What to Do About a Clumping Fescue?

Fescue is a cool-season grass that can be seeded very easily. The grass includes subspecies of taller bunching grasses called tall fescue and finer shorter fescues called creeping red, hard fescue, sheep fescue and chewings fescue. The taller fescue is a clumping grass and is usually not favored since it does not blend in well with other grasses. The immediate control for tall fescue clumps is to treat with a herbicide containing glyphosate.


Tall Fescue

Tall fescue is a perennial cool-season grass. It has a coarse texture and an aggressive growth habit for which it is not the first choice when seeking a smooth, well-blended turf. The grass also has a clumping nature and the coarse blades originate from a main point. Some varieties of the fescue have short rhizomes and hence do not tend to bunch so noticeably. However the majority of the fescues end up forming unsightly clumps in lawns. The immediate remedy for clumps is to treat the area with a herbicide containing glyphosate. You can also have a professional treat the lawn with a restricted herbicide since these are not available to homeowners. These herbicides selectively eradicate the tall fescue clumps.

Prevention of Clumps

Future clumps in lawns can be avoided by spot treating with glyphosate every time a clump appears. New clumps in the grass do not resprout after pulling.

Advantages of Fescue

The fescue grasses all share similar characteristics. The outstanding qualities of fescues are that they are highly tolerant of shade, they stay green throughout the year and they have a very high resistance to drought. Even though the fine fescues are even more shade- and cold-tolerant, both the fine and the tall varieties are used extensively in the central and northern regions of the U.S. Both the tall and fine fescues turn dormant in the very hot and very cold seasons and show this by a pale green color.