When Should You Plant Kentucky Bluegrass?

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Gardeners all over the world prefer to grow Kentucky Bluegrass (KBG) in their backyards. This is because of the reliable results when ideal growing conditions and day-to-day nurturing is performed. Most often, one can expect a tightly packed, lush green, dense, and durable lawn.

Although to make sure one can enjoy the beauty of this grass type, they need to maintain their plant as per the region they live in. Ideally, northern climates suit Kentucky Bluegrass as the cold winters and semi-warm summers create a desirable environment for KBG.

best time to plant kentucky bluegrass

KBG comes under the category of perennial cool-season lawn grass. This means the best time to plant Kentucky Bluegrass would be in cooler seasons. 

If you live in the southern states of the USA, in warmer climatic regions, or in humid subtropical growing zones then warm-season grasses like St. Augustine and Zoysia grass should be your preferred grass type choice. However, don’t be surprised to see gardeners in the Southwest nurturing KBG by creating spot-on and efficient irrigation systems.

Key Features of Kentucky Bluegrass

These are some key features of KBG that will impart valuable knowledge on the ideal growing environments:

  • Perfect for coast to coast northern gardens
  • Exceptional winter hardiness and quicker winter growth cycles
  • Long shards with a bluish-green hue make it perfect for beautification
when should you plant kentucky bluegrass
  • Grass goes dormant during severely hot months
  • Blooms faster in day-long sun cycles and moderately in shaded regions
  • Dark green color along with boat-shaped grass shards

When compared to Tall Fescue grass, KBG has a comparatively lower drought and heat tolerance. Due to this, KBG roots are shallower than the former.

kentucky bluegrass
Image Credit: Bob Mugaas, U of Mn

What is the Best Time to Plant Kentucky Bluegrass?

The best time to plant Kentucky Bluegrass would be during the cooler seasons of early fall and spring. Check the soil temperature and consider it a green signal to sow the seeds if the temperature fluctuates between 50 and 65 degrees F.

plant kentucky bluegrass

This warmth is critical for the seeds to go through germination in a timely manner. Above all, it also contributes to the root development to make it rigid and strong before core winter arrives. 

Fall Preparation for Kentucky Bluegrass

Simply sowing the seeds in the fall months is not a wise choice. You must create a pre-sowing fall season plan to ensure that springtime rewards your backyard with a perfect germination period.

The goal is to prepare the soil and create an atmosphere that provides additional support for the to-be-sprouted seeds. Seed breathability, moisture retention, water reach, and nutrient absorption are 4 elements that your new seeds should be provided, under any circumstance.

When it’s KBG seed sowing season, follow these steps for best results:

  • Either use a lawn aerator or a rake and poke the entire soil region where you plan to plant the seeds. Doing this assures that the seeds will get a substantial amount of nutrients, water, and air. Also make sure that the seeds are planted at a depth of one-fourth to half an inch.

Remember, KBG seeds prefer well-drained soil. 

best time to plant kentucky bluegrass


Regions with warmer climates that resort to irrigation need to irrigate up to 16 inches as their germination period can range from 25 to 35 days. Whereas cooler climates call for germination periods of 21 to 28 days. 

  • As a garden owner, you know the age and growth rate of different types of plantation tasks you take up. Depending on the growth rate, consider performing dethatching to ensure the seeds are settled. 

Excessive thatch not only restricts seeds from being properly planted but also acts as a barrier for water and fertilizers to reach the seeds. Even worse, the seeds can get choked due to lack of breathability.

kentucky bluegrass

You don’t want to be waiting for germination for an entire month only to find out that your seeds are dead. Would you?

  • Depending on the first 2 months’ results, also perform over seeding. Some patches may form due to some seeds not germinating because of external factors. Also, over seeding within a few months of planting your initial seeds is a fantastic way to combat the growth and spread of weeds naturally.
  • Test your soil’s NPK concentration. If you possess the equipment to check for other chemicals, make the most of it. Based on your soil’s nutrient and chemical composition, it becomes simpler to choose a perfectly relevant fertilizer.
planting kentucky bluegrass


These fertilizers should complement your grass seed growth cycle. As long as you apply the precise amounts of fertilizer needed, the KBG seeds will be fuelled with ingredients for a healthier growth period.

