How to Grow Kentucky Bluegrass

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Kentucky bluegrasses spread via an underground rhizome system.
Kentucky bluegrasses spread via an underground rhizome system. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

You can find Kentucky bluegrass lawns in many areas of the United States, although it is not native anywhere in North America. Early American settlers brought Kentucky bluegrass seeds to the American colonies. Kentucky bluegrass is a cool-season grass which thrives in the cool, humid areas of the U.S. Kentucky bluegrass does best in full sun and well-drained soil. It is very hardy, but will not grow in soil which is too acidic or alkaline.

Things You'll Need

  • Rototiller
  • Rake
  • Seed spreader

Till your yard with a rototiller in the fall. Remove any weeds or old grass in the tilled soil with a garden rake.

Spread the Kentucky bluegrass seed with a seed spreader. Spread 2 to 3 lbs. of seeds per every 1000 square feet of yard. Go over your yard twice with the seed spreader, once in a horizontal direction and once in a vertical direction.

Water your lawn two to three times per day prior to seed germination. Kentucky bluegrass is a very slow growing grass. It may take two to three weeks for you to see the seeds begin to sprout. Once the seeds begin to sprout cut watering down to once a day. Provide Kentucky bluegrass with about 1 inch of water per week if it doesn't rain.

Mow the lawn when the grass is more than 2 inches high. Do not attempt to mow the lawn shorter than 2 inches. Kentucky bluegrass which is cut too low is at risk for weed invasion. Always use a mower with sharp blades to cut young grass.

Fertilize the grass with a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer once during the first year. Apply the fertilizer to an established lawn only during the fall. Do not fertilize Kentucky blue grass in the spring time.

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