Blue fescue is a hardy, ornamental grass that is typically used to edge flowerbeds or driveways. This low maintenance plant consists of very fine, almost hair-like blue-gray leaves that grow in mounds a foot wide and about a foot tall and grows flattened, tan, long flowers from mid summer until snowfall. Purchasing established plants from a nursery to grow in your garden could be fairly expensive; therefore it is best to start the blue fescue from seeds.
Follow these steps to grow this plant in your garden for a splash of color.
Step 1 – Purchase Seeds and Pots
Purchase blue fescue seeds from your local nursery or garden center, and peat pots with adequate drainage holes in the bottom. You can start the seeds indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost to transplant outdoors early spring for a head start, or plant them directly outdoors once the danger of the last frost has passed.
Step 2 – Fill Pots
Fill each pot with good quality potting soil till an inch or two below the rim and plant six to eight seeds an inch deep in it, placing them an inch or two apart. If planting outdoors, make sure the area receives full sunlight and is weed free. Loosen the soil to aerate it and remove any rocks or debris from the site. Plant each seed an inch deep into the soil to ensure good seed to soil contact, and space the seeds eight to ten inches apart. Backfill the seeds with soil.
Step 3 – Water the Seeds
Water the soil, whether it is outside or in the container, frequently to keep it sufficiently moist. Do not over water because you could cause the delicate seeds to wash away. Once the blue fescue germinates, water it when only the soil feels dry.
Step 4 – Transplant the Seedlings
Once the seedlings are two inches tall, transplant them outdoors to a well-drained sunny spot in your garden. Dig a hole in the ground bigger than the width of the container but the same depth. Remove any weeds, rocks or debris that come in your way.
Weeds compete with blue fescue, so make sure you remove all from the planting side by pulling them with their roots or spraying them with commercial weed killer a week before transplanting the blue fescue seedlings outside. Remove the blue fescue from the pot and gently place it in the hole, spreading its roots to encourage growth. Space another seedling eight to 10 inches away, and water the soil so it is evenly moist.
Do not be disheartened if your seedlings are green in color instead of blue. This grass will eventually turn blue as it absorbs the sun and grows.
Step 5 – Caring for Blue Fescue
Apply a layer of mulch over the soil to retain moisture and prevent weeds from growing there. Trim the young plants by clipping their tops to encourage a bushy growth.
Cut the grass to three inches high in late winter or early spring to encourage new growth. Blue fescue will die after two to three years, and should be divided to maintain its shape.