Yes, it can. Fescue grass spreads quickly to fill bare spots. It is a question we get a lot, especially from lawn owners who have developed empty patches on their lawns due to damage.

Cool Ways to Promote Fescue Grass Spread

Please read this article as we strive not only to answer this question but also to teach you the various ways you can improve the spread of this grass.

Our knowledge comes from experts who have been maintaining fescue for decades now. Read ahead to learn how to become an excellent lawn keeper of the fescue-type grass.

Does Fescue Grass Spread?

💥 Yes, fescue grass can spread bare spots that might develop. Unlike Bermuda grass, it spreads above the ground only through stems called tillers. It also spreads further during autumn by spreading its seeds around. Let us discuss ways to promote your tall fescue and fine fescue grass to spread.


– Planting Tall Fescue At The Right Time

In order to get your tall fescue grass to spread, you must plant it at the right time and place. It is a cool season grass; thereby, it grows best in the northern colder zones of the country. Its seeds should be planted in autumn, at least a month before the first frost of winter. 

Planting Tall Fescue on Lawn

Tall fescue grass seeds take about one to two weeks to germinate. It is a fast-growing grass type, and its leaf blades start turning green in early spring when the weather gets to around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. In colder regions, it will last through the summertime and until late autumn, after which it will become dormant.

The good thing about this grass is that it has a higher tolerance for raised temperatures than other cool-season grass types. That is why you can also grow it in the transition zones where the summers are relatively hotter. It has been known to tolerate temperatures as high as 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

– Can Grow Under Shade

Tall fescue needs only four hours of sunlight daily to grow at its full potential. It will also tolerate being grown under the full sun because it usually grows in colder regions and a little extra heat won’t hurt it.

The ideal situation for your turf would be that it receives direct early morning sunlight and indirect light for the remaining part of the day. You will see how rapidly fescue spreads even when grown under indirect light.

– Tall Fescue Has Low Water Needs

Tall fescue is a type of lawn grass that does not need a lot of water to spread. Its minimal water needs are confined to barely one inch of water per week. You will not need to water your lawn in most regions if it has received rainfall in the past week.

Less Water Needed for Tall Fescue Grass

On top of that, fescue is quite hardy and drought resistant. It has a deep system of roots and underground rhizomes that store water for long periods. Even if you cannot water it properly for several weeks, you need not worry because your grass will carry on growing and spreading.

Another cool property of fescue grass types, such as tall and red fescue, is that they can also tolerate salt water. This property is a godsend in coastal areas where you have little choice but to use saline water for lawn care. We still recommend using fresh water or distilled water because these are the healthiest for grass.

– Fertilize Well To Make Tall Fescue Spread

In order to make your tall fescue turf and lawn grass spread, fertilizing it is a must. Because this grass begins germinating in late fall, this is usually the best time to fertilize it. Use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer in liquid form so that you can dilute it before use.

Fertilizing on Tall Fescue Spread

Diluting chemical fertilizers is very important; otherwise, you risk chemically burning the grass blades. For the rest of the growing season, you can either opt for a slow-release fertilizer or go all organic. A slow-release fertilizer comes in powder or pellet form that will have to be buried into the soil.

It is imperative to carry out a soil analysis of your lawn every second year. Just collect the required samples and send them to a nearby laboratory; before seeding the soil with fescue seeds, till or rake the top layers and mix compost or manure with it. These habits will go a long way in ensuring a healthy and rapidly spreading grass lawn.


– Plant The Right Variety

There are so many different varieties of fescue for you to choose from. These comprise Tall fescue, Creeping red fescue, and the Chewings fescue. These are cool-season grasses that can also tolerate slightly warmer temperatures.

Work has been going on to improve the properties of all the fescue types continually. Ask your gardening provider to give you a fescue type that has been genetically modified to resist all the common diseases and pests that this grass is commonly susceptible to.

These ornamental grasses are already pretty tough, to begin with. Their foot and shade tolerance is better than most common turf grasses, such as the closely associated Kentucky bluegrass.

– Perform Adequate Weed Control 

A common type of tall fescue specie will need effective weed control in order to keep it healthy. This grass cannot fight off weeds by itself unless you buy a variety specifically engineered to compete with weeds.

Removing Weeds from Fescue Grass

A pre-emergent herbicide such as glyphosate can be sprayed on the lawn in autumn to get rid of weeds. The temperature needs to be below 85 degrees Fahrenheit; otherwise, you risk getting your fescue killed.

The best and the most harmless method of weed control is, of course, manual uprooting.

– Reduce Foot Traffic

Although tall fescue is the grass most tolerant of heavy foot traffic, you must reduce foot traffic within your lawn if you want those bare spots to fill over.

Reduce Foot Traffic on Fescue Grass

This means you must try not to walk, run or play over this grass, especially if there are already patches of grass destroyed. 

One precaution is to plant tall fescue in low-traffic areas from the start or keep the traffic to a minimum during the initial years. Like all perennial grass types, fescue establishes itself and becomes thicker and more resilient over the years.

Frequently Asked Questions

– How Fast Does Tall Fescue Spread?

Tall fescue grows and spreads by two inches every week. Once its seeds germinate, they grow rapidly and fill the entire lawn and any leftover spots.

Bear in mind that this will only happen under the very best conditions. So make sure to feed your grass in the spring and don’t disturb it too much during its growth period, at least.

– Does Tall Fescue Grow In Shade?

Yes, tall fescue will carry on even under shade. This grass can survive on barely four hours of sunlight daily, even in indirect form. 

Such a high shade tolerance gives it a certain edge over competitive grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass. You can carry out effective fescue lawn care even if certain portions of the lawn are always in the shade.


Tall fescue is an old favorite for residential lawns or park playgrounds due to its easy lawn care and rapid spread. 

  • All fescue-type grasses spread above ground through stems and will fill in empty spots rather quickly.
  • To promote spread and make the grass grow more, you need to give it shade and keep traffic over it on the lighter side.
  • Feeding the grass with the right fertilizer at the right time is equally important. 
  • Tall fescue needs only four hours of sunlight daily to grow at its full potential.

We are seeing a newfound interest in fescue types of grasses among homeowners these days. After reading our guide, you will have a better idea of how to make those empty bald patches on your turf disappear by promoting the spread of this grass. 

5/5 - (17 votes)