Kentucky bluegrass lawns typically require more fertilizer than tall fescue and other grasses. In alkaline soils, blades can lose their rich green color due to pH-induced iron deficiency. The optimal soil pH for KBG lawns is near 5.8 to 7.0. 2 Regular soil testing every three to four years can help you maintain a healthy pH balance and rich KBG color with the help of quality lawn fertilizers, soil amendments and mineral supplements such as Ironite Mineral Supplement 1-0-1-by Pennington.
For many lawn owners in the United States, Kentucky bluegrass is synonymous with the ideal lawn. When given its preferred growing conditions and proper care, this grass produces a dense, lush, durable lawn that lives up to its reputation. However, Kentucky bluegrass doesn’t do it on its own. This grass requires a relatively high level of maintenance to look its best, but results can be worth it. Depending on your grass growing region and your lawn care goals, Kentucky bluegrass may be a perfect choice for you.
Kentucky bluegrass is what’s known as a perennial, cool-season lawn grass. This means it comes back year after year and grows most vigorously during the cool seasons of fall and spring. KBG has the greatest cold hardiness of all the common cool-season lawn grasses. 3 It’s used most extensively in northern climates where moderately warm summers and cold winters align with its natural preferences and growth cycle.
Like other cool-season grasses, Kentucky bluegrass should be mowed higher than warm-season grasses. Warm-season Bermudagrass, for example, is routinely kept near 1 inch tall, but KBG should be mowed to 2 to 2 1/2 inches high. During periods of high heat and lower rainfall, recommended KBG mowing heights increase to 3 to 4 inches.
Kentucky bluegrass establishes easily from seed, but it germinates more slowly than some other cool-season grasses. Fast-growing perennial ryegrass, for example, germinates in one-third the time of KBG. Unlike bunch-forming grasses, such as tall fescue and ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass is a self-spreading, sod-forming grass. 4 Once established, it spreads readily via underground stems (known as rhizomes) to form a dense, thick turf. This aggressive growth habit gives KBG the capacity to recuperate quickly from damage.
2. Patton, A. and Boyd J., “Choosing a Grass for Arkansas Lawns,” University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension.
1. Duble, R.L., “Kentucky Bluegrass,” Texas A&M Agrilife Extension.
Ironite is a trademark of Central Garden & Pet Company.
When your lawn goals call for a dense, durable, cool-season lawn with luxuriant color, Kentucky bluegrass may be the answer to your hopes.