Ultimate Guide To Creeping Bentgrass

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I’ve been working with creeping bentgrass for quite some time. I know quite a bit about it, and how it behaves, so that’s why I want to take you with me on my Ultimate guide to creeping bentgrass. I’ll be going over quite a bit today, so just make sure that you pay close attention to each and every section if you’re not all that familiar with creeping bentgrass.

If you’re a total stranger to creeping bentgrass, don’t panic, because this guide is meant for everyone. I’ve seen a lot of information floating around about creeping bentgrass, and to be blunt, I want to debunk some of it. That’s why I’ve made this guide, and I’m happy to be sharing it with you today.

Oh, and if you have no clue as to what creeping bentgrass is just yet, the one thing I will say now is that it’s the type of grass you find on golf courses. While it may be beautiful when maintained, you’ll definitely want to learn everything you can. Trust me on this one, creeping bentgrass can be a blessing or a curse.

Now that you know what I’ll be going over, let’s dive right into my ultimate guide to creeping bentgrass.

Creeping bentgrass is a cool-season grass that spreads itself out using stolons. It is bright green but does have a hint of blue in it as well. Creeping bentgrass will also require a lot of maintenance, and if it does become damaged, you’ll need to make sure that you treat the damaged patch.

Check out my Ultimate Guide to Cool-Season Grasses.

What does creeping bentgrass look like?

putting green creeping bentgrass

Before I dive into some of the more complex topics around creeping bentgrass, I want to go ahead and give you a description of what it looks like. So let’s take a quick look.

It’s short

One thing that’s important to pay attention to, and while it can grow to taller lengths, you’ll usually see creeping bentgrass cut very short. This is due to the fact that it can actually get very shaggy if it’s not maintained, and this can happen faster than you think. I would actually compare this to almost a mat-like appearance.

The color

The next thing I want to talk about is the color. A lot of you might believe that grass is just green, but if you take a closer look you might be quite surprised. This is due to the fact that creeping bentgrass actually tends to have a blue tint to it.

The leaves

All grass has leaves, but creeping bentgrass actually has some unique leaves. I’ve noticed that the leaves of creeping bentgrass are actually long and narrow when poorly maintained, and the sides can be quite rigid as well.

Is creeping bentgrass good for lawns?

One question I hear a lot, and that surprises people a lot, is whether or not bentgrass can be good for your lawn. I know it’s a hassle to deal with, so what if you didn’t have to, right? That’s what I’ll be taking a look at in this section.

Can creeping bentgrass be useful?

Creeping bentgrass can be useful for plenty of things, but it really depends on what you’re looking to use it for. This is due to the fact that it’s mostly used in applications such as:

  • Turf for tennis
  • Turf for golf courses
  • Soccer field turf
  • Baseball fields
  • Other fields that will have high foot traffic

So can creeping bentgrass be useful for specific applications? Absolutely, but for most of you reading this it will end up being more of a hassle.

I believe that people like the look of creeping bentgrass for a few reasons. The texture is nice, and it can take quite a bit of punishment. I myself do enjoy a patch of this grass myself, but trust me on this one, you really don’t want it creeping into your lawn.

Check out my ultimate guide articles for different varieties of grass.

Best uses for creeping bentgrass?

Creeping bentgrass is pretty interesting, because it has a lot of unique qualities compared to a lot of other types of grass out there. So if you’re someone who is pondering the uses that creeping bentgrass may have, you’ll definitely want to pay close attention here.

So what can it do?

As I discussed a moment ago, creeping bentgrass is great to use as a type of turf. This is due to the fact that this grass can handle quite a bit of punishment, and can survive in cooler temperatures. It will serve as a great place for golfing, sporting events, and any location that is going to have a lot of foot traffic.

So, with that being said, all you really need to know about creeping bentgrass is that it’s best used as a type of turf. This can apply to big sporting stadiums, but if you want a homegrown turf it will work as well.

What type of grass is creeping bentgrass?

bentgrass on a golf course

You’d actually be surprised by the type of grass that bentgrass actually is. I know that a lot of people have their own opinions as to what it may be, but I want to debunk anything you may have heard elsewhere, okay?

So what is it?

Creeping bentgrass, to drop some science on you really quick, is called Agrostis Palustris. Now if that name means nothing to you, all you need to know is that it’s a perennial grass type.

I know this sounds like a textbook lesson so far, but I promise I’ll try to make it interesting, okay? Now, in the world of grass, the key distinction with creeping bentgrass is that its perennial. This means that it can handle quite a bit of abuse, and has been around for a very long time.

What else is there to know about creeping bentgrass?

Now, aside from knowing the scientific names, you’ll need to know that creeping bentgrass is cool-season grass. This means that creeping bentgrass can have some trouble surviving in the South, and may have trouble budding if it’s too warm. Oh, and if you will be growing it from seeds, it can take about 2 weeks to fully fill in.

When to plant creeping bentgrass?

If you’re looking to plant some bentgrass yourself, you’ll probably want to know when the best time is. This is due to the fact that bentgrass is, in fact, seasonal, which means you’ll need to time your planting process correctly. Don’t panic, though, because I have this covered.

