Comparing Fescue and Buffalograss - Knowledgebase Question

Fort Collins, CO
Question by tpetrie
February 1, 1998
We've recently moved to Fort Collins from the east coast. We've been told our lawn is fescue but it also seems to resemble what we know as buffalograss. Are the both names for the same thing? What's the proper care and maintenance of fescue?


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Answer from NGA
February 1, 1998

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Buffalo grass spreads by underground runners (called "stolons"), and fescues do not, as they spread by seed only. That's the main characteristic you can use to tell them apart. It also depends on what you "know as buffalograss". It's a popular turfgrass in the south, but not so in the northeast.

If your lawn is fescue, you're in luck, because fescues are low-maintenance, drought and disease-resistant, high-performance grasses. Tall fescue varieties require around 2lbs of nitrogen/1000 square feet, and fine fescues need only half that! But before you start a feeding program, have your lawn soil tested by the extension service to find out what else the soil needs. The soil test will include fertilizer recommendations. Hope this helps!

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