How to Plant Fescue Grass in Arizona

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Fescue is a cool-season grass that must be planted in time to establish roots so that it can mature during winter. It is heat-resistant and drought-tolerant, and it will survive even in the warmest desert areas. This grass is successful throughout Arizona, which extends across U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 10. One cultivar is intended especially for use in Arizona. Plant fescue grass at the end of summer, when the ground is still warm but cool weather is on the way. Prepare the ground to receive the seed one month before you plan to plant fescue.

Things You'll Need

  • Topsoil
  • Lime
  • Fertilizer
  • Rake/garden fork
  • Mulch
  • Use a rake to till and even your planting site, Dig up the top 6 to 8 inches of the site to loosen soil for the grass, and remove any rocks and weeds. Make sure the surface is even, as turf grass cannot succeed in tight soil or in sites that have high and low spots, causing puddles.

  • Mix topsoil, lime and 10-20-20 fertilizer into your natural soil to support grass growth. Use 3 inches of topsoil per 6 inches of depth of natural soil to loosen and enrich rocky Arizona soil, then add lime and fertilizer per manufacturer directions. Mix these amendments into your till soil with a garden fork or rake.

  • Fill a seed spreader with fescue seed and broadcast it over your growing site. Broadcast half the seed walking in one direction and the other half walking back, to ensure even distribution. Use 6 pounds of seed for every 100 square feet of soil.

  • Rake the ground again to work the grass seed into the soil, then water the entire plot with 2 to 3 inches of water.

  • Spread 1 inch of organic mulch or straw on top of the grass seed to keep it moist and provide protection against erosion.

Tips & Warnings

  • According to the USDA, Arizona fescue survives drought, heat, shade and fires.

References

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