RTF Tall Fescue Seed
Fescue grass has long been the first choice for the homeowners of Australia’s cooler regions. A cool-season all-rounder that is as good-looking as it is tough, it has proven itself over the years as one of the very best choices for Australia’s unique conditions.
Unlike other Tall Fescues, RTF® Tall Fescue is a self-repairing Tall Fescue seed. It is extremely durable, dense, and dark green in color and can withstand stressful weather conditions including frost and drought.
RTF® Tall Fescue is recognized as being more drought tolerant than most other species due to its deep rooting ability. Once the grass is mature its roots can dig as deep as 2 meters/6 feet, tapping into the water underneath the ground not normally available to other varieties and species.
RTF® lawn is best suited to shady conditions and can struggle in full sun in the summer months, especially if the lawn is planted in late spring/summer. Hence it is important to keep the lawn watered over the summer months in extremely hot conditions.
We recommend that you plant RTF in Autumn, which allows the roots to develop over winter, resulting in a stronger lawn for the summer.
Each bag contains only RTF Tall Fescue seed. At sowing an application of a quality starter fertilizer is vital for strong plant and root development.
If water restrictions and local drought conditions cause you to panic about maintaining green grass during the summer months, then RTF® is for you!
- New Lawns: 30 grams per square meter (3kg/100m2).
- Overseeding: 20 grams per square meter (2kg/100m2).
Please note: There are currently quarantine restrictions for seeds being sent to TAS and WA.
Tasmanian customers: RTF is unable to be sent to TAS due to Quarantine restrictions. An alternative is Turf Type Tall Fescue. When placing an online order, please document ‘ATT: TAS Biosecurity’ in the ‘Company’ section above the address line to enable faster processing of your seed through quarantine.
WA customers: RTF is unable to be sent to WA. Please contact McKays Seeds through the Contact Us link or via phone to discuss your options. Quarantine fees apply for seed inspection.
For more information see below tabs ‘Description’ and ‘Features’ to see if this grass suits you!
RTF Tall Fescue is set apart from other fescues due to its ability to repair itself. It is less prone to diseases and pests than other varieties. In the cooler climates, it can survive without irrigation due to its deep rooting ability. It is not as drought tolerant as warm-season grasses such as Buffalo and Couch, however, it is one of the most drought tolerant cool-season grasses making it ideal for the cool yet dry areas of Southern SA and WA. On top of the drought tolerance, the general hardiness of RTF Tall Fescue is almost impossible to beat. The ability to cope with stiff frosts makes it an ideal candidate for Victoria and Tasmania.
Optimal pH: Tall Fescue grows best in soils with a pH of 5.5-7.5.
Sowing Tips: Broadcast the seed at, or near, the soil surface and incorporate lightly with raking. To ensure the best coverage and avoid seed wastage we recommend using an appropriate seed spreader for the size of your area. The soil must remain damp throughout the germination period of both seeds and must be maintained for at least 1-2 weeks after sowing, through irrigation or natural rainfall. Adequate water supplies need to be maintained until the grass is fully established. RTF Tall Fescue benefits from periodic overseeding to keep the density and to avoid a clumpy appearance.
Optimal Planting Time: We recommend that you plant RTF in Autumn, which allows the roots to develop over winter, which will result in a stronger lawn for the summer.
Germination: 14-21 days, climate, and condition dependent. It has a bunch forming growth habit.
Water: Keep moist until the roots are well established. Once the grass is mature its roots can dig as deep as 2m/6 feet, tapping into the water underneath the ground not normally available to other varieties and species. In cooler climates, it does not usually require irrigation.
Please Note: This grass will need significant watering during Summer and on unseasonably hot days. It tends to burn and die off during very hot temperatures when not watered adequately.
Fertilizing: Another aspect of fescue’s hardiness is the fact that it isn’t really bothered by poor soil. Like any grass, if you give it ideal conditions and a fertilized, nitrogen-rich soil with a neutral pH it will obviously look its best, but it is not a required aspect of your lawn maintenance routine.
First Mowing: When grass is approximately 7cm tall. This should indicate that the roots are established enough to withstand the mowing process. Shaded areas may require the grass to be kept slightly longer to aid photosynthesis in diminished light areas.
Mowing Frequency: Fescue grass isn’t a particularly quick grower, so you won’t need to get the mower out as often as other varieties. Cut it relatively high (between 7cm and 10cm), as mowing any lower can expose the sod, drying it out. This may result in bare patches forming in your lawn.
Disadvantages of RTF:
- Good soil drainage is required to avoid disease.
- Can feel bristly and not as soft as other grass varieties.
- Cutting too low can dry out the sod.
- Requires more watering in Summer than warm-season grass varieties.
Seed & package details: 100% RTF Tall Fescue.
Independently Tested: 80% Min Germination, 98% purity. A seed testing certificate is available upon request.
Where can I sow this grass in Australia? Areas 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Shade Tolerance: Excellent
Drought Tolerance: Good
Traffic Tolerance: Excellent
Frost Tolerance: Excellent
Warm season grasses thrive during the warmer months in Spring and Summer and may go dormant in cooler climates through winter.
Cool season grasses thrive during the cooler months in Winter
Shade tolerance (Weather)
- Full Sun
- Part Shade
- Heavy Shade
- Full Shade
Drought tolerance (Weather)
Traffic tolerance (Weather)
Average days to germination
- 2-3 Weeks
- 2-4 Weeks
- 3-4 Weeks
Free Shipping On All Orders Over $75
We provide free standard delivery shipping for all orders where the total cart value exceeds $75.00 AUD
Australia Wide (except Western Australia)
Flat rate of $9 (for orders under $75).
Orders are dispatched within 24 hours via regular Australia post (3-5 Business days).
In a hurry? Express shipping is available at checkout.
Due to quarantine restrictions, we have a different product range available for
If you are shopping for delivery to WA, please view our WA site here
Pick-up Not Available
Sorry, we are not able to offer local pick-up.
Unfortunately we are not able to ship internationally.
RTF Tall Fescue lawn update in winter. Kids play netball on grass and grass holding up well. Grass only mowed twice since Autumn planting.
I have topdressed and sown a mix of RTF and Perennial ryegrass and am very happy with the cover and brilliant green colour. Hopefully this will continue when the shade increases from our large tree.
We've purchased another lot of RTF Tall Fescue seed for our small garden in filtered light as the first planting went well. Unfortunately our labrador thinks it's great for urinating on, hence the need for resowing. It's a very lush-looking green and regenerates well - despite the lab! Delivery was prompt and efficient.
I received great advice when making seed selection.
Seeds were delivered in a timely manner.
Sowing instructions provided with the seed order were clear and helpful.
Germination occurred over 2-4 weeks (as advised).
Some areas germinated earlier than others based on amount of shade/sun exposure.
After 8 weeks - new lawn growing strongly - see attached photos: Day 1 vs. Week 8.
I may need to oversow a "few" patchy areas that are in heavily shaded areas. However, I'll wait to see if it "thickens" up over the next 3-4 months
Great result. Really happy with product and ongoing advice.
If you are thinking to seed yr lawn you can talk to McKay (they call back promptly) and they will help you choose the right variety and coach you. The service is great. The seeds arrive promptly and now I have beautiful green grass coming through. Very happy. For me it was a much better option that turf.