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Kentucky Blue Grass: It’s Not Just a Type of Musicfrom: Lawn and Garden Magic
Kentucky bluegrass is native to most of Europe, the northern parts of Asia, and the mountainous regions of Morocco and Algeria. The grass, though common now in the cool, humid areas of the United States, isn't actually native to North America. It came to this country 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 United States.
Kentucky bluegrass is one of the most recognized grasses in the United States. It grows from about one and one half to two feet in height and is recognizable by its boat shaped tipped blades. The growth of Kentucky bluegrass varies with the time of year and is triggered by the length of the days, rather than the temperature.
If you want to plant Kentucky bluegrass, be aware that it requires about 2 - 3 pounds of seed per 1,000 square feet of land. It can be seeded any time of the year, but will grow best if you plant in the spring or fall. Once planted, water your bluegrass at least a couple of times a day for the first two weeks, and perhaps three times, depending on the weather. You can cut back on the watering once the seeds start to produce visible sprouts.
Compared to 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 which 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. 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 quickly.
Kentucky bluegrass requires a fairly large amount of Nitrogen during most every year of its life. The first year you plant will likely require 5 or 6 pounds of nitrogen to grow properly. After that, you can likely get away with cutting back by about half. In order to avoid burning and to maintain convenience, you may want to use some type of slow release nitrogen source that can be applied more liberally and less frequently, making it an especially attractive option if you're a beginner in lawn care.
Like most pure bred lawn grasses, Kentucky bluegrass is susceptible to pests. Weed problems you may encounter includes 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, but be careful not to over do it. Bluegrass may also get hit with disease. To prevent this problem, 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 didn't have it tested ahead of time, your Kentucky bluegrass could develop iron chlorosis, which is yellowing between the veins of the grass.
Kentucky bluegrass, since the state is named for it and since it's found all over the United States, makes it one of the most well known grasses. It's 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 isn't as difficult to plant and maintain as its reputation sometimes implies. 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 should have a beautiful bluegrass lawn.
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