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America's Grass: Kentucky Blue Grass

by Alex Russel, All About Lawns Columnist

Kentucky blue grass is the nation's most common planting grass because it grows easily almost anywhere and can withstand the cold.

Kentucky Blue Grass

The most common planting grass in the United States is Kentucky blue grass. It is a funny name for the grass since it most likely originated in Europe, imported by settlers at the dawn of the European migration to the Americas.

Legend even has it that Native Americans called it "white man's tracks" because most everywhere the white man went they found Kentucky blue grass growing behind him.
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Blue Grass In Nature

Kentucky blue grass is a dense grass with smooth, upright stems. If allowed to grow to its natural height of one to three feet tall, clusters of greenish flowers grow at the top of the stems. It grows in meadows, fields, roadsides, open woods, and on banks of streams.

It is an aggressive grass. It can grow in almost any soil and will often crowd out other plants. Kentucky Blue grass often has partner plants in its lawns, like dandelions and buttercups.

Planting Blue Grass Because it grows so well, Kentucky blue grass provides a dense, green sod, especially well adapted for lawns, beautification, and recreational uses like sports fields and park lawns.

One of the main reasons planting Kentucky blue grass is so popular is because it seeds well in a variety of climates and it withstands North American winters. Its big weakness is drought conditions.

The optimum mowing height for Kentucky blue grass is two inches. If anything, it is important to err on the side of leaving your lawn long as the grass grows poorly if cut too low on the stem.

Kentucky blue grass doesn't grow deep roots so it also goes through water quickly. During the summer, it is smart to water frequently - at least every one to three days.

About the Author
Alex Russel is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY. Since graduating from Syracuse University he has worked at many different media companies in fields as diverse as film, TV, advertising, and journalism. He holds a dual bachelor's degree in English and History.

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