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How to Care for Kentucky Bluegrass

grass image by Brett Bouwer from

Kentucky bluegrass is a commonly planted cool-season grass in the northern part of the United States. Kentucky bluegrass is best suited for open, sunny areas and it prefers moist and well-drained soils. You'll find Kentucky bluegrass used for home lawns, athletic fields, golf courses and city parks. Kentucky bluegrass is not that hard of a cultivar to maintain; however, proper care practices must be followed to have a healthy, lush and thick lawn.

Water your Kentucky bluegrass to keep it healthy. Kentucky bluegrass requires 1 to 2 inches of water per week. Apply this amount of water over one to two waterings to encourage deep root growth. Check to see how much water is being applied by setting a pan out on the lawn and see how long it takes to accumulate an inch of water. Adjust watering time accordingly.

Fertilize with a lawn fertilizer high in nitrogen. Kentucky bluegrass requires 2 to 3 lbs of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of lawn per year. Apply one application of 1 lb of nitrogen per 1000 square feet in early spring, one in early summer, and one in early fall. Set the dial on the broadcast spreader to the appropriate setting indicated on the fertilizer bag and spread the fertilizer.

Use an herbicide that contains 2,4-D like Weed-B-Gon to control weeds in your Kentucky bluegrass. Look for the concentrate that you can attach to your garden hose and spray over the entire lawn. Herbicide should be applied once a year to keep the weeds under control.

Mow your Kentucky bluegrass at a height of 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches. Mow at regular intervals so that you never remove more than one-third of the grass blade at one time.


If you notice dead patches in your Kentucky bluegrass but are following all of the above practices, you may have pests like grubs. Purchase a pesticide and apply as the directions indicate to remove the pests.

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