Penn State
ForagesPeopleTopicsResourcesSelection ToolContact Info


Topics : Species and Forage Variety Trials : Species Fact Sheets : Kentucky Bluegrass

Species: Kentucky Bluegrass

Additional tall fescue information via the Forage Information System (FIS)


Kentucky Bluegrass Fertility

Lime and fertilizer needs of Kentucky bluegrass should be determined by soil testing. For best results the soil pH should be between 6 and 7. If the soil test calls for large amounts of nutrients, they should be applied prior to seeding and incorporated into the seedbed. If the Kentucky bluegrass is already established then surface application of recommended nutrients is equally beneficial.

Nitrogen application to Kentucky bluegrass is not recommended if greater than 30% of the pasture is a legume. Application of nitrogen fertilizer (approximately 25 lb per acre) to Kentucky bluegrass in early spring before green-up will stimulate growth and generally allow grazing to begin earlier. Additional nitrogen applications to pure Kentucky bluegrass stands should be made in late spring and early fall when the grass is growing rapidly. Remember that nitrogen application will increase the grass's competitiveness at the expense of clover and weeds in the stand. Kentucky bluegrass-white clover pastures can be maintained indefinitely and their forage quality improved by applying lime and fertilizers according to soil test recommendations. In a recent study, when soil pH was adjusted to 6.5, 60 pounds per acre of P2O5, and 30 pounds per acre of K2O were applied to a Kentucky bluegrass pasture, yield of total digestible nutrients, carrying capacity, and beef production increased 50% over unfertilized pastures. Additional application of 120 pounds of nitrogen per acre increase beef production by an additional 39%.

Additional and more detailed information on forage fertilization is also available.