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KENTUCKY BLUE GRASS.   65

Thus it is a native of Europe, northern Africa, Siberia and North America. It is also indigenous to Australia and the most southern parts of South America.

 

Habitat: It grows naturally in practically all localities and is able to live under the most trying conditions. Its natural home is the meadow, but it is also common in other places. Thus it grows along roadsides and borders of woods, on dry hills and in wet marshes, along seashores, at the foot of Greenland glaciers and on the summits of mountains in Sahara. It is largely grown in almost every country where agriculture is of importance.

 

Cultural conditions: For its proper development, Kentucky Blue Grass requires good soil. Extremes check its growth, and poor, sandy or gravelly soil suits it as little as do hard clays. On bottom lands, where the soil is loose and rich in humus, it attains its highest perfection, especially if the ground contains sufficient lime. In the limestone regions of Kentucky and Tennessee, Blue Grass is regarded as the king of pasture grasses, and it is said in some American states that whoever has the limestone land has also Blue Grass.

 

Climate: It prefers medium moist conditions though it is resistant to drought. It is extremely hardy, bearing severe frost and a long covering of snow without injury.

 

Habits of growth: Kentucky Blue Grass is rather slow in getting established. The first year it produces no stems and only a few leafy shoots, appearing in small, scattered tufts. The second year the tufts are less scattered because the underground runners have developed new leafy shoots, occupying most of the room between the branches of the first year's growth, and a few flowering stems have developed. From the third year on, if conditions are favour-able, a thick, dense sod is formed, covering the ground entirely. Growth starts quite early in the spring and the plants usually flower about the same time as Orchard Grass.

 

Agricultural value: If grown for hay, Kentucky Blue Grass should be cut when in flower, its feeding value being greatest at that time. After cutting, it starts rather slowly, and as the second growth consists chiefly of leaves, it cannot be relied upon for a second crop of hay. In mixtures, however, it makes a good bottom grass and adds considerably to the bulk of hay in the first cutting. It is one of the best grasses for lawn making.

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