Nebraska, located in the north central plains, is home to a variety of lawn grasses. Cool-season lawn grasses such as Ryegrass, Tall Fescue and Kentucky Bluegrass are prevalent in this cool, temperate climate. Buffalo grass, a warm-season grass, is native to the central plains and is commonly found throughout Nebraska. Cool- and warm-season grasses, in addition to there obvious temperature preferences, have very different growth patterns. Warm-season grasses grow year-round, albeit slower in the winter months, whereas cool-season grasses turn brown and become completely dormant in the cold season.
Ryegrass prefers cool, moist climates with moderate temperate fluctuations. Nebraska provides an ideal environment for Ryegrass as a sustained, permanent turfgrass. With a shallow root system, Ryegrass lacks drought tolerance and requires weekly watering to maintain optimal health. Ryegrass has moderate maintenance needs, including pest management, fertilization and mowing.
Tall Fescue lawn grass is a bunching, perennial cool-season grass used in high-traffic lawn areas due to its high tolerance for heavy foot traffic. With deep roots, Tall Fescue grass is highly drought and shade tolerant. Tall Fescue grass is susceptible to weeds and benefits from an application of pre-emergence herbicides prior to high growth periods in the spring and fall.
Kentucky Bluegrass is native to Europe but common throughout the central and northern United States, including Nebraska. Kentucky Bluegrass has a popular aesthetic appeal, creating a dense, lush, green turfgrass that requires minimal lawn maintenance. Kentucky Bluegrass has a shallow root system that makes it drought and shade sensitive and requires irrigation and annual fertilization for best appearance.
Buffalo grass is a perennial, warm-season grass that is native to the central plains of North America. Buffalo grass is very hardy and able to survive long periods of dry, drought conditions and large temperature fluctuations. Buffalo grass has minimal pests, diseases and weed competition. Annual fertilizer applications in mid-June optimizes Buffalo grass health in Nebraska.
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