Tall Fescue

In NC, tall fescue is best adapted to the mountains and piedmont. Tall fescue can be successfully maintained on the heavy silt loams in the coastal plain. It is a reliable performer and easily started from seed. It is the best grass to plant if you want a year-round green lawn. Tall fescue thrives in sun or medium shade.

Tall fescue is a bunch-type grass, so damaged or bare areas will need to be re-seeded. It exhibits good disease resistance, drought tolerance, and cold tolerance; tolerates moderate traffic; and persists with minimum care. Several improved tall fescue cultivars have been developed that are more shade tolerant, denser, and finer textured than Kentucky 31, a commonly used older cultivar. These characteristics become more evident as the turf matures and the maintenance level increases. Research has shown that some of these improved cultivars also have darker green color, improved disease tolerance, lower growth habit, better wear tolerance, and drought tolerance.

Primary Uses

  • residential & commercial lawns
  • sports fields
  • golf courses
  • parks & recreation


Tall fescue will not perform well in full sun in the coastal plain, especially if the soil is sandy.

Seasonal Type: cool-season

propagation method


Drought tolerance

Tall fescue may turn brown, yet can often survive short periods of drought. Under certain circumstances, some tall fescue may be lost if a drought exceeds three weeks. To maintain a green lawn, it is best to irrigate, if possible, during periods of drought.



The tall fescues perform best when mowed at a height of 3 inches, and should never be mowed shorter than 2.5 inches.


It can be seeded by itself or mixed with Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, or both, particularly where shade is a concern.


Experts recommend that a blend of two or three cultivars be planted rather than seeding just a single cultivar. This broadens the genetic base and gives the turf a better chance of withstanding a variety of challenges. Use a seeding rate of 6 pounds per 1,000 square feet (sq ft). Don’t assume more is better. Higher seeding rates can result in weak, thin stands that are more susceptible to disease and high temperature stress.

List of Growers

Vandemark Farms

Ryan Vandermark
9390 NC Hwy 33
NC 27891

Phone: (252) 437-1501
Fax: (252) 437-0228
Email: info@vandemarkfarms.com


Bermudagrass: TifTuf, Tifway 419
St. Augustinegrass: Raleigh
Tall Fescue: Triple Threat plus
Zoysiagrass: Compadre

Turf Mountain Sod Inc

Wayne Pittillo
3277 Chimney Rock Road
NC 28792

Phone: (828) 685-3642
Fax: (828) 685-1121
Email: turfmountain@bellsouth.net


Bermudagrass: NorthBridge
Bluegrass: Barvette, Midnight Star
Tall Fescue: Black Beauty

Thomas Turf Inc

Anthony Thomas
1816 Price Rd
Indian Trail NC 28079

Phone: (704)201-5988
Email: Tony@ThomasTurfinc.com


Tall Fescue: Turf Type Tall Fescue
Tall Fescue / Bluegrass Mix: Turf Type Tall Fescue/Bluegrass Mix

Super Sod

Brad Hubinek
1225 Farmers Market Drive Box 19
Raleigh NC 27603

Phone: (919) 836-0492
Fax: (919) 836-0493
Email: bhubinek@supersod.com


Bermudagrass: TifTuf
Centipedegrass: Tifblair
Tall Fescue: Elite Tall Fescue
Zoysiagrass: ZenithTM, Zeon, Emerald

Sodco Turf Producers

Matthew Parrish
8625 Mt. Pleasant Church. Rd.
Willow Spring NC 27603

Phone: (919) 552-7075
Fax: (919) 552-5944
Email: matt@sodco.com


Tall Fescue: Confederate
Bermudagrass: Tifway 419TM
Centipedegrass: Common
Zoysiagrass: Compadre
Bluegrass: Endeavor II
Tall Fescue / Bluegrass Mix: Pennington Signature Series, Tarnation GT, Right Kentucky Bluegrass 5%

DMG Turf Inc

Clay Gardner
997 Matthews Mill Pd. Road
Angier NC 27501

Phone: (919) 639-4027
Fax: (919) 639-6312
Email: cgardner@dmgturf.com


Tall Fescue: Triple Threat plus
Bermudagrass: Tifway 419, Tifgrand
Centipedegrass: Common
Zoysiagrass: Compadre

Carver Bros Turf

Harold Carver
118 Carver Brothers Dr
Roxboro NC 27574

Phone: (336) 592-0547
Email: info@carverbrosturf.com


Tall Fescue: Pennington Signature Series, Turf Type Tall Fescue, Water Saver Blend
Tall Fescue / Bluegrass Mix: Improved Tall Fescue/Bluegrass Blend, Pennington Signature Series, Turf Type Tall Fescue, Turf Type Tal
Zoysiagrass: Compadre
Bermudagrass: Tifway 419TM, TifTufTM, TifTuf

Wilkerson Turf Farms LLC

Jonathan Wilkerson
8001 Poole Road
Knightdale NC 27545

Phone: (919) 669-2552
Email: jonathan@wilkersonlandscapes.net

Tall Fescue: Turf Type Tall Fescue
Bermudagrass: Tifway 419

Atlantic Coast Turf

Bud Brown, Bridget Markham
100 Leonhauser Lane

Phone: (252) 453-3001, (252) 333-6276
Email: Atlanticcoastturf@gmail.com, twineturf@yahoo.com


Tall Fescue: Turf Type Tall Fescue
Bermudagrass: Tifway 419, Arden 15
Centipedegrass: Common
Zoysiagrass: Zenith