Creeping red fescue is a long-lived perennial but the seed production life of a stand is typically short, lasting one or two years. On rare occasions a third year may be harvested. Creeping red fescue seed is used for turf, forage and reclamation purposes. The largest end use is for amenity purposes like lawns, parks, fairways and playgrounds.
Creeping red fescue must be established in fields as free of perennial weeds and other volunteer grass crops as possible. It can be grown on a wide range of soil types including clay, loam and sandy loam soils when moisture is adequate. It tolerates soil acidity well and is somewhat tolerant to soil salinity. Creeping red fescue will tend to perform best in areas that receive high levels of precipitation, especially when the precipitation is received in the fall or early spring. It’s extremely important to review your past cropping history and herbicide use as creeping red fescue seedlings can be seriously injured by residues of herbicides applied in previous years.
Quackgrass, cleavers and wild oats are the most difficult weeds in creeping red fescue. All of these difficult weeds can be controlled by herbicides. There is a wide selection of herbicides to control most broadleaf and grassy weeds.
Most conventional seeding equipment can be used. Seeding rates vary from 1 – 5 lbs/acre.
Swathing is typically the third or fourth week of July and is generally 20 – 30 days after pollination. Timing of swathing is field dependent and seed head stage should be monitored often so as not to swath too early or too late. Seed moisture should be 12.5% or less before harvesting unless it is aerated without heat.
Seed yields vary depending on the age of the field and moisture conditions. A typical average yield will be between 300 – 500 lbs/acre. Exceptional years can produce 1,000 lbs/acre plus.