The Benefits of Tall Fescue Extend Belowground

The Benefits of Tall Fescue Extend Belowground

Tall fescue has come a long way from its days in the pasture. Traditionally, tall fescue was used for animal forage in the United States, but in more recent times has made its way into lawns, parks, and sports fields. The forage type grass has coarse blades that blend poorly with other turfgrasses, but newer varieties have a finer, turf-type appearance that comes closer to resembling their bluegrass and ryegrass counterparts. The deep green color of the turf-type varieties also help tall fescues blend in well with bluegrass as sod or overseeding on lawns. While much attention is spent above the soil surface, much of what makes tall fescue so beneficial to lawns and playing fields is buried beneath.

 

Tall fescue roots penetrate deeply into the soil, which helps the grass contend with drought better than other turfgrasses. Deeper roots have greater access to water found further down in the soil profile, but also allow the grass to explore a greater volume of soil for nutrient uptake of phosphorus and nitrogen. Indeed, plant roots play an important role in tall fescue’s performance under drought stress, but the millions of bacterial cells and fungal hyphae found in the soil root zone may contribute to tall fescue’s response to water deficit.

 

Read more here: Cornell Turfgrass