Sheeps fescue (festuca ovina) is fine leaved and the least aggressive fine fescue 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 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 a sward and wildflower mixtures. Its shoots are nutritious and can tolerate close sheep grazing which means it may become a dominant species.
When to sow: Recommended to sow from May to early autumn as it can be slow to establish before winter.
Sowing Rates: 8.75 g/m2 - 35kg per acre - 87.5kg per ha
Preparation: A fine but firm seedbed should be created, care should be taken to remove any weeds from the area. Once sown the area should be lightly raked over to cover the seed and well consolidated with a roller to encourage maximum seed to soil contact and conserve moisture. Seedbeds should not be left unconsolidated and if you leave a footprint on a newly sown area it should be rolled again.
Sowing: Broadcast the seed then roll to consolidate the seedbed.
Management: Sheeps fescue is a dense plant which will tolerate heavy grazing or mowing. Regular cutting will help to encourage tillering and create a dense sward.
Date Posted: 20th January 2023