Too much fertilizer can burn the soil and kill the seeds. Whereas, too little fertilizer may not be strong enough for the initial process of nutrient absorption to kickstart.

  • Make sure the soil is slightly acidic in nature. A desirable soil pH would be between 6.0 to 7.0. 

Struggling with soil that is above 7 (basic) on the pH scale?

best time to plant kentucky bluegrass

Pick up a chunk of soil to check whether the soil structure is compact or loose. Compact soil can be mixed with a tiny amount of iron sulfate to make it acidic in nature. Whereas, loose soil could turn acidic by mixing any organic material such as manure, compost, or peat moss.

Not a fan of getting your hands dirty? These gardening gloves could find a long-term spot amongst your existing gardening equipment.

Tips and Tricks for Kentucky Bluegrass Seeds Germination

Juggling several factors such as soil maintenance, fertilizer application, frequency and amount of watering, etc. can be a troublesome process for inexperienced gardeners. We have made a list of a bunch of tips and tricks that can help make the difference. 

Alert: These tips and tricks are suggested primarily if you sow seeds during the best time to plant Kentucky Bluegrass; early fall and spring season.

  • Fertilization is the best way to deal with the nutrient-imparting problem of your garden. Some lawns face issues that the gardener only identifies in the long run. 

For example, sometimes soil can have a tough time to release nutrients to the seeds. If a gardener thinks that he/she is following the right maintenance and nurturing cycle, and the seeds yet don’t sprout, something is definitely wrong.

when should you plant kentucky bluegrass

This is why fertilizers can unknowingly resolve the nutrient absorption problem. Now KBG requires greater quantities of fertilizer than Tall fescue. Thus, fertilizing in the months of September, November, and May can fight the soil problem (of not releasing nutrients).

  • Combining the best time to plant Kentucky Bluegrass along with breaking the upper-layered soil comes with a guaranteed improvement in results.  
best time to plant kentucky bluegrass

This allows oxygen to get to the seeds and also breaks down compacted chunks of soil. Consequently, incidences of restricted water seepage leading to deprived root growth will fail to occur.

  • As KBG takes a little longer to grow than other grass types, a slow-release fertilizer would be a good choice. Make sure this fertilizer is made purely of organic matter.

In case you already have made fertilizer arrangements, simply till the fresh soil with compost or black soil.

when should you plant kentucky bluegrass

Are you a fan of recycling and making the most of garden waste? Check out these chip shredders. Shredding fallen leaves, grass clippings, uprooted plants, and other organic waste makes a perfectly nutritious form of organic matter for newly planted KBG seeds.

  • Once you notice a fairly decent array of “V” shaped leaves developing on your garden surface, you can be sure that the spreading rate is quickly going to double. 

The rhizomes of these leaves have a knack to spread rapidly and also begin to distribute nutrients to other plants. If your seed sowing timing is right, expect to be gifted with a thick sod in the spring season.

best time to plant kentucky blue grass

The occurrence of these “V” shaped leaves means you need to stop using as much fertilizer as you were using. Also, alter your watering cycles as the grass grows.

If you notice some underdeveloped patches, then consider installing an oscillating sprinkler and direct it towards the patches that need more water.


You are now aware of why the best time to plant Kentucky Bluegrass is early fall and spring. Make sure to follow the pre-fall preparation steps to prepare a perfect environment for your freshly planted Kentucky Bluegrass seeds.

For all you warm-season grass owners struggling to deal with the complex spreading cycles of Centipede grass, this guide will reveal hacks to make the process easier.

Also, if you are storing your Kentucky Bluegrass seeds for too long in an attempt to plant them during the perfect season, this guide will give you some valuable grass seed storage tips.

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