Kentucky Grass Seed
Kentucky is home to unique geography, with lakes, V-shaped valleys, mountains, and thousands of square miles of the Eastern Kentucky Coal Field sitting just below the soil surface.
The state of Kentucky is also home to more than 85,000 farms, making its land some of the most fertile soil in the United States. And because of this, homeowners and property owners are more than likely to experience quick germination and establishment from a variety of grass seeds and blends.
Whether you’re overseeding or planting for the first time, choosing the most suitable species for your Kentucky property is essential — since some will do better than others. Your journey to a thriving lawn all starts with understanding the state’s growing conditions and characteristics.
Kentucky Grass Seed Growing Conditions and Characteristics
Kentucky is nearly 41,000 square miles wide with fertile, healthy soil that helps make up the state’s breathtaking landscape of flatland pastures and rolling hills.
Kentucky’s state soil is Crider, covering over 35 counties and 500,000 acres. This soil is rich in seed growth which explains why it ranks in the top five nationally for the highest number of farms in the United States.
Its plant hardiness zones are 6a, 6b, and 7a, meaning that the minimum temperatures of Kentucky vary between -10℉ and 5℉. Knowing the state’s plant hardiness levels can help gardeners and farmers determine which crops will grow best during certain times of the year.
Kentucky sits in a unique part of the country, a stretch called the “transitional zone.” In terms of planting and seeding, the transitional zone has temperatures that can sustain both warm-season and cool-season grasses, allowing Kentucky homeowners to have as much variety as possible when seeding their lawns.
But it’s also essential for those interested in overseeding or reseeding their lawns to do so at the right time during the year — especially since Kentucky soil temperatures can reach a near-freezing low of 32℉.
When to Plant Grass Seed in Kentucky
If you want to plant new grass seed on your lawn, the best time to do so is in early fall, since soil temperatures are still warm, between 55°F to 65°F. This soil temperature is ideal for grass seed germination and overall grass growth.
The cool weather range helps protect seedlings since there are fewer weeds for the grass to compete with. In turn, healthy seedlings will grow quickly, so they’re well established by winter. However, if you already have a semi-established lawn and don’t want to start from scratch, you may instead be looking to overseed.
Overseeding is a popular technique that homeowners, farmers, and landscapers use when their grass has bare spots, is thinning out, or seems susceptible to insects and disease. It’s best to overseed in early spring and fall when the ground is warming up, from March to June or August to October.
Best Types of Grass Seed for Kentucky
Kentucky sits in a unique part of the United States where its soil can sustain both warm- and cool-season grasses, meaning that homeowners get the most variety when selecting the type of grass for their properties.
However, you can’t just choose any grass blend: You need a combination that performs explicitly well in transitional zones. Otherwise, you might seed a type that won’t thrive on your property and may die off in just a couple of weeks.
Here is a list of warm- and cool-season grasses that should thrive wildly on lawns across Kentucky.
Warm-Season Grass Seeds
Warm-season grasses refer to a group of grass species that grow best between 75°F to 90°F and do most of their growing in late spring and all of the summertime. Even though Kentucky sees plenty of cold and snowy winters, it sits in a transitional zone, meaning that it can sustain these grass seed species.
Bermudagrass Grass Seed
Bermudagrass is one of the most popular southern blends, although it also does well in mixed areas like Kentucky. It can withstand extreme heat, meaning its water requirements are low, and can also handle tons of foot traffic, making it perfect for properties with lots of movement, be it children, dogs, or sports fields.
Bermudagrass is also highly disease- and pest-resistant, which is why it’s also a popular option for those who want to reseed their lawns due to bare or thinning spots.
However, it’s essential to know that bermudagrass has a very intense creeping habit, meaning that if it’s not maintained correctly, it can spread to other unwanted parts of the property.
Zoysiagrass Grass Seed
Zoysiagrass is a classic, luxurious, deep emerald green grass that is a perfect alternative to other warm-season grasses because it's extremely heat-tolerant and holds color for the majority of the year.
Zoysia does well in full to part-sun and has minimal water requirements, so if your lawn is in the full sun and doesn’t receive a ton of water, then this blend is likely the best option for your property.
However, Zoysia has a slow establishment rate. But once it blossoms, it becomes a quick favorite for homeowners that have high traffic areas but also crave that lush lawn look.
Cool-Season Grass Seeds
Cool-season grasses are a group of grass species that grow best between 60°F and 75°F and do most of their growing in late fall and throughout winter.
Kentucky is a middle ground destination that can sustain both cool- and warm-season grasses with highs of 90°F to lows of 23°F, so it's not uncommon to find blends that would typically go on northern lawns.
Perennial Ryegrass Grass Seed
Perennial ryegrass is one of the country's most popular types of grass seed, since it's so versatile and can be planted just about anywhere. It does well in both the sun and moderate shade, although it does require plenty of watering, especially during extended heat spells which may happen in the summer months.
Perennial ryegrass provides a bright green lawn that's ideal for properties with plenty of foot traffic, whether it's sports fields, children, dogs, or anything in between. This species is so dependable that it's a great option for first-time homeowners or those who are looking for quick germination to get a thick, filled-in lawn.
Kentucky Bluegrass Grass Seed
Despite its name, Kentucky bluegrass seed isn’t native to Kentucky or North America: Instead, it comes from Europe and was likely introduced to the United States sometime after the 1600s.
Even so, a Kentucky bluegrass seed lawn provides gorgeous, deep emerald-green grass that leaves a lasting impression on any passerby.
It prefers sunny areas, making it perfect for homes without trees on the property. Its medium texture is a perfect in-between, which is why it’s an excellent blend for beautification and high traffic areas, like for athletic fields, children, and dogs.
However, any Kentucky bluegrass mix has high water requirements, requiring frequent watering during extended heat periods.
Fine Fescue Grass Seed
Fescue comes in various blends, with some of the most popular ones being tall fescue, chewings fescue, creeping fescue, and many more. Fine fescue is an excellent blend that prefers moderate shade to full shade, making this species perfect for lawns with plenty of shade and trees.
Its soft texture and bright forest-green coloring are ideal for lawns that need beautification, water conservation, or help with erosion control. It has minimal water requirements, making it a low-maintenance blend that is perfect for homeowners that don’t want to spend too much time keeping up with the health of their lawns.
Kentucky has some of the best soil for seeding and planting which is why it’s in the center of the transitional zone. The state’s growing conditions mean it can sustain both warm- and cool-season grass seeds like bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and fine fescue.
However, the key to a healthy lawn is quality grass seed. Nature’s Seed’s Seed Selector provides a list of high-quality grass seeds tailored to your area’s requirements.
So whether you’re looking to bring your lawn back to life or extend the lushness of your property, Nature’s Seed has a variety of blends and mixes for every situation and budget.
Contact Nature’s Seed today to learn more about grass seed in Kentucky.