Kentucky 31 is a variety of tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) found in pastures and meadows. Farmers' livestock graze on this perennial grass, which is found in the southeastern United States and areas throughout Europe.
Dr. E.N Fergus of the University of Kentucky discovered Kentucky 31 after observing an unknown variety of tall fescue growing in a Kentucky farm pasture. Dr. Fergus collected, tested and eventually sold the seed to farmers in 1943.
The 7-millimeter long, egg-shaped Kentucky 31 seeds are planted in the spring at a rate of 6 pounds per 1,000 square feet, according to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. The seeds mature in the summer, sprouting glossy, dark green blades approximately 4 inches long.
Kentucky 31 thrives in well-drained, heavy clay and sandy soils.
Kentucky 31 is mowed when it reaches a height of 3 inches. Water is given once every two weeks, and fertilizer is applied in the summer to prevent crabgrass.
The "31" in Kentucky 31 refers to the year, 1931, when the grass was discovered.
- University of Kentucky College of Agriculture; Selecting the Right Grass for Your Kentucky Lawn; A.J. Powell Jr.
- Texas AgriLife Extension Service - Texas A&M System; Tall Fescue; Richard L. Duble, Turfgrass Specialist
- North Carolina State University and A&T State University Cooperative Extension: Kentucky 31 Tall Fescue's Past
- Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
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