December Tall Fescue Lawn Tips for 2023

The cool months ahead are prime-time growing for Tall Fescue lawns. Here are Super-Sod's December lawn tips to help you grow the most glorious Tall Fescue lawn possible.

☃️ If you're putting Christmas inflatable decorations on your Tall Fescue lawn, consider putting them on your mulched beds or moving the footprint around slightly every day. Even though it's cold out, they can still smother your lawn if left on it too long. Read more on Lawn Care for Inflatables and Fireworks During Winter Holidays.


Overseeding & Laying Sod

The window has closed for overseeding Tall Fescue lawn with fresh seed. As we approach December 21st, the longest night of the year, there is less daylight to help young seedlings grow and establish. To successfully seed Tall Fescue, either rewind the clock to September or wait until next autumn to seed at the right time.

However, 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.

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

Picture Caption: The Elite Tall Fescue Tall Fescue lawn in the picture above (a.k.a. header pic) was installed in autumn using Soil³ to improve the soil. The homeowners prepped the soil with compost and installed 6 pallets themselves.

Rake Fall Leaves off Your Lawn

🍂 If you're like me, gardening and lawn care is a satisfying way to "close rings" on my wearable fitness app. Honestly, you should have closed those raking rings by now, but if you haven't it's time to heed our advice while burning some calories.

Why the fuss? Glad you asked. Those fall leaves can smother your Tall Fescue lawn and causes diseases.

Rake or blow leaves into your beds and natural areas to use them as mulch rather than bagging them. Leaves are also a good addition to the compost pile. Read how to use leaves as mulch and compost in Using Fall Leaves in the Garden.

Fertilizing Tips for Tall Fescue Lawns

  • Stop in to pick up 16-4-8 fertilizer for Elite Tall Fescue lawns through the cool growing season.
  • Review the fertilizing schedule in our Tall Fescue Maintenance Guide.

  • If you'd rather not review schedules (and who does?!) subscribe to  Lawn Coach and we'll mail your Tall Fescue products at the right times to apply them. We'll keep track of the schedules for you.
  • 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.

Mower Tips for Tall Fescue Lawns

  • Mowing Tall Fescue Seedlings: The first time to mow your lawn (at a 2.5-3" cut height) is when the seedlings reach 3-4" tall. In fact, mowing will promote growth! So don't be timid. Mow it! Read: How Soon Should I Cut My Grass?
  • Fall and winter is the time to lower the mower blade for your established Tall Fescue lawn. Continue to mow as needed throughout the winter at a 2.5-3" cut height. Next summer we'll remind you to raise it up again.
  • Mowing Frequency: We recommend mowing every 5 to 7 days when Tall Fescue is actively growing during the cool months.

💦 How to Water Your Tall Fescue Lawn

  • It looks like a rainy cycle might be starting up again, but if that doesn't hold, remember that new seeds and sod need extra water. Keep your sprinkler handy and turn it on to keep new seeds moist until they germinate and new sod moist until roots form

  • After your new sod or newly overseeded lawn is rooted in, you'll be able to back off watering to 1" per week during the cool months ahead.

Weeding Tips for Tall Fescue Lawns

  • Right now the best method to combat weeds is to mow them before they go to seed. 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. 
  • Weeds in Established Tall Fescue lawns: Weather permitting, now is also the time for post-emergent liquid herbicides like Quincept and 3-Way Max for weeds you can see now on established Tall Fescue lawns. These post emergents work best above 65 degrees. Read the label and follow instructions.
  • Weeds 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. 
  • The window for applying pre-emergent herbicide has closed for the autumn. The next window will open in February when the Forsythia bushes flower - we'll send out an email alert at that time. Sign up for Lawn Coach and we'll ship you pre-emergent when it's time. 

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  • Mulch is a time-tested trick for suppressing weeds in flower beds. Spread bark or pine straw 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.
  • Hand weeding is cheap! Save your money for Christmas presents and pull weeds by hand instead of spraying. 

Come back next month for January Lawn Tips for Tall Fescue lawns!

For tips on what to do for Warm Season lawns such as Bermuda, Centipede, Zoysia, take a gander at this page: December Warm Season Lawn Tips.

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