How to Care for Kentucky Blue Grass

Overview

Kentucky blue grass is the most popular cool-season turfgrass used in lawns where winters are colder. Kentucky blue grass creates a lush-looking, bluish-green lawn that can tolerate extreme freezing weather in winter and heavier foot traffic. This grass type requires some extra watering during the summer, however, because it will enter a dormant state during droughts or high heat. Kentucky blue grass is a moderate to fine-textured grass that grows best in sunny lawns.

Step 1

Water your Kentucky blue grass once every week from spring until fall in the absence of rainfall, applying ¾ inch to 1 inch of water. Try to wet the top 6 to 8 inches of soil in order to provide adequate moisture to the grass roots.

Step 2

Mow your Kentucky blue grass lawn once or twice per week from spring until fall to maintain a grass height of 1 ½ to 2 ¼ inches. Avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass's total height in a single mowing.

Step 3

Feed your Kentucky blue grass lawn each year with a 16-4-8 NPK fertilizer, at a rate of 3 to 5 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Divide the fertilizer into three or four equal applications, with one application in the spring, another six weeks later, again in early fall and once more in late fall.

Step 4

Treat your Kentucky blue grass for iron chlorosis, which is due to over-fertilizing with too much phosphorous and causes the grass to yellow. Correct iron chlorosis by selecting a fertilizer that contains a lower amount of phosphorous and apply an additional feeding of ferrous sulfate to the grass at the recommended dosage on the label.

Tips and Warnings

  • Watch out for broadleaf weeds invading your Kentucky blue grass lawn. Although blue grasses are usually vigorous enough to choke out any weeds, they are vulnerable when the lawn has thinned or is newly planted. Apply a pre-emergent herbicide to your Kentucky blue grass lawn in late winter or early spring to kill the weed seeds before they germinate and begin to sprout.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Lawnmower
  • 16-4-8 NPK fertilizer
  • Ferrous sulfate
  • Pre-emergent herbicide

References

  • Seedland: Bluegrass -- Maintenance
  • All About Lawns: Kentucky Bluegrass

Who Can Help

  • Organic Lawn Care Tips: Guide to Kentucky Bluegrass
Keywords: Kentucky bluegrass lawn, Kentucky blue grass care, Kentucky bluegrass maintenance

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.