Kentucky Bluegrass


Seeding Rate:  3 Lbs./1000 Sq. Ft. or 130 Lbs./acre 

Germination Time:  14 – 21 days

Kentucky Bluegrasses are notoriously slow to germinate and establish.   While some varieties establish more quickly than others, they all take a longer time relative to other turfgrasses.  For this reason they are often used in combination with quicker to establish Perennial Ryegrasses and/or Fescues.  


Kentucky Bluegrass varieties vary greatly in their ability to thrive under shaded conditions.  For the most part, Kentucky Bluegrasses are not considered to be shade tolerant grasses, however, certain varieties hold up very well in shaded locations.  A higher height of cut will provide more leaf surface area, which increases photosynthesis and allows the plants to have a better chance of persisting in the shade.  


Kentucky Bluegrasses are widely adapted and prefer well drained soils with a pH of 6 – 7.  Under low maintenance, some varieties can get by with 1 lb. of nitrogen/1000 sq. ft. annually, but all are very happy under high maintenance regimes receiving up to 5 lbs. of nitrogen annually.  Kentucky bluegrasses use large amounts of water and prefer to be irrigated, but are able to survive periods of drought stress by going into dormancy.   Typical cutting heights are 3/4″ to 4″.


Kentucky Bluegrasses are moderately tolerant to traffic, recovering quickly from injury due to their rhizomatous nature which allows the plants to send up tillers from the mother plant to fill in any gaps. There is wide variation in wear tolerance between varieties as some are more aggressive than others.  Under higher traffic, irrigation is needed to prevent drought stress and an aggressive fertilization program is typically used under these conditions. 


Kentucky Bluegrasses use a large amount of water and prefer to be irrigated, but are able to survive through periods of drought by going into dormancy.  Additional stresses such as a close height of cut or a higher traffic situation will warrant supplemental irrigation to prevent dormancy.  While there are some varietal differences, Kentucky Bluegrasses in general are not considered highly drought tolerant.

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