European grass varieties grow well in our area.

I picked up some grass seed last week from Hobbs & Hopkins on Ankeny Street in Portland. I had a visit with Keith Hopkins, the owner, about some of the grass seed varieties in his mixtures. It turns out that three of my favorite grass varieties included in their Pro-Time lawn seed mixtures were bred and developed in Europe (specifically DLF International Seeds in Denmark).

Hopkins explained to me that western Oregon and Washington are in the same climate zone as western Europe. Grass varieties developed and tested under their growing conditions usually do quite well in the Pacific Northwest.

The three varieties are Julius Kentucky Bluegrass, Essence Perennial Ryegrass, and a new MicroClover. Julius Bluegrass and Essence Ryegrass are included in Pro-Time Supreme Mix. MicroClover is included in several mixtures suited for low maintenance lawns.

I planted the Pro-Time Supreme Mix in my front lawn in the summer of 2009. I am very pleased with the development of the Julius Kentucky Bluegrass. It is adapted to our climate. Almost all bluegrass varieties do not grow well in our area because the weather does not get cold enough to put them into dormancy. Without a dormant rest period they die out.

The Essence Perennial Ryegrass is also better adapted and much more weed resistant than most perennial ryegrass varieties.

I am intrigued by the new Micro Clover. It has natural nitrogen fixing properties which can provide most or all of the fertilizer needed for a lawn.

Pro-Time lawn seed mixtures can be purchased at Shorty’s garden stores and on line directly from text

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