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Kentucky Bluegrass

Description

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.

lawn Maintenance for March - May

Aeration

Delay aeration until fall.

Disease Control

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.

Fertilization

DO NOT fertilize tall fescue after March 15.

Insect Control

Check for and control white grubs in April and May.

Irrigation

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.

Mowing

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.

Thatch Removal

It is generally not necessary to remove thatch.

Weed Control

Apply preemergence herbicides to control crabgrass, goosegrass, and foxtail. Apply by the time the dogwoods are in bloom.

athletic Maintenance for March - May

Fertilization

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.

Irrigation

Follow September-November guidelines.

Mowing

Follow September-November guidelines.

Soil Cultivation

Do not cultivate soil when the temperature is consistently higher than 80°F.

Weed Control

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).

Application Rates for Preemergence Herbicides
ProductAmount per acre
benefin(Balan 2.5G)120 pounds
benefin + trifluralin (Team Pro 0.86G)174 to 349 pounds
dithiopyr(Dimension 1EC)2 quarts
oxadiazon(Ronstar 2G)100 to 150 pounds
Pendimethalin(Weedgrass Control 60WP)5 pounds
(Pre-M 60WP)5 pounds
(Pendulum 60WDG)5 pounds
(Pendulum 3.3 EC)7.3 pints
prodiamine(Barricade 65WG)0.75 to 1.5 pounds
(Regal Kade 0.5WG)64 to 300 pounds
Siduron (Tupersan 50WP)20 pounds*
* Use 8 pounds when seeding tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass

Presentations

Publications

Species Data

Seedhead/Flower

seedhead is an open panicle.  spikelets are flattened, with 3-5 seeds each.

Vernation type

leaves folded in the bud

Ligule Type

membranous; very short, collar-like, 0.008 - 0.04 inches (0.2 - 1 mm) long

ligule
ligule
ligule
Growth Season/Life Cycle

cool season turf

Auricle type

absent

sheathmargin2
sheathmargin2
sheathmargin2
Leaf blade tip shape

boat shaped; usually V-shaped, sharply creased below; two distinct, clear lines, one on each side of the midrib

april 8
april 8
april 8
leaftip
leaftip
leaftip
Leaf blade width

0.08 - 0.16 inches (2 - 4 mm) wide

Stolon Presence

absent

Rhizome Presence

present

Collar Type

slightly divided by midrib, may have fine hair on edge

collar
collar
collar
Sheath Margin

closed, but splits with maturity

sheathmargin2
sheathmargin2
sheathmargin2

Aquatic Plants App

Whether you're a professional botanist or a casual nature enthusiast, the NC State University (NCSU) Aquatic Weeds app has detailed information on a wide variety of aquatic weeds to assist in identification.