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Types of Grass


The best grass for the body or foundation of lawns in the North is June-grass or Kentucky blue-grass (Poa pratensis), not Canada blue-grass (Poa compressa).

Whether white clover or other seed should be sown with the grass seed is very largely a personal question. Some persons like it, and others do not. If it is desired, it may be sown directly after the grass seed is sown, at the rate of one to four quarts or more to the acre.

For special purposes, other grasses may be used for lawns. Various kinds of lawn mixtures are on the market, for particular uses, and some of them are very good.

A superintendent of parks in one of the Eastern cities gives the following experience on kinds of grass: "For the meadows on the large parks we generally use extra recleaned Kentucky blue-grass, red-top, and white clover, in the proportion of thirty pounds of blue-grass, thirty pounds of red-top, and ten pounds of white clover to the acre. Sometimes we use for smaller lawns the blue-grass and red-top without the white clover.

We have used blue-grass, red-top, and Rhode Island bent in the proportion of twenty pounds each, and ten pounds of white clover to the acre, but the Rhode Island bent is so expensive that we rarely buy it. For grass in shady places, as in a grove, we use Kentucky blue-grass and rough-stalked meadow-grass (Poa trivialis) in equal parts at the rate of seventy pounds to the acre.

On the golf links we use blue-grass without any mixture on some of the putting greens; sometimes we use Rhode Island bent, and on sandy greens we use red-top. We always buy each kind of seed separately and mix them, and are particular to get the best extra recleaned of each kind. Frequently we get the seed of three different dealers to secure the best."

In most cases, the June-grass germinates and grows somewhat slowly, and it is usually advisable to sow four or five quarts of timothy grass to the acre with the June-grass seed. The timothy comes on quickly and makes a green the first year, and the June-grass soon crowds it out. It is not advisable to sow grain in the lawn as a nurse to the grass.

If the land is well prepared and the seed is sown in the cool part of the year, the grass ought to grow much better without the other crops than with them. Lands that are hard and lacking in nitrogen may be benefited if crimson clover (four or five quarts) is sown with the grass seed. This will make a green the first year, and will break up the subsoil by its deep roots and supply nitrogen, and being an annual plant it does not become troublesome, if mown frequently enough to prevent seeding.

In the southern states, where June-grass does not thrive, Bermuda-grass is the leading species used for lawns; although there are two or three others, as the goose-grass of Florida, that may be used in special localities.

Bermuda-grass is usually propagated by roots, but imported seed (said to be from Australia) is now available. The Bermuda-grass becomes reddish after frost; and English rye-grass may be sown on the Bermuda sod in August or September far south for winter green; in spring the Bermuda crowds it out.