I've been struggling with bent grass for about 4 seasons now, and I'm
throwing in the towel! I have been diligent. I have aerated every spring,
and I've tried dethatchers and power rakes, and it's only gotten worse. I
have Scotts 4-step and even a personal 12-step program where I've admitted
defeat and it still haunts me. I have been putting up flower beds, edging
out long strips and planted ornamental grasses, anything that would give me
less lawn! I came close to having the whole thing paved.
After making the last mowing of the season this weekend, I've decided that
I won't put it with this again next year. I want it GONE. I only have about
2500 sq ft but I don't know what the best way to approach this undertaking.
I'd like to have a 'normal' lawn at some point, but I've got a few low spots
and some ripples throughout the yard so should I just have a bobcat come in
and tear everything up, level everything off, and take it from there?
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Well, if you're trying to grow bentgrass for a lawn, that's your first
mistake. Bentgrass is high maintenance stuff and requires a helluva lot
more time and effort than the average Joe (or Wanda) has. Kill it with
Roundup and plant something easier to grow. Like bluegrass or ryegrass
if you live in the north, fescue if in the middle or bermuda, St.
Augustine or some other warm season grass if you live in the south.
I share your pain Dan. I have been in the turf management business for about
a dozen years and have faced the same problem w/ my own lawn. I have
discovered a few things about bentgrass that may help you.
- watch your fertilization level. If you're putting down more than 4 lbs of
nitrogen/ 1000sf/ season then you are encouraging it.
- the more you water the lawn during the hot/dry spells the more bent you
will end up with
- bent cannot be removed manually. I power-raked my lawn down to dirt one
spring and by fall the bent was back
The previous suggestion of killing it off w/ roundup and then putting in new
is the only real sol'n. I've managed to keep it under control in my lawn by
keeping the fert down and I don't water at all, no matter what. I still have
bent in the lawn, but to the average homeowner it's not noticeable and it's
not thick enough to clump and crowd out the preferred grasses.
I'm in Canada and discovered that one of our largest ( read the very
largest ) Canadian-owned hardware stores was actually selling shade seed
that listed bentgrass as one of the seeds!! I wrote to them and let them
know that they were leaving themselves wide open for a class-action law
suite as nearly every lawn in my area that is 20+ years old has some degree
of bent in it. They have now changed suppliers for their shade seed, but the
specs on the new product are not that specific. Sooooooo if you do kill off
the lawn and seed, or ever seed again for any reason, buy your seed from a
reputable garden center, not from a hardware store.
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