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How to Get Rid of Tall Fescue Grass

You know plants are beneficial for the health of your garden and the environment in general. The right type of plants can maintain natural balance and biodiversity. But you know what isn’t welcome?

Tall Fescue grass.

Tall fescue, also known as quack grass, has been classified as a major problem for farms and wildlife. Mostly, birds that get fed with fescue seed have died. The livestock industries incur millions in losses due to tall fescue.

It is a huge problem because it spreads to the rest of the vegetation and restricts movement of livestock or birds. The plant grows tall and thick, limiting other plants from growing and entirely dominating the fields.

Furthermore, tall fescue does not have the essential nutrients that livestock needs to survive and reproduce. Fungus thrives on fescue; thus, the more that fungus grows, the more fescue flourishes and spread to the rest of the garden.  Fescue is toxic to plant health because fungus yields chemicals on the strands of fescue. Therefore, it deters birds and animals from feeding on it.

Tall fescue is dark-green, with hard leaves and it starts growing during the cold seasons. It spread to the rest of the plantation by seeds and stems. The stems of fescue can produce new stems, making it harder to remove from the roots.

Therefore, it is important to remove fescue grass as soon as you see it growing to sustain the health of your garden and to keep pets and birds safe. The best way to eradicate fescue is to use a combination of methods and preventive measures. The best time to get rid of it during the start of the year when other plants have still not grown. This way, tall fescue sticks out better and can be mowed effectively.

Plow the lawn

Consider plowing those parts of the garden where you observe tall fescue growing. It is not only effective in eradicating fescue but also yielding beneficial plants for your garden. The key is to plant seeds of a different plant so that it inhibits growth of fescue.

You plow out all the clumps of fescue from the roots, which require meticulous effort because removing from the underlying roots is tough and there is a risk of chunks being left behind. It is also difficult because the strands of tall fescue are hard.

To accomplish this, use a spade to remove the chunks of fescue. Let the spade dig deep into the soil, slide it beneath the roots of fescue and dig it all out. Continue the task until you manage to remove fescue from every area of the garden and discard the waste.

If it is a relatively larger area, use a sod cutter to eliminate tall fescue. Begin with cutting the edges of the lawn the dig out the plants from the roots. When you dig deep enough, fescue grass roots can be easily eradicated. Allow sunlight to reach on the trimmed chunks so that they can be dried and wiped out.

Plant enough seeds in the surrounding area to filter out growth of fescue. You need to be careful that you don’t destroy the surrounding plants. When you decide to plow it out, fescue grass should be at least 3 inches taller than the rest of the plantation.

Use a lawn mower

If you are dealing with a smaller area or one portion of tall fescue grass, lawn mower would be effective in removing it. By moving the lawn mower at least 2 inches above the soil, you can lower the fescue grass level and use tools to remove it.  

Kill the entire lawn

This should be done when tall fescue grass has spread to a large portion of the garden or yard. For this method, you don’t need a lot of time or costly equipment to wipe out fescue. To do this, place a plastic sheet covering the entire length and width of the garden. Place heavy rocks on the sheet, especially areas covered with tall fescue. This allows the fescue grass to dehydrate and die within 3 days.

This is also effective if tall fescue grass has spread to other gardens or is dominating a large area. It becomes vital to take action to kill it when animals, bird and the beneficial plants in your garden start getting affected or dying as a result of it.   

Herbicide as a last resort

If the above-mentioned methods do not work, use herbicides to wipe out tall fescue grass. Customized herbicides for fescue are easily available at local stores. It comes in handy when you have to deal with a large area. When the weather is dry, apply herbicide on fescue grass and avoid watering the garden. It takes about 2 weeks for tall fescue to die out. Some of the products we suggest is Revolver Herbicide, Certainty Turf Herbicide and RoundUp Pro Weed Killer among others.

Pour or spray the herbicide in a bowl and use a sponge for application. Wear gloves to avoid allergic reactions or rashes from fungus on tall fescue. Soak sponge in the bowl and squeeze out the excess herbicide; don’t let it drop on the rest of the plantation. Rub sponge on all the strands of tall fescue. Wait for a few days till it dies then use equipment to dig out the plant from the roots. Reseed the areas with new plants and to filter out chunks of tall fescue.

The problem of tall fescue grass should be handled immediately. If it is allowed to persist, it gets out of hand, spread to the beneficial plants, damages the health of your garden and can be life-threatening to surrounding birds or animals.   

For more helpful lawn care advice, speak to our Solutions experts! They are available by phone at 800-479-6583, email us at askapro@solutionsstores.com or live chat with us on our website.


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