Kentucky bluegrass, as a species of grass, is native to most of Europe, the northern parts of Asia, as well s the mountainous regions of Morocco and Algeria. The grass, though common now in the cool humid parts of the United States, is not even native to North America. It came to this country along with colonists from Europe, who brought grass seed mixtures. The species took to the climate of New England well, and is now found throughout much of the modern United States.
Kentucky bluegrass is one of the most recognizable grasses in the United States. It grows from about one and one half to two feet in height. It is recognizable because of its boat shaped tips on the blades. The growth of Kentucky bluegrass varies with the time of year and is triggered by the length of the days rather than the temperatures of the days.
If you wish to plant Kentucky bluegrass you must know that it requires approximately two to three pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet of land. Fortunately it can be seeded any time of the year, but will grow best if you plant in the spring or fall. Once planted, you should water your bluegrass at least a couple of times a day for the first two weeks, and maybe even three times depending on the weather. You can cut back on the watering once the seeds start to produce visible sprouts.
Compared to many other grasses, and specifically warm season grasses, Kentucky bluegrass requires a lot of water. To stay healthy it will need as much as two inches of water every week. That should keep the grass green and bright throughout the summer.
In order to help the roots to grow deeper and hardier, water no less than an inch on any single day of watering. If your Kentucky bluegrass happens to go dormant during a drought, it will need only about an inch of water every two or three weeks. That will keep the crowns of the grass alive so that when rainfall does come the grass will recover fast.
Kentucky bluegrass requires a fairly large amount of Nitrogen during most every year of its life. The first year, when you plant it, it will likely need five or six pounds of nitrogen to grow properly. After that, you can probably get away with cutting that back by about half.
In order to avoid burning and to maintain convenience, you may want to use some sort of slow release nitrogen source. It can be applied more liberally and less frequently, making it an especially attractive option if you are a beginner in lawn care.
Like most pure bred lawn grasses, Kentucky bluegrass is susceptible to pests. The weed problems you may encounter with your bluegrass are dandelions, clover, crabgrass, and annual bluegrass. These can generally be controlled with pre-emerge herbicides.
As far as insects, billbugs, sod webworms, and white grubs all enjoy a good Kentucky bluegrass meal. Monitor the insect situations diligently and apply pesticides in a timely manner, with care not to over do it.
Bluegrass may also get hit with disease. To prevent this problem, you can seed with a mixture added to your bluegrass or use varying strains of Kentucky bluegrass that have resistance to different diseases. If your soil happens to be alkaline, and you did not have it tested in advance, your Kentucky bluegrass could develop iron chlorosis, which is yellowing between the veins of the grass.
Kentucky bluegrass, because the state is named for it and because it can be found all over the United States, is one of the most well known grasses around. It is also very recognizable by its unique blade and bright color. Native to the middle United States where the weather is cool and humid, the grass is not as difficult to plant and maintain as its reputation would imply.
Plant your bluegrass in the correct density to ensure good cover, seed it either in the spring or the fall when the days are the proper length to ensure a good root system, and be sure to get the newly seeded area significant light, frequent water, and proper care and you can have a beautiful bluegrass lawn that you can be proud of.