How to Get Rid of Fescue

Fescue is a type of cool-season European grass commonly used in pastures as grazing material and as ornamental grass in lawns and golf courses. The clumping perennial can sometimes take over a yard and become a nuisance weed, spreading rapidly both through runners and seeds. Gardeners have several methods at their disposal for removing fescue in their yard, ranging from mechanical maintenance to chemical eradication.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn mower
  • Spade
  • Sod cutter
  • Systemic herbicide
  • Newspapers
  • Mulch
  • Plastic tarp

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Mow the fescue to a height of 1.5 inches or less. Use a standard push lawn mower or a riding lawn mower. This prepares the fescue for the eradication method that you choose.

Dig out the fescue with a spade. This method is best for solitary clumps of fescue grass. Slide the spade under one edge of the clump and scoop upward to remove it. Grab the loose clump and shake it to knock off any soil.

Cut out the fescue with a sod cutter. This technique is ideal for individuals who need to get rid of entire sheets of fescue. Cut along the edges of the lawn where you need to remove the fescue and work your way inward. Cut to a depth of 3 inches to remove all of the fescue grass' roots. Lay the sod sheets upside down in the sun to dry them out and kill the grass.

Spray the fescue with a systemic herbicide, such as Roundup or Buccaneer. Spraying is best for individuals who need to remove a large amount of fescue in a low-effort manner. Mist the herbicide onto the grass during a dry weather spell, and avoid watering the lawn after applying the solution. The fescue will die within 14 days.

Kill the fescue by burying it. This option is ideal for gardeners who want to get rid of fescue without cutting it out or spraying it, and want to immediately plant new flowers, grass or shrubs in the area. Layer sheets of newsprint over the fescue to a depth of 10 sheets, overlapping the newsprint's edges so no grass is exposed.

Cover with 3 to 4 inches of soil, mulch or compost. The fescue will naturally die and decompose over the course of eight to 10 weeks. During this time, you can plant flowers, vegetables or new grass in the overlying soil.

Solarize the fescue. Solarizing is perfect for homeowners who need to kill an entire lawn of fescue but don't want to use a sod cutter or herbicide chemicals and don't have time to bury the fescue. Cover the lawn with a plastic tarp during a sunny day. Weigh down the edges of the tarp with chairs, bricks, rocks or any other heavy object. The sun's rays will bake the grass and kill it within 72 hours.


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