There’s no question that Kentucky bluegrass is a prized turfgrass species. Not only does it have a beautiful, deep green color, but it’s also very versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes, from residential lawns to golf courses. If you’re thinking about planting Kentucky bluegrass seed, it’s important to know the facts about when and how to plant it for ultimate success!
So, when is the best time to plant Kentucky Bluegrass seed? The best time to plant is in the late fall or very early spring when the temperature begins to drop and rise respectively. It’s also important to plan if you want to grow Kentucky bluegrass for hay purposes because different varieties of the grass are better suited for either one. If you’re interested in planting Kentucky bluegrass for garden purposes, it’s best to plant during the fall as well.
The Best Time To Plant Kentucky Bluegrass Is…?
Although there isn’t an exact date when you should start planting, keep in mind that this type of grass grows quickly and will need at least a few months before temperatures start to rise back up into the teens or twenties. Some experts recommend giving your Kentucky bluegrass at least six months to grow before the weather gets too warm.
Let’s talk a bit more about why this is the best time and some other important things you’ll need to know before planting!
Planting Kentucky Bluegrass Seed in the Fall
You may think of spring as the time we plant everything. However, fall is actually the best time to plant Kentucky bluegrass seed. Especially if you want a beautiful lush lawn ready to enjoy in the spring and summer.
This is because by planting in the fall, your grass will have plenty of time to grow before winter arrives. Once temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, most varieties of this species go into a dormant stage.
This isn’t to say that you can’t plant in the spring – you absolutely can! – but be aware that your grass may not reach its full potential until the following year. Kentucky bluegrass is a hardy grass that can withstand colder temperatures, but it will still need some time to get established.
Planting In The Spring
As I said, you can plant this seed in the spring if you need to. If you can, plant in early spring, as the soil is still cool and the grass will have plenty of time to get established before the weather gets too hot.
You’ll also want to make sure there’s enough water available so your grass can get off to a good start. Typically late February is a good time.
Be aware that planting in the spring has its own set of challenges. For one, weed pressure tends to be higher in the spring. And since it’s still cool, the grass may not grow as quickly as you’d like. Make sure to give your grass a head start by mowing it a bit shorter than you would in the summer.
Prep For Planting
Before you can plant your seed, there are a few things you need to do.
- First, you’ll need to till the soil. This will loosen it up and help the grass seed germinate better. You can either do this by hand or with a machine.
- If your soil is particularly clayey, you may want to add some organic matter to it before tilling. This could be compost, manure, or peat moss. Doing this will improve the drainage and help your grass grow better.
- After tilling, use a rake to smooth out the soil so it’s nice and flat before planting your seed.
- Finally, you’ll want to use a stiff rake or drag mat to cover any areas that aren’t being seeded with grass seeds at this time. Doing this will help prevent weed growth.
Seeding The Lawn
Once you’ve done all your prep work, it’s time to plant the grass seed! There are a few ways to do this, but I’ll go over the most common way.
- First, spread out a thin layer of soil over the area that you’ve prepped. Then, make a small furrow in the center of your soil with a hoe or rake.
- You’ll want to plant the seed at a depth between ½ and 1 inch deep, so you can either measure this out with a ruler or mark it off on the ground using something like a yardstick.
- Once you’ve planted the seed, sow it evenly across your soil. You can do this by walking over the area with a drop spreader or box spreader. Then, use a hand rake to furrow the top of your soil again and make sure the seed is covered up well.
- Finally, water until it’s thoroughly wet using a garden hose.
That’s it! It may seem like a lot of work, but in the end, you’ll have a lush green lawn that your neighbors will envy.
Caring For Kentucky Bluegrass Seed
Once you’ve planted your grass seed, it’s important to keep it well-watered. You’ll want to water at least once a day, and more if the weather is hot or dry.
Mowing your grass when it’s first planted is also important. You’ll want to mow it at a height of 2-3 inches until it’s a few inches tall.
This type of grass seed will do well being fertilized two to three times a year. You can use a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10, or you can use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer like 21-0-0.
Other than that, just care for this grass as you would any other. Regular weeding and watering will go a long way to ensure a lovely lawn!
Different Varieties For Different Purposes
As I mentioned earlier, there are different varieties of Kentucky bluegrass that are better suited for different purposes.
If you’re looking to plant this grass for a hay field, make sure to choose a variety that is drought-resistant and can handle the higher temperatures.
If you’re planting for a home lawn, you may want to choose a variety that is cold-tolerant and has a thicker leaf blade. This will help your grass stand up to wear and tear.
No matter which variety you choose, make sure to read the instructions carefully so you know how to care for them. You will also want to check your planting zone for the best seed type for your area.
Why Choose Kentucky Bluegrass?
Perhaps you are wondering why you might choose this grass type. I’ll go over a few popular reasons people love this grass! This grass is known for its beautiful, bright green hue. It can be mowed short to resemble a putting green, or it can be left tall to provide more shade in your yard.
It’s also very durable and resilient – it will stand up well to wear and tear. This makes it the perfect option if you have children or pets who love to run and play outside.
Finally, Kentucky bluegrass is known for its drought resistance. If you live in an area where water conservation is important, this grass may be a good option for you.
Where Does It Get Its Name?
The name Kentucky Bluegrass comes from its beautiful, blue-green color. The word “blue” actually refers to the bluish-green hue of the plant.
Kentucky bluegrass is also named such because it was first discovered in Kentucky. There is a theory that this grass came from seeds that were spread by buffalo herds as they traveled around the area. Now, however, this grass is grown all across the United States.
Where Does Kentucky Bluegrass Grow Best?
This type of grass grows best in the eastern half of the United States. It does well in USDA zones 3-9. If you live in an area that is colder than zone 3, you can still plant this grass, but you will need to take measures to ensure it doesn’t freeze. You can either mulch it heavily or cover it with a tarp during the winter.
If you live in an area that is hotter than zone 9, this grass may not be the best option for you. However, there are other types of drought-resistant grasses available that may be a better fit.
The best time to plant a Kentucky Bluegrass seed is also dependent on your location. In the northern states, fall is the best time to plant because the ground stays cooler for a longer period of time however in southern states, springtime may be a better option as it’s closer to the optimal planting time and Kentucky Bluegrass seed germinates well in warmer weather.
I hope this article has helped you learn more about Kentucky Bluegrass. It’s beautiful turfgrass that can grow practically anywhere. As long as you follow the advice in this article, you’ll have a lovely lawn to be proud of!
Again, the best time to plant Kentucky Bluegrass seed is fall. This way the soil has time to recover with warmth before winter which will encourage growth faster than springtime seeding. Good luck, and enjoy your new lawn!