Meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis) belongs to the category of perennial herbaceous plants and the family Cereals, or Bluegrass (Poaceae). This lawn meadow grass is very popular due to its unpretentiousness, resistance to negative external factors and attractiveness.
Meadow fescue for a lawn: characteristic and description
The herbaceous perennial has a short creeping rhizome. The aerial part is represented by an erect, with a weak foliage stalk part, the height of which does not exceed 1.2 m. Flat leaves have a characteristic roughness at the edges and in the upper part. The foliage of the plant is narrowly linear, with a width of not more than 0.3-0.5 cm. The base of the sheet plate has ears. The average panicle length varies between 6-20 cm.
One-sided panicle, compressed or spreading. Green spikelets may have a faint purple hue. The shape is linear-oblong. The length of the multicolor spikelet does not exceed one and a half centimeters. The lower flowering scales are characterized by a broad-lanceolate form, with a sharpening in the apical part. Flowering in the summer. The plant is widely used to create a lawn, and also has a high feed value, is able to withstand grazing and mowing well.
Advantages and disadvantages of meadow fescue
Increased demands are placed on lawn grasses, so they must have a number of qualitative characteristics. Fescue has a significant number of advantages, which did This plant is popular in landscape design:
- tight soil tightening in the first year of cultivation;
- creating a fluffy and even, continuous coating;
- fast germination, which allows you to get mass shoots about a week after sowing, and a full grass cover - no later than four weeks;
- the plant is ideally suited for creating a smooth lawn covering between garden plantings;
- with proper care and compliance with the cultivation technology, lawn grass does not lose decorative attractiveness and density for fifteen years or more;
- the plant has increased drought tolerance, is able to grow and develop well in open sunny areas, and also tolerates quite a couple of weeks without rain and irrigation.
Growing meadow fescue
Among other things, meadow fescue belongs to the category of unpretentious lawn grasses, and grows well not even on sandy soil and low-fertile soil.
However, it must be remembered that the culture does not tolerate trampling and is completely unsuitable for arranging playing areas and areas for outdoor activities. The bald spots formed during active use of the coating can dramatically worsen the appearance of the lawn in a short period of time. It is also very important to observe the sowing regimes and care rules.
Sowing is carried out in early spring, which allows the grass to form a strong root system. Besides, lawns created on the basis of meadow fescue need regular mowing. Otherwise, the plant forms hummocks and bald spots.
Use in grassy lawn mixtures
Depending on the purpose and features of the use of lawn cover, the percentage of meadow fescue in herbal mixtures may vary. Usually, This type of plant is used as a basis for other varieties of herbs. When using green cover when arranging zones for outdoor activities, the amount of fescue should be minimal.
The use of herbal mixtures for sowing for the purpose of border decoration and zoning of home gardens, fescue in the composition may prevail. Most often, fescue is mixed with ryegrass, as well as meadow bluegrass and white clover.
Rules for planting fescue grass
To create lawns in soil and climatic conditions on Herbal mixtures based on fescue and meadow bluegrass ideally fit the territory of the middle zone of our country, which are able to form a dense grass cover with bright green staining, and are also characterized by high rates of frost resistance and durability.
Fescue is an unpretentious, shade-tolerant, rapidly growing plant, and bluegrass gives the grass cover high decorative qualities. To get the highest quality lawn coverage, you must adhere to the basic simple rules.
In the area reserved for sowing lawn grass, it is necessary to carefully destroy all weed vegetation. For this purpose, you can use manual removal, deep cultivation, mulching, as well as soil treatment with chemical herbicidal agents.
The greatest efficiency is shown by the method of using chemical herbicides as which you can use "Roundup". Such a tool is able to penetrate through the tissues of plants to their root system, causing complete death in a couple of weeks. All dead weed grass must be carefully collected using a rake.
How to grow fescue from seeds
The soil under the lawn must be carefully dug to the depth of one bayonet shovel. In the process of deep digging, it is necessary to carefully select all the stones, plant residues and roots, as well as break up large earth clods, which will make the soil loose and as homogeneous as possible. It is necessary to level the surface with the help of a rake, removing all irregularities, pits and mounds.
Soils with neutral pH values are best suited for the quality growth and development of herbal mixtures. In the presence of soil with alkaline indicators, the introduction of peat chips will be required. If the soil is characterized by high acidity - lime is applied. To increase fertility, it is recommended to apply any organic matter that may be represented by compost, rotted manure or vermicompost. If necessary, a radical replacement of the topsoil is carried out fertile soil or special lawn soils with a sufficient content of peat, sand and mineral components.
Leveling and compaction
After carrying out cultivation and fertilizing, the soil surface must be carefully leveled with a rake, and then compacted with a garden roller or a round metal pipe. A rather heavy asbestos pipe or a hermetically sealed barrel filled with water can also become a good replacement for the roller.
Using a rake on the surface of a well-compacted soil, it is tedious to make even furrows with a depth of not more than one and a half centimeters in the direction along and across. It is necessary to sow the seeds of herbal mixtures, adhering to standard consumption rates, which are always indicated by the manufacturers on the packaging with seed material. When sowing, you should focus on the squares visually marked on the surface in order to facilitate sowing.
At the final stage, the seeds are sealed with a rake and the soil is re-compacted with a roller. The first irrigation measure is carried out using a sprayer, in the regime of fine irrigation.
Lawn care from meadow fescue
Standard care for the lawn surface based on meadow fescue is to implement fairly simple, but very important for preserving the decorative qualities of grass cover events:
- in March, it is necessary to conduct a visual inspection of the surface and, if necessary, minimize all irregularities in which melt water accumulates;
- in April, fertilizers with a high content of nitrogen, as well as potassium and phosphorus, are applied;
- in May, fertilization is carried out, consisting in the removal of all decayed and dry leaves, as well as felt, followed by cutting;
- in June, if necessary, re-mowing is performed, as well as leveling the borders of the lawn cover;
- in July and August it is necessary to monitor the external state of the coating, performing watering, top dressing and shearing as necessary.
What cereals are suitable for decorating the lawn
When preparing the lawn for winter, in the autumn period, grass cover is repaired, damaged areas are removed and seeds are sown in empty seats.