Kentucky Bluegrass

Uses

Kentucky bluegrass can be used for home lawns, recreational areas and is an excellent turf for athletic fields and golf courses. Depending on variety, it can have a low to high maintenance requirement but does make an attractive lawn. Kentucky bluegrass can be grown alone or in combination with other turfgrasses. The most commonly used turfgrasses in mixtures with Kentucky bluegrass are perennial ryegrass, tall fescue and fine fescue. Because of the ability to form a dense sod, it is commonly used in sod mixtures with tall fescue.

Description

Kentucky bluegrass, Poa pratensis L., is a cool season, perennial turfgrass. Kentucky bluegrass spreads by rhizomes and tillers, which allow it to form a dense sod. It will grow in full sun to partial shade and has excellent mowing quality. With a dark green color and a fine leaf texture, Kentucky bluegrass has excellent wear and cold tolerance and moderate resistance to heat and drought. In extreme periods of heat and drought, Kentucky bluegrass will go dormant with growth continuing when moisture becomes available and temperatures subside.

Adaptation

Kentucky bluegrass is adapted throughout Canada down though the transition zone and into higher elevations in the southern United States.

Establishment

  • Adjust soil pH 6.0-7.0 (optimum for performance and persistence)
  • Use herbicides if necessary. Follow label directions and precautions
  • Soil Type: Preferably fertile, moist, well drained soils
  • Fertilizer: Refer to soil test, responds well to nitrogen
  • Seed bed:  Prepare a fine, granular and firm seed bed to assure good seed to soil contact
  • Seeding Rate:
    New Lawn: 1-3 lbs./1000 square feet
    Overseeding Existing Lawn: 0.5-1.0 lbs./1000 square feet
  • Seeding Date: Spring or early fall
  • Seeding Depth: ¼ inch

Management

  • Mowing Height: 2-3 inches
  • Fertility: 2-6 lbs. N/1000 square feet/year
  • Apply fertilizer in split applications
  • Irrigation: Irrigation may be necessary to ensure survival during periods of extended drought
  • Weed Control: Apply pre-emergent and post emergent herbicides at labeled rates to control weeds.
  • Disease Control: Apply fungicides at labeled rates to control disease
  • Insect Control: Apply insecticides at labeled rates to control insects