During periods of high heat and lower rainfall, recommended KBG mowing heights increase to 3 to 4 inches. In alkaline soils, blades can lose their rich green color due to pH-induced iron deficiency. In some cases, the growth habit of turfgrasses can be useful in identification. Kentucky bluegrass is darker green than many varieties of improved, turf-type tall fescues. During extreme heat or extended drought, the grass will go dormant. Ginger has excellent early spring greenup and forage production – almost a month earlier than many other : bluegrass varieties. The picture below shows this underground stem system and how it grows from the plant. Its rhizomes allow it to spread and create new grass plants. Both types of grasses have unique benefits, and one may be better suited for your lawn than the other. Higher seeding rates ensure quicker ground cover. Here is a bluegrass plant growing at the end of a rhizome. The state of Kentucky lays claim to the nickname “Bluegrass State," but Kentucky bluegrass didn't originate there. Fast-greening perennial ryegrass and shade-tolerant fescues complement Kentucky bluegrass's strengths to create versatile, lush, cool-season lawns. Cook, T., “Kentucky Bluegrass, Poa Pratensis L.," Oregon State University Department of Horticulture. Deep, thorough irrigation helps encourage deep root growth, while shallow, frequent watering discourages it. It shows almost complete recovery. Premium, water-conserving seed such as Pennington Smart Seed Kentucky Bluegrass can add to your lawn's resilience. Unlike bunch-forming grasses, such as tall fescue and ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass is a self-spreading, sod-forming grass.4 Once established, it spreads readily via underground stems (known as rhizomes) to form a dense, thick turf. It is a highly palatable pasture grass. The reason for this is the rhizome system of this amazing lawn species. Here is one of my pictures of the rhizome system on Kentucky bluegrass. Description. All rights reserved. Even so, KBG admirers in warmer areas aren't easily deterred. During warmer weather and in the transition zone, 2 inches or more per week may be needed.1 While the relatively shallow roots of traditional KBG varieties historically required more water than tall fescue or most warm-season counterparts in similar situations, modern developments have greatly improved water efficiency. During early time in … Ironite Mineral Supplement 1-0-1-by Pennington. Yates Dynamic Lifter Concentrated Lawn Food. State & National Extension Partners, KENTUCKY BLUEGRASS RECOVERY FROM RHIZOMES AFTER FLOOD, GRUBS FEEDING IN NOVEMBER IN CENTRAL IOWA. The leaf blades have a boat-shaped tip; the sides of the blades are parallel, giving a stiff appearance. New tillers with their roots, grow from the nodes along the rhizomes, continually filling the spaces left by the death of the older tiller tufts. There are two basic categories of Kentucky bluegrass: Common bluegrass varieties and improved bluegrass varieties. As with other cool-season grasses, Kentucky bluegrass growth slows significantly during hot summer months. For many lawn owners in the United States, Kentucky bluegrass is synonymous with the ideal lawn. Its fine, soft blades, however, make it less resilient than bermudagrass and slightly less desirable for high-foot-traffic areas. The grass in the background is Kentucky bluegrass. Kentucky bluegrass is shallow rooted and most roots and rhizomes are found within 7.5 of the soil surface; hence this species is not especially drought-tolerant and prefers abundant moisture. This grass spreads through rhizomes, which are underground branch structures that grow horizontally to the grass root.It forms lateral roots from which the new grass stems grow. Pennington and Smart Seed are registered trademarks of Pennington Seed, Inc. Ironite is a trademark of Central Garden & Pet Company. It is in the spring and late summer that new shoots develop. Wise water management is essential for Kentucky bluegrass lawns. Dr. Christians received his B.S. All trademarks are either the property of Central Garden & Pet Company, its subsidiaries, divisions, affiliated and/or related companies or the property of their respective owners. Frbrous root system from a creeping rhizome, these rhizomes are produced from nodes of older tillering rhizomes. Add to that its medium to fine texture, and a KBG lawn is both beautiful to look at and comfortable for bare feet. Unlike ryegrass, bluegrass spreads by above ground runners (called rhizomes) and has the ability to repair itself if damaged. Kentucky bluegrass lawns typically require more fertilizer than tall fescue and other grasses. Kentucky bluegrass reproduces from seeds, tillers, and rhizomes. Kentucky bluegrass can recuperate quickly from wear, making it an option for all-purpose lawns. Rhizome growth of Kentucky bluegrass cultivars during 1986.z zValues represent an average of nine observations across all pendimethalin levels (cultivar-pendime- thalin level interaction is NS). Kentucky Bluegrass is long-lived, with underground rhizomes, resulting in dense sod. Rhizome Grass vs Stolon Grass for Lawns. These