Fescue is the ultimate cool season all-rounder. A grass that can be found on every habited continent on earth, Fescue has proven its hardiness and resilience in every corner of the globe.
While the cool season nature of fescue will mean that it is better suited to the more temperate regions of Australia, its natural toughness means that it can be used in more regions than almost any other cool season grass, and in more ways.
So to which uses and applications will Fescue be particularly predisposed? Here are five of the best uses of Fescue.
Front and Backyards
A luscious grass that is particularly low maintenance, Fescue represents a fantastic turf option for Australian homeowners. Fescue has impressive resistance to frost, which is great news for those in Tasmania and Southern Victoria who are prone to icy mornings. But it’s also surprisingly drought tolerant, with roots that can dive down as far as 2 metres, accessing your property’s water table; this makes it a great choice for areas with bone dry summers, such as Southern WA and SA.
Homeowners need to be aware that Fescue likes to be cut high. If you’re looking for a putting green style lawn that looks more carpet than grass, Fescue isn’t your variety. Set your mower to 7-10cm when cutting your Fescue back, as anything lower than that will begin to expose the sod, drying the grass out from its base.
The perks of Fescue aren’t lost on local governments, with the variety being a hugely popular choice for public parks and spaces in Australia’s southern reaches. Fescue tends to grow relatively slowly, so won’t need to be mowed as often as many other turf options. It will also happily grow in low fertility soils, and offers the aforementioned drought tolerance that will minimise the need for irrigation (although if you want your Fescue to look its best, it’s wise to water it during dry spells).
Paradoxically for a slow growing grass, Fescue is surprisingly quick to germinate. This will help to minimise the time that your space will be closed off to the public. McKays offers a Parks Blend made up of 50% Fescue, 40% Kentucky Bluegrass and 10% slow release fertiliser that provides a fantastic turf option for public spaces.
Businesses and organisations in the temperate regions of Australia love using Fescue as a display grass for their commercial landscapes. The minimal amount of maintenance it requires, combined with its slow growth rate, will mean that the space will look better for longer.
One of the major drawbacks of Fescue – the perceived coarseness of the blades – isn’t as much of an issue for commercial landscapes as they are more decorative than functional. And on top of all this, Fescue is a beautiful looking grass.
Another popular use for Fescue is around playground areas. While the grass blade of Fescue is considered coarser than many other turf varieties, this is counterbalanced by the fact that Fescue is grown long, and thus is endowed with a natural sponginess. By planting Fescue around a playground area you’re helping to minimise potential injuries.
Again, its low maintenance nature and good looks will mean that Fescue will make for a beautifully easy option around play equipment.
Fescue is one of the only grasses that can be grown as both a backyard turf and as a pasture for livestock. When left to its own devices Fescue will grow out to up to 200cm (depending on the variety). It’s able to repair itself and is also rich in nutrients, making it a wise choice for horse, cow and sheep pastures.
Essentially there are very few situations in which Fescue makes for a bad turf option. Provided the climate of your region plays to Fescue’s strengths, you can enjoy the perks of this incredible grass in a host of different ways.
If you’ve got any further questions on whether Fescue represents the best turf choice for you, don’t hesitate to contact the friendly team at McKays.