KC Gardens

Tall Fescue resistant to brown spot & shade tolerant


I have been frustrated for years trying to grow grass on my shady, clay lawn in Baltimore Maryland. I have been told that Tall Fescue grass is the only suitable type for this climate, and to avoid excess moisture, water only in the early morning when needed, avoid excess nitrogen fertilizer and avoid summer fertilization. The grass grows beautifully in the spring, but brown patch and wilting destroy the lawn every summer. I am not willing to apply repeated heavy fungicide. Can you recommend an extraordinary brown patch and disease resistant Tall Fescue for my lawn? There are endless varieties and conflicting recommendations. Any other recommendations or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, as well as any way to mitigate the apparent soil retention of the fungus year after year, possibly made worse by poor management years ago. - Greg


  1. 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    We would suggest that you contact your local Master Gardener and extension office experts to receive the best information on grass and lawn diseases in your area of the Unites States. We focus on the regional area in the center of the country.

    Montgomery County Maryland Master Gardeners can be contacted by phone at 301 590-9650 and through e-mail at mgmont@umd.edu. You can also contact a University of Maryland resource that provides advice for homeowners at 1-800-342-2507.

    Thanks for your question.

    Carol F.

    Johnson County Kansas Extension Master Gardener.

  2. 6 months, 2 weeks ago

    Greg - brown patch is also a major issue here in the KC area. Our hot nights and humidity gets us in trouble. While there are reported varieties of tall fescue to be less susceptible to brown patch I know of no resistant variety. So that means you are stuck with cultural practices. But that fails. Chemical fungicide treatments might be the best option.

    Another thought - Maryland? Really no bluegrass? I would think with your higher rainfalls and cooler nights off the ocean you would be able to grow bluegrass. Of course it also has other issues.

    Dennis - Johnson County Extension

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