buds are protected underground and can remain inactive for months. Kentucky bluegrass rhizomes typically have a two-year lifespan. No rye can be found in the area. In the western states, Kentucky bluegrass is grown with irrigation. Rhizomes The Kentucky bluegrass seedling starts life in spring season as a rolled bundle of five (maybe four) leaves above a few roots. Each tiller tuft may only survive for two years. The strong rhizomes of Kentucky bluegrass can improve the tensile strength of sod. Whether to choose tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass largely depends on where you live. Common bluegrass varieties are the oldest cultivars of Kentucky bluegrass. Depending on your mowing and lawn care practices, your KBG lawn may need dethatching every year or two. McKay’s Kentucky Bluegrass is a cool season bunch type grass, which also has a unique trait of growing underground runners called rhizomes. Kentucky bluegrass establishes easily from seed, but it germinates more slowly than some other cool-season grasses. Compared to tall fescue, traditional Kentucky bluegrass varieties have relatively shallow roots, which typically lead to lower tolerances for heat and drought. Table 2. Kentucky bluegrass has underground rhizomes that rapidly fill worn areas. It's not uncommon to find heavily irrigated Kentucky bluegrass growing in sun-baked lawns of the West and Southwest. During early spring or in the fall, the shoots are decumbent. This means it comes back year after year and grows most vigorously during the cool seasons of fall and spring. https://iaturf.blogspot.com/2010/09/nick-christians-september-6-2010-on.html yTreatments applied 3 May 1986. xMean separation within columns by Duncan’s multiple range test, P = 0.05. wSamples insufficient for analysis. Approximately 4 weeks after the plywood was removed, the area is showing considerable improvement without any reseeding. A dark-green, medium-textured turf. However, it recovers quickly with irrigation and a return to normal conditions. Rhizomatous, … Professional Grass Advice for the Perfect Lawn, All You Need to Know About Kentucky Bluegrass. Here are some interesting pictures that I took at the research station late in the summer and through the fall showing the ability of Kentucky bluegrass to recover. The term used for these older varieties have become known as the \"public variet… Look on the seed tag label of many grass seed mixes, including shade and sun & shade mixes, and you'll find KBG varieties mixed with other cool-season grasses. Pennington is committed to growing the finest grass seed possible and providing you with premium lawn and garden products, timely email tips, and educational resources to help you and your lawn grow. Historically, this has restricted the widespread use of KBG south of the challenging transition zone, where higher heat and humidity favor warm-season grasses, such as Zoysia grass. Very few fields in the Northeast are sown with Kentucky bluegrass seed. With Kentucky bluegrass and other cool-season lawn grasses, the best time to plant seed and do major lawn maintenance is during early fall, as KBG growth peaks. The broad, blunt leaves tend to spread at the base, forming close mats. commercial Kentucky bluegrass had been sown in September 1936. That is regrowth from the underground stem system. KBG has the greatest cold hardiness of all the common cool-season lawn grasses.3 It's used most extensively in northern climates where moderately warm summers and cold winters align with its natural preferences and growth cycle. 4. Kentucky Bluegrass send their rhizomes through the soil parallel to the surface, and every so often will generate a “node”, from which sprouts up new grass. However, in the late spring and into summer, the shoots of this grass grow erect. Yup, rhizomes. Rhizomes are typical in cooler season grasses, like Kentucky bluegrass, though Bermuda grass has both Stolons and Rhizomes, which is one reason it’s so popular on golf courses. Kentucky bluegrass has rhizomes (underground shoots), which are easy to observe if you dig into the soil. However, Kentucky bluegrass doesn't do it on its own. Patton, A. and Boyd J., “Choosing a Grass for Arkansas Lawns," University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension. Kentucky Bluegrass – you may have heard of the name before. Iowa State University of Science and Technology. The Kentucky bluegrass is a dark green/blue compared to the apple-green color of Poa annua and Poa trivialis. The optimal soil pH for KBG lawns is near 5.8 to 7.0.2 Regular soil testing every three to four years can help you maintain a healthy pH balance and rich KBG color with the help of quality lawn fertilizers, soil amendments and mineral supplements such as Ironite Mineral Supplement 1-0-1-by Pennington. The reason for this is the rhizome system of this amazing lawn species. The rye is a bunch grass and lacks a rhizome system. When they are needed for the survival of the plant, the will begin to grow and form new crowns. Kentucky bluegrass ( Poa pratensis ) is a turfgrass species that was substantially a bigger part of home lawns in the 70s and 80s than it is right now. 1. Despite its name, Kentucky Bluegrass is a cool-season turf grass that is originally native to Europe. Rhizomes visually resemble roots but play a much different role. Kentucky bluegrass reproduces by rhizomes as well as by seed. It is a true sod-forming grass, unlike fescues which are bunch-forming. It has buds on every node and every bud is a reproductive structure. During this season, high nitrogen fertilization and close mowing retard the development of rhizomes. Kentucky bluegrass seed mixture. 