Kentucky Bluegrass

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Kentucky Bluegrass

This turfgrass is native to most of Europe and northern Asia. It is not native to the North American region even though it is very common all over the cool, humid parts of the U.S. It is not a good grass for the South except some of the higher elevation areas and northern transition zones. Under proper growing conditions Kentucky bluegrass is known for its dark green, dense, and medium texture which makes up what most consider the ideal lawn.

There are over 100 cultivars or varieties of this turfgrass spanning a development period of 25 years. Many of these cultivars differ in their strengths which can make selecting a blend of 3 types for spreading Kentucky bluegrass seed. Spread at least 2 to 3 pounds of grass seed per 1,000 sq. ft. of lawn space. This will ensure a proper cover of germination. It is a grass type that is not well-suited for overseeding. Another method of establishment can be planting Kentucky bluegrass sod on prepared soil.

Facts & Pictures

Weaknesses: It is intolerant to summer heat and is prone to lawn disease. It is also very susceptible to crabgrass, dandelions, and clover. These can be controlled with a preemergent herbicide.

Shade Tolerance: It tolerates shade well in the upper South.

Water Needs: Average to high.

Fertilizer Needs: Two to four pounds of nitrogen a year per 1,000 square feet.

Mowing Height: Two to three inches or higher.

Scientific name: Poa pratensis


Avoid using high nitrogen fertilizers and mowing frequently with a close cut. These can cause great decline in the root growth of Kentucky bluegrass.

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