Chicago is a city known for its harsh weather, but this winter was extremely trying, complete with a 'polar vortex' and more snow and ice than usual. But there is always the promise of springtime and all it entails—blossoming trees, the return of singing birds and green grass. But just like the maintenance and care necessary to keep the grounds clean and safe in winter, landscaping becomes a critical challenge during spring, summer and fall.
Blue Grass, Not Music
Kentucky bluegrass is by far the most commonly found type of lawn covering in Chicagoland. Kentucky bluegrass is a dense grass with smooth upright stems that can be planted from seed or sod, and is one of the most popular turf grass lawns in North America. The grass color ranges from bright green to deep, bluish green. It’s often used in low to medium traffic areas and often incorporated with other grass species to produce a better multipurpose lawn.
“Most associations have a bluegrass mix,” says Sherman Fields, vice president of Acres Group in Chicago. “Kentucky bluegrass is usually a mix of bluegrass, perennial rye and fescue. The advantage is that it's a soft, family friendly mixture of grasses that is very aesthetically pleasing. It's a cool weather grass so it does well in our zone.”
Bob Dore, president of Green Scene Landscaping & Lawn Care in St. Charles, agrees with Fields on the popularity of Kentucky bluegrasss in the Chicagoland area. “Because of the growing zone we're in Kentucky bluegrass is a popular choice,” he says. “It's a cool season grass, meaning that in the spring and fall it stays green and goes dormant in the summertime and there is no precipitation. It's important to hire professionals because it has to be planted in the right place.”
It is for that reason that Dan Kimble, general manager of Harmony Lawn Care, a Florida-based professional, recommends using outside contractors for lawn care, rather than opting to have in-house maintenance or grounds staff carry out the tasks of fertilizing, watering, and mowing.