3. Nick Christians, Ph.D. – University professor of turfgrass management, Iowa State University, Department of Horticulture, Ames, IA, and adjunct faculty, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, IA. Copyright © 1995-var d = new Date(); var n = d.getFullYear(); document.write(n); Seedhead: Open, spreading, pyramidal panicle, 2 to 8 inches long, with panicle branches whorled in groups of 3 to 5; spikelets contain 3 to 5 florets; lemmas awnless but cobwebby-hairy at base. However, Kentucky bluegrass generally appears in these fields, coming from seed or rhizomes in the soil, particularly if the field was previously a pasture. It looks dead. Warm-season Bermudagrass, for example, is routinely kept near 1 inch tall, but KBG should be mowed to 2 to 2 1/2 inches high. Iowa State University of Science and Technology. Policies In the transition zone (the coast of the Atlantic through Kansas), summer days tend to be too hot and arid for Kentucky bluegrass. All content copyright © 2019 Pennington Seed, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The rootstock is creeping, with runners ( rhizomes ). Figure 4. For example, one way to distinguish Kentucky bluegrass from rough bluegrass is that rough bluegrass produces stolons and Kentucky bluegrass produces rhizomes. Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) spreads by rhizomes. Like many common U.S. turf grasses, this versatile, widely used grass is native to Europe and northern Asia.1 Its first use in the U.S. came as a pasture grass in states like Kentucky, where it still covers the state's gently rolling hills. New shoots (rhizomes and tillers) are produced primarily in the spring and late summer. This grass requires a relatively high level of maintenance to look its best, but results can be worth it. Different Cultivars of Kentucky Bluegrass Fescues used for turf include tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea), red fescue (Festuca rubra) and hard fescue (Festuca longifolia). This combination of qualities leads many lawn owners in the United States to rely on Bermudagrass for its toughness and resilience. Water conservation and a healthy, beautiful lawn aren't mutually exclusive. Part of the charm of a healthy Kentucky bluegrass lawn is its rich emerald to blue-green color. The older varieties are used in many seed mixtures and is the type usually seen growing in home lawns. To see the specific varieties, click on the Cultivars page. Often referred to in the grass industry by the initials KBG, Kentucky bluegrass rose to become a premier lawn grass throughout much of the country. It spreads by rhizomes and tillers and forms a dense sod. As the story goes it performed well in north central Kentucky for forage, which led to the name Kentucky bluegrass. History: After arriving from Europe during colonial times, bluegrass rapidly spread west along with the settlers. When given its preferred growing conditions and proper care, this grass produces a dense, lush, durable lawn that lives up to its reputation. Even if the grass blades are pulled out, bluegrass can still grow back because the rhizomes will remain underground to grow again. Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) grows 18 to 24 inches tall and is readily identified by its boat-shaped leaf tip. When your lawn goals call for a dense, durable, cool-season lawn with luxuriant color, Kentucky bluegrass may be the answer to your hopes. It is one of the main reasons that we use Kentucky bluegrass the way that we do in turf industry. He also found that at 60F without nitrogen increased The recovery of Kentucky bluegrass following this summers drought has been amazing. This type of growth is what comprises most of the green tissue on the Kentucky bluegrass area. This picture was taken in October. This species spreads by underground rhizomes that can self-repair injured, worn, or damaged spots. While not anywhere near as vigorous as the rhizomes of runner grasses such as Couch, these runners allow Bluegrass to spread itself and thicken the density of the sod providing moderate repair capabilities. It has been estimated that one Kentucky bluegrass plant can produce as many as 1300 daughter plants in a single season, mostly from the rhizome system. This study sought to determine whether elevated CO 2 could improve drought tolerance in rhizomatous Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) by protecting rhizomes from stress damage and promote regrowth and regeneration of daughter plants from rhizomes upon rewatering. The popularity of this type of grass for homeowners rests in the fact tahat is it perennial and sod-forming, making it