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Does Fescue Grass Spread? [How & When]

The stolons and runners are the major players in determining whether the grass, like Fescue, is best suited to spread or grow in a clump.

Generally, Fescue grass uses vertical stems called tillers, emerging from the seed to spread out slowly by forming upright clumps, as the grass lacks underground rhizomes. However, to multiply, the Fescue grass needs aid from the gardener as it cannot self-seed.

The spreading quality can be advantageous and disadvantageous, so look at the article to understand the nature of Fescue grass.

What Does Fescue Grass Look Like?

Fescue is a cold, heat, and drought-tolerant grass mostly adopted by North American homeowners.

Originating from the northern coastal regions of the United States and parts of Europe, Fescue grass features needle-like to broad-leaved straplike leaves.

Some of the general overviews of the Fescue grass are given below.

Scientific NamesFestuca arundinacea

Schedonorus arundinaceus
Common NamesAlata Fescue

Coarse Fescue

Meadow Fescue

Taller Fescue
USDA Zone3 to 7
Plant NaturePerennial Grass
Plant SizeHeight: 4 to 12 inches

Width: 0.15 to 0.5 inches
Growth RateModerate to Fast
Growing SeasonsCooler days of spring and fall
LeafShape: Thick and flat

Color: Glassy green with ridged upper surface

Texture: Smooth and shiny with rough margin and yellowish base
UsesForage and grass for lawn

Erosion control
ToxicityNon-toxic to pets and humans but is non-digestible

How Does Fescue Grass Spread?

The spread of the Fescue grass cannot be determined accurately as the rate depends upon its varieties.

So look at the category to understand the spreading pattern of Fescue grass seed varieties.

  • Tall Fescue Grass: Kentucky 31, the widely used turf variety of Tall Fescue Grass, is a clump-type that uses vertical shoots called a tiller and seed to spread with a growth rate of 2 inches weekly.
The leaves of Fescue grass in a grey pot
The leaves of Fescue grass are needle-like and upright.
  • Creeping Red Fescue Grass: Due to a quicker spreading rate (horizontally), Creeping Red Fescue is ideal for landscaping. The grass uses short rhizomes to expand but is not invasive.
  • Hard Fescue Grass: Given the name, Hard Fescue is the most resilient clump-type bluish-green grass that spreads slowly compared to others. It is the only variety with salt tolerance.
  • Chewings Fescue Grass: A close cousin of Tall Fescue, Chewings Fescue grass has the tiller to spread out its stems and fill the ground in bunches but is a Fine Fescue species.
  • Sheep Fescue Grass: Resembling the Idaho and Arizona Fescue, Sheep Fescue grass is a dense perennial upright variety. It uses seeds to spread roots instead of runners.

How To Control Fescue Grass From Spreading?

The spreading nature of Fescue grass, especially the clumping type like Tall Fescue, makes it a non-invasive plant unable to seed on its own.

But they cover your barren lawn after deeply establishing themselves in the ground under the optimum growing conditions.

However, you can control their spread by altering the growing condition or interrupting their growth.

  • Frequent mowing can boost root development, but cutting it to a minimal height (<2 inches) can help eliminate it.
  • Fescue grass loathes high temperatures, so you can try to stress them by increasing the heat.
  • Also, water can be an enemy of Fescue grass, so try watering them regularly to kill them entirely.
  • Tilling and digging out the entire clump roots can also help control its spreading speed.
  • Meanwhile, use contact herbicides in the fall, especially to control Tall Fescue grass to prevent harming plants like Bluegrass.
  • Alternatively, you can use Eraser 41% Glyphosate, a non-selective herbicide that kills the entire grass clan it touches.

From Editorial Team

Extra Tips!

Grow shade-loving Fescue in any corner, as it is low-maintenance grass and requires only 4 hours of sunlight to thrive.

However, remember to control its spread, as the grass can turn your lawn into a jungle anytime.

Meanwhile, use Hard Fescue grass in golf course roughs, Tall Fescue in baseball and commercial sites, and Sheep Fescue to control erosion.