Kentucky bluegrass is the second most widely grown cool-season species in North Carolina because it has a dark green color, a medium to fine texture, and, due to its aggressive rhizome system, can recover from stresses. It prefers fertile, well-limed soils and full sun to moderate shade. Kentucky bluegrass is often mixed with other cool-season grasses like tall fescue to enhance the ability of the turfgrass stand to recover from stresses. Kentucky bluegrass is often confused with tall fescue and/or perennial ryegrass. However, Kentucky bluegrass has a boat-shaped leaf tip and distinctive light-colored lines on both sides of the midrib.
Delay aeration until fall.
If circular patches of brown grass up to several feet in diameter appear, you may have Brown (Large) Patch. Gray Leaf Spot also may be a problem. Control both diseases as necessary with proper fungicides.
DO NOT fertilize tall fescue after March 15.
Check for and control white grubs in April and May.
Tall fescue needs 1 to 1 ¼ inches of water every week, ideally NOT all at once. A dark bluish-gray color, footprinting, and wilted, folded, or curled leaves indicate that it is time to water. Water until the soil is wet to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. Use a screwdriver or similar implement to check. Sandy soils require more frequent watering (about ½ inch of water every third day). Because clay soils accept water slowly, irrigate just until runoff occurs, wait until the water has been absorbed, and begin watering again. Continue until the desired depth or amount is applied. Proper irrigation may prevent or reduce problems later in the summer. Watering between 2 and 8 a.m. decreases the incidence of certain diseases.
Mow lawn to 3 inches in height. Mow at least once a week. Mow before grass gets above 5 inches tall. Then practice grasscycling. Grasscycling is simply leaving grass clippings on your lawn. Grass clippings decompose quickly and can provide up to 25 percent of the lawn's fertilizer needs. If prolonged rain or other factors prevent frequent mowing and clippings are too plentiful to leave on the lawn, they can be collected and used as mulch. Whatever you do, don't bag them! Grass clippings do not belong in landfills.
It is generally not necessary to remove thatch.
Apply preemergence herbicides to control crabgrass, goosegrass, and foxtail. Apply by the time the dogwoods are in bloom.
If the field was not fertilized in February, fertilize before March 15 at the rate of 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet. Water in quick-release sources of nitrogen, such as urea (46-0-0) and ammonium nitrate (34-0-0), to prevent foliar burn.
Follow September-November guidelines.
Do not cultivate soil when the temperature is consistently higher than 80°F.
Apply preemergence herbicides to control crabgrass, goosegrass, and foxtail around the time forsythia bushes are in bloom. If the area was reseeded in the spring, use only Tupersan (siduron).
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seedhead is an open panicle. spikelets are flattened, with 3-5 seeds each.
leaves folded in the bud
membranous; very short, collar-like, 0.008 - 0.04 inches (0.2 - 1 mm) long
cool season turf
boat shaped; usually V-shaped, sharply creased below; two distinct, clear lines, one on each side of the midrib
0.08 - 0.16 inches (2 - 4 mm) wide
slightly divided by midrib, may have fine hair on edge
closed, but splits with maturity
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