Seed
Vegetative Growth
Flowering Plant

Sheeps Fescue

Grass

(Festuca ovina)

The finest leaved and least aggressive fescue, it is found throughout the UK. It is hardy and drought resistant and will with-stand heavy grazing or close cutting, however it has a low forage yield. It is a useful species for providing a low growing, low maintenance green cover on difficult soils. It is one of the earlier fine fescues to flower in the spring.

Uses

Used in amenity mixtures requiring a low sward height and little maintenance. It is also used in mixtures of traditional grass species, to fill out the base of the sward and wild flower mixtures.

Persistence

It is a long term perennial species, surviving well on harsher sites.

Strengths

It is very hardy and drought resistant, it is slow growing and low in height, so it needs little maintenance. In upland areas when young its shoots are nutritious and it can tolerate close sheep grazing which means it may become a dominant species.

Frost Tolerance

Very hardy

Sowing Rate Advice

35kg per acre / 87.5kg per ha

It is a small and dense plant, which means each plant does not cover large areas of ground, hence the high sowing rate.

Mixture Sowing Rate Advice

1 - 2kgs per acre / 2.5 - 5kgs per ha

Ideal Sowing Time

Sow from May to Early autumn as it can be slow to establish before winter.

Management

Sheeps fescue is a dense plant, which will tolerate heavy grazing or mowing.

Distinguishing characteristics

Seed

Seed
Sheeps fescue is one of the larger amenity fescue grass seeds. It is thin and long in shape, sometimes an awn is present. It is beige in colour and 6mm in length.

Vegetative State

Flowering Plant

Flowering Plant
The leaves are dense and rough with a green to greyish colour and hairless, they are narrow and bristle like in length, running to pointed tips. As with many of the finer fescues the ligule is extremely short. The culms terminate to a close panicle, containing small oval spikelets (5mm in length). This species is not known for having rhizomes or runners. It is one of the lowest growing fescues, reaching between 10 - 40 cm in height.

Additional Info

Flowers May - July

Works well with

It works well as part of a mixture with other low and slow growing species like bentgrass and chewings fescue, for low maintenance amenity mixtures. However it is not often used in formal lawn situations because it does not leave a particularly fine finish.

You can find Sheeps Fescue in the following mixtures