April Tall Fescue Lawn Tips for 2023

If you've been following these tips for years, your Tall Fescue lawn is probably the most glorious green carpet in the neighborhood right now.

If you're new here, keep reading to learn how to give your Tall Fescue the best care possible. Subscribe to our emails to get this information in your inbox every month.

A Note on Fungicide: With warmer weather approaching, it's time to stock up on fungicide for your Tall Fescue lawn. Order fungicide online for direct shipment or local pick up. Sign up for Lawn Coach and we'll stick it in the mail at the right time. >> Read about fungicide on Tall Fescue

Fertilizing Tips 

  • Main Fertilizer Update for April: This is the last month for a major application of nitrogen for Tall Fescue lawns. Order 16-4-8 directly from us. If you want to apply the second half of your pre-emergent herbicide to prevent summer weeds (first half done in February), order 16-4-8 plus pre-emergent and apply it in mid-April.
  • Review the fertilizing schedule in our Tall Fescue Maintenance Guide.
  • Sign up for Lawn Coach and we'll automatically mail you all the right fertilizers when you need them (including the fungicide listed above when selecting the Champ package).

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  • Along with fertilization, you may need to apply a fast-acting lime that neutralizes the pH of your soil. Always take a soil test to confirm if you need to apply lime or fertilizer. Balanced soil pH is critical for your grass to be able to use the nutrients supplied by your fertilizer.

Aerating Tips

  • It's too late to aerate Tall Fescue, but you can still spread compost to build soil structure and add nutrients. Now, while it's still cool out, it's a great time to topdress Tall Fescue with Soil³ compost to take the place of one fertilization. 

Weeding Tips

  • ❗❗ Apply Your Second Spring Application of Pre-mergent: It's time for pre-emergent again! Apply this second application from mid April through late April.
  • However, it's crucial to understand that this April pre-emergent application is the second half of a two part treatment - the first one done in February. The February treatment prevents most summer weeds, including crabgrass. This second April application works best in tandem with the first, so please note that if you didn't spread pre-emergent in February, and are only spreading now in April, that you'll still see some summer weeds, such as crabgrass. Think of the April application like it's a booster shot.
  • For Tall Fescue we recommend 16-4-8 with Barricade pre-emergent.
  • 👍 Pre-emergent Rule of Thumb: Apply pre-emergent only on established Tall Fescue lawns. If your Tall Fescue lawn was planted within the last 4 months, then skip this pre-emergent application and resort to the methods below.

Order Pre-Emergent for Tall Fescue Lawns

  • Post-emergent herbicide in Established Tall Fescue lawns: Weather permitting, you can apply post-emergent liquid herbicides like Quincept and 3-Way Max for weeds you can see now in established Tall Fescue lawns. These post-emergents work best above 65 degrees so on this spring roller-coster, wait for the warmest days. Read the label and follow instructions.
  • Post-emergent herbicide in New Tall Fescue Lawns: If you planted Tall Fescue seed or laid new sod and in the process tilled up existing soil, you've probably kicked up weed seeds and exposed them to the light. As a result, the weeds are probably germinating alongside your Fescue seedlings. 

    👍 Rule of Thumb:
    It's okay to apply a post-emergent liquid herbicide labeled for Tall Fescue lawns (Quincept and 3-Way Max) after you've mowed your new lawn 3 to 4 times. 
  • Pulling by Hand: If you don't have many weeds, it's quick and cost-effective to just yank them up.
  • Mowing: Mow those weeds down before they go to seed. Most winter weeds are going to seed right now so get out there with your mower today! Mowing is an effective way to suppress weeds because it cuts off flower/seed heads and that stops weeds from making more weeds, thus breaking the life cycle. If you have bad winter weeds, mow on a weekly routine and don't let the weeds get ahead of you.
  • Mulch suppresses weed seeds in flower beds. Spread your favorite mulch 2-4" thick and keep it 1-2" away from touching the trunks or stems of your plants. Rake/blow leaves off your lawn and into your beds and natural areas rather than bagging them.
  • Dead nettle and henbit weeds are at max capacity in April. Learn about these edible lawn weeds and how to get rid of them in your lawn (maybe eat them?): April Weed of the Month: Dead Nettle & Henbit

dead nettle vs henbit

Dead nettle and henbit look a lot alike because they're in the same family. In our blog we'll explain how to quickly tell them apart.

Mowing Tips

  • Mowing New Sod: The first time to mow a new Tall Fescue lawn (at a 2.5-3" cut height) is when it reaches 3-4" tall. In fact, mowing will promote growth! So don't be timid. Mow it! Read: How Soon Should I Cut My Grass?
  • Due to rapid growth of Tall Fescue lawns during this glorious spring month of April, keep up your weekly mowing on 5 to 7 day intervals.
  • Continue to mow as needed throughout spring at a 2.5-3" cut height. When it gets hot out we'll remind you to raise it up again.

Laying Sod

It's still a great time to lay Tall Fescue sod! Get instant impact with Elite Tall Fescue sod, available as a single roll or in full pallets. You can order rolls or pallets of Tall Fescue in our store.

The window has closed until September for overseeding Tall Fescue lawns with fresh seed. If you regret missing that window, consider ordering a pallet or individual rolls to patch bare areas.  

Dig into why we recommend laying new sod with Soil³ by reading this short article: Laying New Sod with Soil³.

Come back next month for May's Lawn Tips for Tall Fescue lawns!

For tips on what to do for Warm Season lawns such as Bermuda, Centipede, Zoysia, peruse this page: April Warm Season Lawn Tips.

Got questions? Leave a comment below!

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