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Kentucky Bluegrass Seed Characteristics
Kentucky Bluegrass seeds are smaller then some other varieties of grass seed but can be
easily sown. Most Bluegrass seed sold
today are sold as BLENDS of several different varieties of this species. The seed in these
blends are chosen for their complimentary features to improve the natural characteristics
Grass Seed blends enable the grass planted to handle a wider range of
tolerances to conditions such as shade, drought, heat, insects and disease. By using
a blend of at least 3 bluegrass varieties, you can usually avoid problems in your Bluegrass lawn that could result in the
death of a single variety of grass. Bluegrass takes time to
germinate ( up to 2 to 5 weeks) and grow into a lawn. Perennial Ryegrass is often added as an
important component of establishing a Bluegrass lawn. If a pure bluegrass
lawn is desired, keep the % of ryegrass less than 15% (by
Grass Seed Blends, Mixes, Blended Mixes, Mixed Blends Explained
Grass seed can be obtained in blends, mixes (mixtures), blended mixes and mixed blends. This is
often very confusing to the layperson and we hope to clear this up for you here.
easy way to remember which one is which, is thinking of a group of
blood relatives choosing a two or three individuals representing the
best characteristics of the family group. This is a blend. A blend of grass seed contains the same grass species. A Kentucky Bluegrass Blend would be comprised of different varieties
of the same species.
A mix is similar to throwing a party and inviting people completely
blood but having compatible natures to enjoy each others company. Thus a Kentucky Bluegrass Mixture would be comprised of Kentucky Bluegrass and other grass species that compliment
A mixed blend is two or three relatives of one blood line meeting two or three
relatives from another group and having a mixer and getting along real well. They are
compatible and yet different. Thus a Kentucky Bluegrass mixed blend would contain 2 or more varieties of bluegrass with 2 or more varieties of another grass species that has
characteristics that compliment the bluegrass.
Often in media information, you will see the terms
used loosely ... with a blend called a mixture or a mixture called a
blend.... so it often can get even more confusing. We hope the above example clears this up for you.
Mixtures: --- Mixtures are very popular with Bluegrasses as adding in Perennial Ryegrass
can speed coverage with a grass, while the addition of fine fescues can help where shady conditions may hinder Bluegrass from doing its best. Three of our most popular mixtures are
Seedland's Elite Bluegrass Mixture, Mid America
Shade and Seedland Blue Mix.
Seeding Rates & Germination For Kentucky Bluegrass
- Lawns: 1-3 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.
Recommended planting rate: 3 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft for new lawns.
One acre requires 45-135 lbs. acre.
- Over-seeding: Apply at about 1/2 rate - 1˝ lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.
- Pasture Rate: 5-20 lbs. acre
- Bluegrass can take up to 2 to 5 weeks to germinate according to planting date & environmental conditions
planting rates can be lower, but even pastures need the thickest stand possible especially in the
beginning. Bluegrass seed mixes are often seeded at 3-5 lbs per 1000 sq.ft.
Kentucky Bluegrass can be overseeded at the rate of 1/2 to 1 pound per 1000 square feet.
EasySeed 1-2-3 Steps To Planting Bluegrass Seed
The first question
that must be answered is are you overseeding your lawn or "starting from
scratch"? A decision must be made to either plant within an existing lawn or to
till up your lawn area so that no weeds or grasses are
left living in the area to be planted. Of course a new lawn planting will most likely be the ideal situation. That is to have tilled soil for the area
where you will establish a lawn grass from seed.
Why Ideal? Because existing plants
that are directly next to (6 inches or closer) of where you are trying to establish other
grass plants from seed, provide competition to your seeds by consuming sunlight &
plant nutrients. This competition by existing plants means some plants simply won't
survive the additional stress imposed by these adult plants. Also, eliminating
the existing "old" grasses, means that you will be able to establish the proper
mix ratio and variety types for your new cool season lawn.
BLUEGRASS - BUT WHAT IF I JUST WANT A BETTER LAWN?
Overseeding is generally done for the purpose of improving the existing lawn, to thicken the density; and add new variety characteristics for disease and insect resistance or climatic extension of the area of adaptation. The purpose is just to improve the existing stand areas of Bluegrass. --- Seeding also helps to reduce or eliminate weeds or undesired grasses.
Bluegrass lawn maintenance helps to deter loss of plant material. But thinning coverage can be due
to many reasons. Climate being one of the main culprits. Overseeding one of the easiest
methods to correct this problem. Cutting small sections of sod may be an option for
First: Decide if you will till the soil (So as to kill all the
existing plants by plowing up your site!) or just plant within the existing grass. Also decide on the
variety of bluegrass to plant. And if you
will plant a mixture of Bluegrass with other lawn grasses such as RED Fescue & Ryegrass. This (3 way mixture) is often used in spring
plantings of a mixed Bluegrass lawn.
|I will TILL my site and start Fresh!