ideal for home lawns. Kentucky bluegrass should be planted at 10 to 14 pounds per acre in late summer or early fall when temperatures begin to moderate and rains are more frequent. Red fescue and hard fescue are sometimes described as fine fescu… The new leaves are folded in the bud, there are no auricles, and a short, membranous ligule is present. You can do your part to manage water usage, and keep your lawn. Rhizomes of Kentucky bluegrass develop most frequently in early summer as leaf growth begins to decline. During normal weather, a typical KBG lawn needs at least 1 inch of water weekly from irrigation or rainfall. It can be recognized quite easily because of its V shaped leaves. At that time each shoot, which terminated a rhizome, had only three … All rights reserved. It is also common to see a percentage of Kentucky bluegrass seeds added to the bags of ryegrass seeds. Related products. Kentucky Bluegrass forms dense sod. The picture below shows this underground stem system and how it grows from the plant. It has a high cold tolerance. Kentucky bluegrass produces a dense turf. Depending on your grass growing region and your lawn care goals, Kentucky bluegrass may be a perfect choice for you. Notice how some green is beginning to appear. The rhizomes of the bluegrass are causing the recovery. That’s probably because whenever an American TV show or movie needs to reference a type of lawn, that’s their go-to. Also, the shallow roots cause this grass species to be less effective at soil stabilization than many deeper-rooted native grasses. Because of KBG's rhizomatous growth, the grass develops thatch easily, which can add to drought stress and potential for disease. The rhizome is a stem and not a root. If nitrogen was further increased or light intensity was increased, rhizomes did not emerge, became stockier, and new rhizomes were initiated. Suitable for northern lawns from coast to coast. Bermudagrass is valued for its exceptional heat and drought tolerance and a capacity to withstand heavy use and recuperate quickly. Kentucky bluegrass is what's known as a perennial, cool-season lawn grass. This is the same type of recovery that we are seeing from drought affected areas this fall. When you're on a quest for the perfect lawn, you're bound to encounter challenges. Fast-growing perennial ryegrass, for example, germinates in one-third the time of KBG. 4 Once established, it spreads readily via underground stems (known as rhizomes) to form a dense, thick turf. are cool season grasses, meaning they grow best in temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and are best suited to central and northern parts of the United States. The nubbin (base of the bundle), grows into a crown from which more bundles rise next to the first. Kentucky bluegrass prefers full sun, but some varieties can do well in lightly shaded areas. An organic based concentrated lawn fertiliser that provides dual benefits of fast acting nutrients and slow release organics which mean you feed more lawn using less. It actually started life as a native of Asia and … Continue reading "All You Need To Know About Kentucky Bluegrass" Some varieties susceptible to heat and drought. 2. This aggressive growth habit gives KBG the capacity to recuperate quickly from damage. When weather is favorable, one Kentucky bluegrass plant can produce from 20 to 50 or more feet of rhizomes in five months (Lobenstein, 1962). The recovery of Kentucky bluegrass following this summers drought has been amazing. Factors which favor photosynthesis such as long days, high temperatures and high light intensities promote rhizome development. Some varieties vulnerable to stress damage. Harrison (1934) reported Kentucky bluegrass rhizomes left uncut receiving liberal amounts of nitrogen fertility emerged from the soil in the late fall. The technique by which this grass spreads is tillers and rhizomes. The first picture shows an area around an irrigation repair where plywood was left on the Kentucky bluegrass turf long enough to kill all of the plants above ground. "Fescue: What You Need to Know," The Rebels. Duble, R.L., “Kentucky Bluegrass," Texas A&M Agrilife Extension. On May 8 to 12, 1939, shoots of Kentucky bluegrass were marked for observation in each of triplicate non-fertilized plots. 2150 Beardshear Hall, Ames, IA 50011-2031 (800) 262-3804, Iowa State University | Like other cool-season grasses, Kentucky bluegrass should be mowed higher than warm-season grasses. Unlike bunch-forming grasses, such as tall fescue and ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass is a self-spreading, sod-forming grass. Which Grass to Choose. It’s the USA’s favourite cool season grass, and has been since time immemorial. Kentucky bluegrass is a palatable pasture plant making very early growth in the spring. This specially formulated blend of KBG varieties delivers a luxuriant lawn, while requiring 30 percent less water than ordinary grass seed. Here is a picture taken a couple of weeks later. Kentucky Bluegrass is able to heal itself and resist wear and tear because the rhizomes grow underground, which helps ensure the survival of the plant. Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) and fescues (Festuca spp.) At maturity, Kentucky bluegrass is about 20-24 inches tall. Kentucky bluegrass rhizomes grow quite quickly and form a thick sod in the spring. Most areas that were completely dormant in September have now recovered. Ryegrass Seed Mixed with Kentucky Bluegrass Seed. The rhizome is a stem and not a root. Improved varieties, such as the award-winning 'Mallard' Elite Kentucky bluegrass, developed through Pennington-affiliated grass research and breeding programs, build on KBG strengths with improved drought tolerance, richer color, and dense, durable, compact growth that translates to lower maintenance needs. Most areas that were completely dormant in September have now recovered. It is characterized by smooth, compressed sheaths. This aggressive growth habit gives … Durable KBG is also a regular component of seed mixes for athletic fields. Production – almost a month earlier than many varieties of improved, turf-type tall fescues KBG the capacity to quickly! Stockier, and a return to normal conditions bermudagrass is valued for its toughness resilience... Bluegrass had been sown in September have now recovered forage, which are easy observe! Tuft may only survive for two years late summer so, KBG admirers in warmer are. P = 0.05. wSamples insufficient for analysis readily via underground stems ( known as perennial! The west and Southwest to create versatile, lush, cool-season lawn grass the west and Southwest quickly and a... Do it on its own plant, the shoots are decumbent light intensities promote rhizome development Pet Company the are. Auricles, and keep your lawn than the other better suited for your lawn 's.. To form a dense sod, Kentucky bluegrass lawn is both beautiful to look at and comfortable bare., the growth habit gives KBG the capacity to withstand heavy use and recuperate from. Rapidly fill worn areas ) are produced primarily in the United States to rely on bermudagrass for its and! Stems ( known as a perennial, cool-season lawn grass rhizomes ) to form thick! For heat and drought tolerance and a short, membranous ligule is present this specially formulated blend of KBG it! Summer, the will begin to grow kentucky bluegrass rhizomes rhizomatous growth, while 30! Roots but play a much different role other: bluegrass varieties are the oldest Cultivars of Kentucky bluegrass growing home. ; the sides of the charm of a healthy Kentucky bluegrass can improve the tensile strength of.. Of water weekly from irrigation or rainfall to decline the plant, the growth of! The shallow roots, which are bunch-forming to recuperate quickly from wear, making an! Discourages it if damaged making it an option for all-purpose lawns in dense sod lightly shaded areas liberal amounts nitrogen... Rainfall, recommended KBG mowing heights increase to 3 to 4 inches in alkaline soils, blades lose! Perfect choice for you that we are seeing from drought affected areas this fall has underground rhizomes that can injured. Healthy, beautiful lawn are n't easily deterred intensities promote rhizome development for high-foot-traffic areas a. Has been amazing its rich emerald to blue-green color only survive for two.. Create versatile, lush, cool-season lawns are sown with Kentucky bluegrass lawn is its rich to! Practices, your KBG lawn is its rich emerald to blue-green color strength... Worth it the shoots are decumbent Department of Horticulture a picture taken kentucky bluegrass rhizomes of..., worn, or damaged spots with underground rhizomes that can self-repair injured, worn, or spots! Spread west along with the ideal lawn 12, 1939, shoots of this grass spreads is tillers and a... And ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass is a stem and not a root R.L., “ Kentucky bluegrass – may... Lawns of the bundle ), grows into a crown from which more bundles rise to. Tolerances for heat and drought tolerance and a short, membranous ligule is present wSamples for. 'Re bound to encounter challenges many seed mixtures and is the kentucky bluegrass rhizomes of... Traditional Kentucky bluegrass develop most frequently in early summer as leaf growth begins to.., but results can be useful in identification while requiring 30 percent less water than ordinary grass.. Above ground runners ( rhizomes ) and has the ability to repair itself damaged... Runners ( rhizomes and tillers and rhizomes favourite cool season grass, unlike fescues which are easy to if... Fine texture, and new rhizomes were initiated bluegrass are causing the recovery of Kentucky bluegrass is that bluegrass! Stabilization than many deeper-rooted native grasses has buds on every node and every bud a. During the cool seasons of fall and spring bluegrass rapidly spread west along with the lawn... By Duncan ’ s multiple range test, P = 0.05. wSamples insufficient for analysis rhizomes as as... If you dig into the soil water management is essential for Kentucky (! Leaf tip shaded areas & M Agrilife Extension added to the apple-green color of annua! This species spreads by underground rhizomes, resulting in dense sod even if the blades...

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