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Strong Creeping Red Fescue

Strong creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra rubra)

Strong creeping red fescue is the most widely used of the fescue species. It is used in a wide range of situations, from golf course fairways to lawns and through to playing fields. Its main attribute is its drought tolerance and its creeping growth habit which means it can regenerate and recover from damage. As with other fescue species it is not tolerant of high wear and should therefore be mixed with perennial ryegrass when wear tolerance is required.

Key Characteristics 

  • Fine, needle-like leaves                               
  • Tolerant of dry soil conditions
  • Slow growing                               
  • Widely used in many different mixtures
  • Creeping growth habit                                             
  • Commonly used on golf fairways

Sowing times

Strong creeping red fescue grass seed requires constant soil temperatures of 10 degrees Celsius for optimum germination. In the UK this would typically be between April and early October.

Germination time

Strong creeping red fescue grass seed would normally germinate in 14-21 days, subject to conditions.

What is strong creeping red fescue used for?

Golf Greens:

Strong creeping red fescue is not used on golf greens due to it not producing the required density at the low heights of cut required to create a smooth putting surface.

Golf Fairways:

Strong creeping red fescue is widely used in grass seed mixtures for golf course fairways. It is tolerant of a broad range of conditions, is slower growing and is able to creep and recover from damage – making it ideal for divot recovery. 

Bowling Greens:

As with golf greens, strong creeping red fescue is not often used in mixtures for bowling greens as its close relatives slender creeping red fescue and Chewings fescue outperform it.

General lawn and landscaping:

Strong creeping red fescue is found in most lawn and landscaping mixtures often alongside other fescues and perennial ryegrass. Strong creeping red fescue is also widely used in mixtures where it is important for loose soil to be stabilised, such as road embankments. The creeping (rhizomatous) growth habit of strong creeping red fescue makes it ideal for use on steep embankments where it is important to stabilise the soil and prevent erosion.