Lawn

Spikelet (Poa pratensis)

The Poa pratensis is a very interesting gramínea. With it, you can have a spectacular lawn, since it resists footprints well and does not require much maintenance. Also, if you have horses you can let them roam the area where you grow it: they will surely enjoy it!

Maintenance is not complicated, being able to live in a wide variety of climates without problems.

Origin and characteristics of Poa pratensis

Image – Flickr/ Macleay Grass Man

Known as spikelet, Kentucky bluegrass, meadow grass, meadow grass, common poa, or poa grass, it is a perennial grass native to Europe, North Asia, and Morocco. It reaches a height of 30 to 60 centimeters, rarely 90cm, and produces linear and slightly wrinkled leaves with a size of 20cm long by 3-5mm wide. The flowers are grouped in spikelets – hence their name – 10 to 20cm long.

It is a rhizomatous plant, which also develops serpents (shoots of the roots), which is why it spreads quickly.

How is its cultivation like grass?

If you dare to grow Poa pratensis in your garden, we recommend that you keep the following in mind:

Location

It is important that it is in an area exposed to the sun directly, ideally it receives a minimum of 6 hours of light a day.

Earth

Before sowing the seeds, the soil must be prepared. This must have a pH between 6.5 and 7, which means that it must be neutral or slightly alkaline. Likewise, all the stones that are there must be removed (the smallest, 1-2mm can be left, but it is better to remove them also so that there is no risk of hurting ourselves if tomorrow we want to go without shoes on the grass ), having previously removed the soil with a rototiller.

Once that work is done, you have to pay. We will spread a thick layer, about 5-7cm, of organic compost, such as cow manure, and mix well with a rake while we level the ground. On this point, let me tell you something: do not become obsessed with having a perfectly level floor, because perfection as such does not exist, and apart… there would not be as natural as it could be.

Finally, it remains to install the irrigation system, which must be drip.

Related article:What types of drip irrigation systems are there?

Sowing

Unless the lawn is going to be very large, planting is done by hand and a bit haphazardly making sure there are no piles left. The most recommended time for this is in spring, when the minimum temperature remains above 15 degrees Celsius.

As soon as they are sown, it is advisable to roll over and start the irrigation system so that they germinate as soon as possible, something that will begin to occur in about 3-5 days.

Maintenance

Poa pratensis lawn maintenance consists of:

  • Irrigation: it will depend on the climate, but it must be moderate to frequent.
  • Subscriber: during the first year it will not be necessary, but from the second it is advisable to fertilize with lawn fertilizers (sold here ) following the instructions specified on the packaging.
  • Mowing the grass: due to its rapid growth, you will have to go through the mower once every 15 days in spring and summer if you want it short, or every 20-24 days if you want it somewhat higher. The rest of the year once a month or a month and a half.
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  • Overseeding: If it is kept well cared for, you won’t have to do any overseeding. But if you see that you have bald areas, do it in spring or summer.

Diseases

It can be affected by rust, mildew and fusarium fungi. If you see its leaves appear with bumps or orange, whitish or grayish spots, treat it with copper-based fungicide once a week until the disease subsides.

Rusticity

The Poa pratensis is an herb that tolerate freezing up the -8ºC. It also tolerates footfalls, making it one of the most interesting options to use as a lawn garden.

What uses is it given?

Image – Wikimedia/ Matt Lavin

Ornamental like grass

It is undoubtedly the most widespread use. It grows well in areas where the climate is warm, but it is not harmed by frost either. Its maintenance, as we have seen, is not very complicated, since with more or less frequent or moderate watering and a regular supply of fertilizer, it will be very healthy.

It is a species widely used on golf courses and other sports (football, rugby, etc.) where the trampling is intense, as well as in parks and, of course, in gardens.

As fodder for animals

In particular, it is good for sheep, cattle and horses. Its nutritional quality is very high, and apart from that it regrows with extraordinary rapidity. So don’t hesitate to grow Poa pratensis if you have any of these animals.

Enjoy your spikelet .

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