I will NOT TILL my
site - I want to overseed my existing lawn.
Planting Bluegrass Seed & NOT TILLING
You are not tilling the soil - and are planting
seeds within the existing grass & weeds;
Note: Bluegrass may have thin spots over time, so overseeding helps to thicken the turf in
those areas to achieve higher plant density.
your lawn as close as possible and remove the
excess clippings with an iron-rake that will also
scratch your site soil, preparing a home for the
(2) Next if at
all possible AERATE your lawn with a spike aerator.
Planting without aerating does not allow of good
soil contact of your Bluegrass seed. Aerate
by traveling first North to South and then East to
West (two trips across lawn). Then sow (broadcast) your
on the area to be planted generally in the early
fall (Aug - Sept) for your best results. Spring
(before May) seeding can also be done with
Bluegrass. Some people say they find
overseeding both spring and fall works best for
However you may also seed in late fall
at the same time you use a cover crop such as ryegrass. The Bluegrass
seed will start germinating the following spring provided that snow and/or low temperature
conditions have protected the seeds until spring germination. Timing is important
depending of if you are in a more Northern cool-season area or in the transition zone.
you have broadcast your seed, you should aerate a third
time. This last time helps to provide soil coverage of
You may also Roll
the area seeded with a hand roller so that the seed
that you sowed, which fell into the soil scratches
made with the rake, will become firmly packed with
the soil. Bluegrass seed require firm soil
contact for best germination. They also need
a thin soil covering to germinate (1/4 inch ideal)
- They are not likely to germinate when thrown out on
top of the ground, unless a mulch covering or top
soil is applied. Use the correct rate of seed
for Bluegrass lawns.
your normal water, fertilizing and mowing
practices for the area you have planted on a
regular basis. That's all! Eventually
you will have an improved, more lush and thick
Bluegrass grass lawn. Bluegrass seeds take longer to germinate (often 4-8 weeks), thus
many landscapers also include perennial ryegrass as part of their turf
establishment. Generally you should water
daily after planting until germination occurs,
then continue on a more normal cycle. - see our informational irrigation website
Keep in mind that if
overseeding a NEW lawn you need to create a good firm
seedbed (soil) for your seedlings to grown in. Using a tiller
is the best preparatory
method. A second method is to use a rake to loosen
the soil and make for better germination of your grass seed.
Visit our informational website www.lawngrasses.com
for more about seeding rates and lawn choices for grasses. For bluegrass pasture the seeding the rate is normally lower. Keep
in mind that the seeding rate is purposely higher for lawns so that the higher plant
density needed for lush turfgrass lawns is achieved.
Planting Bluegrass & TILLING
Planting on correctly
prepared and tilled soil.
(1) Till the area to be planted. Early fall
is the best time to start this activity for Bluegrass. The tilling can be done with either
a garden roto-tiller or a tractor harrow/tiller (Or even a shovel if you have a good
back!). Once the area is properly returned to soil, level the ground by raking or
dragging something over the surface until it is smooth and level. Now is the time to
remove hills and depressions so that you have a nice smooth lawn.
(2) Plant your seeds.
You can use a
commercial turfgrass planter or sow the seeds by hand, or just as easy and much preferred,
buy a broadcast
seeder (hand held and push models are available). Once
your seeds are sowed, rake or drag the seeded area, so that as many of the seeds as
possible are lightly covered (1/4 inch is ideal covering). Be sure and use the correct
rate for seeding Bluegrass.
(3) Water the area you have planted as
needed. Generally water every day until germination
occurs, then return to a regular watering schedule. Apply fertilizer in intervals
through the growing season, and practice a regular mowing schedule.
Mowing the weeds that will grow in your new lawn
area faster than the grass, allows the grass to compete better for scarce nutrients and
sunlight. - Mow regular and at the correct height.
Bluegrass seeds do take longer to germinate (often 4-8 weeks),
thus many landscapers also include perennial ryegrass as part of their turf establishment.
Visit our informational site www.lawngrasses.com
for more about seeding rates and lawn choices for grasses. For bluegrass pasture seeding the rate is normally lower.
Keep in mind that the seeding rate is purposely higher for lawns so that the higher
plant density needed for lush turfgrass lawns is achieved.
Planting Bluegrass - The Final Finish
A good final finish
to planting a Bluegrass lawn is to roll your planted lawn area with a hand roller.
You can rent these implements from rental stores in your area. This compacts the soil
around the seed, creating a more favorable environment for Bluegrass seed germination.
The rolling also smoothes your soil grade providing for a more level uniform
Your lawn will grow to be beautiful over
a beautiful tomorrow!®