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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Planting and management tips for tall fescue


  • Mow high and infrequently.
  • Mow at 1.5 - 3 inches.
  • Mowing lower than 1.5 inches can cause thinning.


  • Fertilize using 3 - 6 lbs. nitrogen/1000 sq. ft. per year during the period of active growth (March - June; September - December).


  • Plant with seed or sod.
  • If seeding, seed at 8 - 10 lbs. seed/1000 sq. ft.


  • Tall fescue requires deep, infrequent, moderate to high amounts of water.
  • The extensive root system allows it to survive periods of drought.

Special problems

  • Cannot be mowed too close (less than 1.5 inches)

For more information, see the following sections:

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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