in warm and tropical climates. Fescue on the other hand still does well in warm climates but is also suited for colder ones. Fescue sod can take off in many different environments.

Like I said earlier, in many of the southern states like Arizona, Texas, Southern California, etc, fescue is installed in lawns. If you’re unsure, however, which variety of dos you’d like to install in your yard, consider dwarf fescue. Dwarf fescue is nice because it uses less water. In many states, there are water restrictions on lawns. Installing the old water guzzlers like regular fescue and others can sometimes get you into trouble. Dwarf fescue is nice because it still has all the benefits of your standard fescue, but doesn’t grow as fast or consume as much water.

The other thing that’s nice about dwarf fescue grass is that it’s been engineered to have great tolerances to a lot of different types of hazards. Some grasses, like zoysia, can’t stand being in the shade. Dwarf fescue doesn’t mind. It also has excellent tolerance to both heat and cold, to drought, to sunlight, and pretty good foot traffic tolerance.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is not adequately preparing their soil for new fescue sod or any other type of sod for that matter. If you’re looking to install sod and have settled on a type of fescue, definitely ask your sod distributor what kinds of soil amendments and conditions you’ll need. Generally, I can say that fescue grows well in soil that is both a little bit acidic and a little bit sandy, for good drainage. You shouldn’t have any large rocks in your soil, and if you have clay in any quantity in your soil like you’ll find in many of the southwestern states, you’ll definitely want to add some gypsum into your soil to help break up some of the clay.

The ground should also be rototilled fairly heavily. These are pretty cheap to rent, and usually, only run about $60 per 24 hours. That’s not bad, especially considering the amount you’re going to spend on your sod. It would definitely be a shame to spend a lot of money on sod and then have it thin out and die in places because the soil and ground weren’t properly prepared for it. Soil preparation for fescue sod is very important.

Christy Alexander