What Is Bentgrass?

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Bentgrass is actually a family of grasses. In some situations the grass is used for greens on golf courses while the same type of grass growing in another circumstance could be thought of as a invasive weed. The most common bentgrass is creeping bentgrass. This varieity has been grown in the United States since the colonial era and is used on golf courses and athletic fields.

Appearance

  • Bentgrass has thin blades that grow from short, fine stems. Left unmowed, the grass plant forms a flower and seed head that extends up from the base of the plant. The grass forms a dense mat of vegetation which makes it ideal for golf greens. The plant spreads by roots forming where the stems touch the ground.

Growing Characteristics

  • Creeping bentgrass grows best in cool and humid conditions such as the northeast and Pacific Northwest of the United States. Hot weather stresses the plant, although with the proper care and management bentgrass is used on golf greens in the deep south, including places like Texas. Once stressed, the plant is damaged by foot traffic and insects.

Propagation

  • Apply bentgrass seed, which is microscopic in size, at a rate of between a half and one pound per 1,000 square feet. Cover the area with mulch at a rate of about 50 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Keep the seeds moist with water applications at least three times per day during the first week. Seed germination occurs about five days after the seeding. Plant bentgrass in the fall to allow the turf to gain some maturity before the stress of summer heat.

Control

  • While creeping bentgrass is popular on golf courses, it is sometimes considered a weed that invades other grasses in lawns. The grass is not used for lawns because of the necessity of frequent close mowing and high fertilization requirements. Spots of creeping bentgrass are treated with glyphosate-type herbicides, such as roundup, which kill the plants on contact. The chemicals are allowed to work for about seven days, after which the area is tilled and more desirable grasses are planted in its place.

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