Bermuda grass and Kentucky bluegrass are quite popular grass varieties known for their gorgeous look and the way they grow. What if you want both grass varieties growing in your lawn, though? This may have you wonder, ‘can you mix Kentucky bluegrass and Bermuda grass?’
There are a few things to consider, but in general, yes, they can be combined, as long as you follow the right steps. That said, read on as we elaborate on how Kentucky bluegrass and Bermuda grass work well together.
Can You Mix Kentucky Bluegrass and Bermuda?
Again, you CAN mix Kentucky bluegrass and Bermuda grass. In fact, there is such a thing as ‘Bluemuda’, which is a mix of Kentucky bluegrass and Bermuda grass! This grass variety has shown promise throughout the transition zones, which are areas of a country where cool and warm-season grasses struggle at various times of the year.
Before delving into combining these two seeds, let’s first define the Kentucky Bluegrass and Bermuda:
About Kentucky Bluegrass
Kentucky bluegrass is a cool-season lawn grass variety that has excellent winter hardiness. Some of the varieties are susceptible to heat and drought, having limited shade tolerance and vulnerability towards stress damage. That said, they have the capacity for self-repair and can be compared to the tall fescue.
About Bermuda Grass
Bermuda grass is warm-season grass that requires a lot of full sun and drainage. They are tolerant of drought, heat, salt, and traffic, but are high maintenance and have high nutrient requirements.
When comparing both the grass varieties together, you’re probably thinking, ‘how can these two different grass varieties blend?’ Let’s explain below!
How Kentucky Bluegrass and Bermuda Blend Well
Historically, warm-season and cool-season grasses would work together only during the cool season, and only when overseeding for Bermuda grass. So why would a cool-season grass like the Kentucky bluegrass work with warm season Bermuda grass?
This is because having both grass varieties will give the appearance of actively growing grass throughout the entire growing season.
Kentucky bluegrass would thrive during the spring and fall season while Bermuda grass thrives in the summer heat. In high traffic fields that are used 9-12 months every year, having just one grass variety growing actively only for 6 months will fall short of supplying the required recovery on low maintenance and high traffic fields.
If grown alone, large bare spots may appear on your Bermuda grass come mid-spring season. Or with Kentucky bluegrass, those bare spots begin appearing under the summer heat, especially when you do not irrigate the area well.
With both of those grasses present, you will give high-high traffic and low-maintenance natural grass fields the growing chance to maintain optimum grass cover and prevent large bare spots from appearing.
But why now and why wasn’t this possible before? Both grass varieties work well together now because of three reasons, which are:
1. Better grass genetics
Grass varieties for both Bermuda and Kentucky bluegrass that were used in the transition zone today have completely different genetic profiles compared to how it was a couple of years ago. It’s now a whole new world for these grasses!
For instance, Kentucky bluegrass isn’t slow to establish anymore and is known as an aggressive grower. Furthermore, it is beginning to become drought and disease-tolerant, so it can sustain growth in high-traffic and low-maintenance locations with Bermuda grass.
As with Bermuda grass, they hold green and sustain growth until early November now! New varieties of Bermuda grass are evolving, increasing the cold tolerance and with the ability to sustain the late-season growth and green until early spring. Plus, they are already known for their aggressive growth habit, which allows them to establish and recover quickly.
2. Improves plant feeding technologies
There is now good research supporting that grass-fed with reduced and consistent fertilizer amounts will help sustain heavy traffic durability even better.
Both grass varieties can be maintained and stay strong and healthy with even as little as 2-4 pounds of nitrogen throughout the growing season. This will lead to less risk of stress and disease for Kentucky bluegrass during the summer, along with the reduced risk of winter injury for Bermuda grass during the winter season.
The improved plant feeding technologies will help high traffic and low maintenance fields use fertilizer products with controlled release for up to 20 weeks at times! These will give the grasses slow and consistent feeding, making it less of a hassle on your end.
3. Using aggressive cultivation
Soil aeration or decompaction is a crucial component when maintaining your lawn, especially high-traffic and natural grassy areas. Without this, the grass fails to grow, regardless of the species.
With more aeration and decompaction, the improved genetics of both grass varieties will thrive as roots are pushed deeper and begin spreading quickly. This will allow water to infiltrate even deeper into the soil, supplying and sustaining the roots. Plus, it will help soil microbes stay active, improving soil health, fertilizer efficiency, and better grass growth.
Can Kentucky Bluegrass Choke Out Bermuda?
But will Kentucky bluegrass choke out Bermuda? There may be a possibility because of their unique characteristics, but if tended to and maintained regularly, they can both thrive well together.
Bermuda and Kentucky bluegrass are quite similar in terms of their growth rate, as both grow aggressively. While the Kentucky bluegrass cannot choke out weeds that are growing, it would make it more difficult for weeds and weed seeds to gain a foothold. And we’re talking about Bermuda grass, which is considered as weeds in certain areas.
But again, if you maintained it well, then there won’t be any worries regarding their overall growth. You also have to make sure that you choose the right variety suitable for Bermuda grass. For instance, ‘Midnight’ Kentucky bluegrass may end up with an inconsistent surface when mixed with Bermuda grass.
Wrapping It Up
Combining grass varieties is very beneficial for lawns to improve their hardiness and overall growth. However, you need to make sure you combine the right varieties that will blend well together to avoid any turf damage or unsightly patches. Fortunately, with Kentucky bluegrass and Bermuda, it’s possible to mix them, and you can expect these two aggressively spreading grasses to fill out your lawn in no time.
I hope that you learned a lot about Kentucky bluegrass and Bermuda and how they work well together. If you plan to mix these two grass seeds, follow the appropriate steps to make sure one won’t kill the other. Good luck!