One of the most popular choices for lawns, parks, and sports fields, Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) creates a dense, durable green carpet that recovers easily from wear and tear. Its rich color and ability to remain hardy and healthy makes it a preferred pick for homeowners, who love how it lends their lawn plenty of curb appeal. This cool-season grass gets its name from the state of Kentucky, but is found in lawns throughout the Midwest and Northeast of the United States. Find out now what you need to know about building a beautiful Kentucky bluegrass lawn.
Characteristics of Kentucky Bluegrass
Kentucky bluegrass has boat-shaped blades that are deep green in color and sometimes tinged with a faint blue hue. The attractive looking turfgrass is comfortable underfoot with a medium to fine texture. Considered a perennial, cool-season lawn grass, it stays hardy year after year, more often than other common cool-season lawn grasses. This grass type grows mostly in the spring and fall, and slows down during the hot summer months. In extreme temperatures or drought conditions, the grass goes dormant. However, its hardiness helps it perk back up to a healthy state quickly, once the weather or watering conditions improve. There are more than 100 varieties of Kentucky bluegrass that vary in color, thickness, and durability. It thrives in sunny locations with moist, well-drained soil.
Tips for Mowing and More
Follow these tips to keep your Kentucky bluegrass lawn lush and healthy.
- Don’t remove more than one third of the grass blade height during one mowing.
- Kentucky bluegrass responds best to being cut between two to three inches high. The exact height depends on the variety.
- Give established lawns roughly an inch of water per week during the growing seasons, taking into consideration rainfall that week.
- Always keep mower blades clean and sharpened.
- Apply slow-release fertilizer using a rotary spreader three or four times a year during the growing season. Water immediately after application.
- If thatch, the layer of dead grass and debris on top of the turf, is more than half an inch thick, dethatch or aerate during the growing season.
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