Video Library

Do My Own Lawn Care - Fertilizing Tall Fescue Grass

By DoMyOwn staff

Paul's back yard and side with the Bradford Pears has been aerated, overseeded and watered in. Now it is time to give it a dose of fertilizer to really make it thrive. In this video Paul will discuss what kind of fertilizer to use for newly seeded fescue grass seed.

 Do My Own Lawn Care - Fertilizing Tall Fescue Grass Video Play

Video Transcript

This is what a yard looks like when it hasn't been maintained in well over a week because you're out of town on vacation.

And this is what it looks like and what happens when you don't want to accept the reality of having to come back from said vacation.

First order of business before we even get into today's topic, I've got to do a bit of maintenance on this yard. It's long over due. So without further delay, let's get into that.

Kind of better. At least it doesn't look over grown and out of control. It kind of looks like I mowed a little to low. It looks like I kind of scalped it down. But it will bounce back. It's a healthy lawn and I'm sure it will get back to its nice big beautiful green luscious self very soon!

But enough about the front yard, on to today's topic, fertilizing the fescue in the back.

Just to give you a little peak behind the curtain if you will, episodes 28 and 29; 28 was prep for overseeding and 29, our last video, was the actual overseeding of the back yard. Those were shot in the same day.

But I wanted to break them up and make separate videos out of those, so that it's not one long video and instead two short concise videos with different subject matters.

But more importantly, it was to buy myself some time, to let me seed get down into the soil and start to germinate. And I'm happy to report, let me just show you!

There are nice little rows all through the back yard where we aerated and overseeded. And the seed is starting to get down and germinate. It's starting to take. So, seeing some results! That's good. Happy about it.

Right here is a really good example. We've got a row right here, right here and some right here. This is where the aerator punched holes in the soil, the seeds got down in there, they started to germinate and establish themselves and now they're starting to sprout out of the ground. So, success!

Now it's the same kind of story in this side with the Bradford Pears and in the back yard, we have tiny little rows where the aerator punched holes into the soil, the seeds got down in there, they've germinated, they're starting to thrive and establish themselves, but I want to do something today to help make it thrive even more. And that's give it a little bit of fertilizer.

And as usual before I actually go through the process of fertilizing back here, I wanted to talk about how to fertilize tall fescue like what I've put down on this side and in the back.

Just like other grass types, fescue needs some kind of combination of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to help make it thrive. The difference is, the newly seeded fescue grass seed that I've put down, needs a bit of a different combination of those three elements than established lawns.

Most fertilizers that are out there are not suited of formulated to fit the needs of newly seeded fescue seeds. So working with the customer service staff, and after doing a bit of research we found that you need a formulated starter fertilizer, or even an organic fertilizer that has a slow release formula to fit the needs of our fescue seed that we've put down.

One thing that's really important to note is to not use a weed and feed that you would traditionally use in an established lawn.

Weed and feed fertilizers have a weed preventative measure in them along with a fertilizer but they can severally damage seedlings or even the seeds that haven't even sprouted yet, so don't use these. Avoid them at all cost.

What I'm going to do today is I'm mixing some starter fertilizer with some organic slow release fertilizer to really try to help my seedlings strengthen their root systems and continue to thrive in the yard.

Our customer service staff recommends that after about four to eight weeks after my fescue seeds have germinated and my seedlings are doing really good, to go through and hit it with another round of fertilizer. But the difference with this second application, when I get to it, is I'm not going to continue to use a starter fertilizer.

The high phosphorus rate that comes in most starter fertilizers, although it's great for seeds to get themselves to germinate, after they've established themselves, you don't need the phosphorus a such a high rate that most starter fertilizers offer.

Instead make the switch to a more traditional type fertilizer.  Better than that, move over to an organic, slow release type fertilizer.

Now that I've put all of that out there, it's time to bust out my granule spreader and start throwing down some fertilizer.

Now, we've got a bit of a situation back here before I even start walking around with my spreader. While I am trying to throw down some fertilizer to feed our grass seed, I also still have a bunch of weeds back here that's also going to be getting that dose of fertilizer.

The problem here is, I do want to get rid of the weeds and I am trying to get the grass to grow back here, but I can't spray for the weeds while I'm still trying to get the seeds to get down and germinate. But I want to get rid of the weeds, but I want the grass to grow. You kind of see where I'm going with this.

What I've opted to do, put down the fertilizer anyway, let the weeds and the grass grow, and tackle it next season. I'm just going to hope for the best after this fertilizer application and just kind of see where we end up. So let's get to it.

Fertilizer's in the spreader, spreader is calibrated, we're ready to go. Here's something I haven't talked about in previous videos that people have made mention in the comments; what I'm going to do is make passes going back and forth this way, and then I'll over lap and make passes going this way. That way I make sure to get the most maximum coverage of my fertilizer as possible. So let's get to it.

Fertilizer's down. Now for the next step.

Water it in!

I know what some of you are thinking, I've even seen it in some of the comments. Is it still a little bit too early to be doing what I'm doing back here?

The answer...probably. I'm not sure. Time will tell.

Like I had mentioned in previous videos, I'm trying to get a head of the curve, trying to be ahead of the game, and do things a little bit early, before next season. But what I'm trying to do with these videos is release them early to get your gears thinking and get you in the mind set of doing fall preparation to have success through fall and winter and even more success in spring and summer.

So by doing these things early in my yard, they're either going to work or they're going to fail, time will tell. We'll see. But again I'm just trying to get all of you to get your minds thinking about what your yard needs, call your extension office, call our customer service staff, figure out a plan for your own yard and implement it.

It's a learning curve. I'm figuring this out. I'm learning along with all of you. Leaning on the customer service staff to figure out the do's and don'ts when it comes to lawn care.

Hopefully I'm successful, we'll see. I'm not sure, but I'm learning a lot. I hope you are to. I hope you liked this video. If you did, hit the thumbs up. If you have any other further questions leave them in the comments section below, email the customer service staff, or pick up the phone, give us a call.

That's it for this one If you're not already subscribe to the channel by clicking this button. You can click this playlist to see all of the videos in the Do My Own Lawn Care series, and click this playlist to see all the videos in the Do My Own Gardening series.

Not so sure this hat's going to make a return in the next video, but hey, as always, thanks for watching!