Cool-season grasses are mainly suited for the parts of New England and the Pacific Northwest. Bentgrass, used as turfgrass, is a perennial creeping grass. It can be used as a part of a seed mix for home lawns, golf courses, and field, or you can use it alone as well. Bentgrass is native to Europe and Asia, where it grows wild.
What is Bentgrass?
Decorative lawns led to the development of bentgrass, and it was first developed in Europe. Bentgrass, with a deep green color, is well-known as one of the most pleasing lawns available. Spread by above-ground stolons, it is a low-growing grass.
Due to the low mowing height requirement of bent grass, it is best cropped using a reel mower. In the south region, the bentgrass in lawns is considered an interfering weed, but it is a very beneficial species for cool region lawns. Bentgrass requires chilly temperatures at night and does not grow well in warm evenings; Northern states are ideal temperature-wise.
Types of Bentgrass
There are a lot of strains of bentgrass beneficial for turf. Occasionally, the Southern regions use it as a part of seed mixed lawns, but one has to be careful as it dies back in heavy heat and does not form a long-lasting garden where the temperatures remain high all the time. The varieties of bentgrass found in the southern regions are Cato, Penneagle, Emerald, Crenshaw, and Penn Links.
Moreover, in the North zone, bentgrass types include Congressional, Toronto, Nimisiila, Cohansey, and a few local blends. The oldest variety of bentgrass is Seaside. As the name suggests, it is used in the lawn created in multihued and coastal areas. Another consistently produced type of bentgrass is Pen grass, which is most tolerant of foot traffic and has a high disease resistance.
How to Cultivate Bentgrass?
Bentgrass is a vigorous turfgrass with high water needs and low maintenance when used in cold locations. Due to its pest management, constant water, fertilizer, and mowing needs, bentgrass is a problem in the South zone, especially in the summer months.
For cultivating bentgrass, plugs or seeds are available. The most appropriate procedure in the North region is the seed establishment, whereas plugs are widely used in the south. The most crucial part is the preparation of the turf bed. For that, remove rocks and debris and take out the bed to grade it and split-up lumps. After that, seed at the rate of 50 pounds/1,000 square feet and then cover it with a mixture of sand and compost.
Until germination, keep the area evenly moist and apply a nitrogen fertilizer once the turf sets up. Apply the fertilizer from October to May in the South zones (once monthly) and early spring in the North. Follow with plenty of water and trim bentgrass no lower than one-fourth inch for excellent condition.
How to Maintain Bentgrass?
For best results in development, what frequently is needed is the addition of top dressings. Bentgrass forms roofing and helps keep a few diseases in check when properly removed every day. For the endurance of the turf on athletic fields and golf courses, the things that must be closely managed are qualities of the soil and the accuracy of watering.
The process of recovery from the damage of the bentgrass is slow, and it needs supplementary grasses over seeded ones until the growth has returned to the original density. Since bentgrass needs well-draining soil, good drainage is maintained with the addition of soil on several golf courses.
All the types retain specific qualities for texture, watering, climate, insect tolerance, fertilizer needs, salt and disease tolerance, and color.
Maintenance needed for Creeping and Colonial bentgrass range high for athletic fields or golf courses. Here a higher concentration of watering, fertilization, and mowing are delicately regulated. Moreover, it scales from low to medium when cultivated in the North for lawns. Furthermore, in the regions of heavy traffic, the requirement of maintenance is exceptionally high.
Maintenance for New Bentgrass
For the new bentgrass plants, you have to take care of the following factors for the perfect growth:
The water requirement of the bentgrass is low but frequent. It is because of the reason that the bentgrass has a shallow root system that needs continual watering to keep seedbeds persistently moist.
Until the establishment of the seedlings, to keep them moist, mulch is applied. It provides the required moisture.
Fertilization is persistent for new bentgrass plants with a starter for the seeds followed by one month later application. And until the establishment of the green, soluble fertilizer is applied on a ten-day basis period.
Bentgrass requires in-depth management of water to the level which the soil holds. Also, cutting and reseeding should be done if required, with pest and disease control programs.
Tips to Take Care of Bentgrass
It can be challenging to take care of the bentgrass as it requires a little patience and skill. Following are a few tips that might prove useful:
- Make it a daily habit to mow the bentgrass of a length of 1/10 to 1/7 inch. And for this purpose, use a reel mower.
- Always go for a high-quality fertilizer for your lawn and use 1/10 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. feet. Repeat it every 14 days during the growing season. Over the year, it equates to 2 to 4 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.
- Around the bentgrass, set up lawn sprinklers and set them in a quantity that would be enough to cover the entire green.
- For every 4 to 10 days, run the sprinklers for around 30 to 40 minutes.
Pros of Bentgrass
The rich green color of bentgrass combined with a delicate leaf and concentrated coverage forms a carpet-like appearance, making it super attractive. With the right care, the lush mat finish will be a remarkable addition to any outdoor space.
Another great thing about this cool-season grass is it covers an area where it is planted, and instead of expanding underground through its roots, it attributes overland runners. The other perk of bentgrass is that it is irrepressible to wear and tear since it has stolons.
The ability to repair the damage and spread goes together. The bentgrass is quick to germinate but takes time to repair.
Cons of Bentgrass
Bentgrass has a shallow root system, which is substantial for the persistently wet areas, such as Europe. However, for regions like Australia, which has drier climates, bentgrass does not handle the heat. The hot weather dries out the top layer occupied by the roots, so continual watering is required for turf maintenance.
The watering administration is the beginning of the aftercare that bentgrass will need. Therefore, an in-depth maintenance routine is needed to keep bentgrass look great.
Bentgrass needs a lot of attention and care. Therefore, you should learn how to maintain and take care of it. But once you have mastered the art of maintenance techniques, you will have a beautiful outdoor space full of color.