The spring

The best time to plant creeping bentgrass is going to be in the spring. This is due to the fact that this grass thrives in cooler temperatures, so to be safe wait until it starts reaching the mid 50’s. I will also suggest not planting it in the fall, because this can cause it to dry out over the colder winter months.

Check out my Spring Lawn Care Ultimate Guide.

What if I live where it’s warm?

If you live in an area that has a hot climate, you’ll want to make sure that you plant creeping bentgrass during a time of year when it’s moist. I’ve noticed that creeping bentgrass actually needs quite a bit of consistent moisture, due to the shallow roots, so if it’s going to be warm, make sure you take this into account.

How long does it take for bentgrass to grow?

Once you have some bentgrass planted, I bet you’ll start getting a bit impatient. It’s not going to grow overnight, but if you do give it everything it needs to thrive, you won’t need to wait all that long.

Seeding to germinate

There is no real average that’s specific when it comes to creeping bentgrass, but usually, it takes less than two weeks. Now, obviously, sometimes this process can actually take about two weeks.

Monitor this process intensely

While the process may take about two weeks, you’ll need to make sure that you keep an eye on things. The first thing you’ll want to do is fertilize this grass every 10 days or so. I’ve noticed that this is the best approach to growing this grass, and you should fertilize this way until it begins to develop a cover.

How does creeping bentgrass spread?

If you’re dealing with unwanted creeping bentgrass, chances are you’ll want to stop the spread. If you were worried about that even being possible, you’ll definitely want to hear what I have to say. Let me show you how to deal with the spreading qualities of creeping bentgrass.

Stolons

If you’re not familiar with the phrase stolon, don’t panic, because it’s not really as complicated as it may sound. Creeping bentgrass utilizes a shallow root system, and will spread by using these stolons to create patches covering the soil in a given area.

This can lead to rapid expansion, if the environment is suitable, and can be a real hassle for your lawn. I would recommend monitoring the patches if you’re dealing with an issue because creeping bentgrass will spread rapidly throughout August and July.

Will vinegar kill bentgrass?

If you’re worried about bentgrass, you might be curious if vinegar will help you dispatch of it. I’ve seen this from time to time across the internet, so I want to take some time to address the facts about vinegar. Let’s take a look.

Will vinegar work?

Vinegar will definitely get the job done. You can either create a water and vinegar mixture (50/50), to use in a spray bottle, or you can simply apply the vinegar to the area you want. So to be blunt, yes, vinegar will do the trick.

How often do I need to use vinegar?

Vinegar makes for a great natural creeping bentgrass deterrent, but it’s not going to work right away. This means that you might need to apply the solution more than once. I’ve noticed that if you’re dealing with multiple patches, you’ll want to apply vinegar quite a few times.

Just make sure that you monitor the situation closely. If you do happen to leave damaged creeping bentgrass behind, there is a chance that it can come back within a week or two. So just be sure to do a thorough job.

How tall does creeping bentgrass grow?

The height of bentgrass is definitely something you want to consider. This is due to the fact that you’ll want to know when it’s time to cut it, but you’ll also want to know what it will look like across your lawn. So let’s take a look at some of the facts.

How tall will it grow if I just leave it alone?

drawing of creeping bentgrass

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913.

To answer this question, you have to take your location into account. If you’re in an area that allows creeping bentgrass to thrive, and just leave it, it will grow quite tall. This will give the grass a very shaggy look to it, and it can get pretty tall. I don’t have an exact number for you, but I’ve seen it reach heights up to 6 inches.

To be quite honest with you, you really don’t want to let this grass grow freely. It will get very hard to work with, and it won’t look pretty. Trust me on this one.

Best creeping bentgrass mowing height?

Now that I’ve shown you how tall it should be, I want to take a closer look at the actual mowing height of creeping bentgrass. If you get your mowing wrong, you can actually end up harming the growth of your grass. So let’s take a quick look.

Check out my full article on the best lawnmowers.

For turf use

If you’ll be using creeping bentgrass as a type of turf, you’ll want to make sure that you cut this grass appropriately. Trust me on this one, you’ll have a wild time if you don’t. Now, with that being said, you’ll want to cut creeping bentgrass down to at least 4 millimeters.

If you cut it down to about that height, you’ll notice that it will present you with that mat looking turf you’ve been looking for. I know that 4 millimeters sounds a bit short, but the beauty of creeping bentgrass is that it can handle that type of low height.

Creeping bentgrass is used in golf course applications due to its ability to handle intense mowing. I mean seriously, you can mow this grass down to an inch every other day if you want to. This is also why I don’t recommend you let this grass stick around your lawn.

Creeping bentgrass characteristics?

There is a lot to understand about creeping bentgrass. While it may be a type of grass, grass is something that has unique qualities depending on the type. That’s why, in this brief section, I want to list out some of the characteristics that creeping bentgrass comes with.

Some fun facts about creeping bentgrass

Here is a quick list of some of the things I’ve noticed about creeping bentgrass over the last couple of years:

  • It can handle foot traffic very well
  • It gives an excellent flush looking appearance if mowed properly
  • You’ll want to make sure this grass is well maintained in warmer climates
  • It’s a cool-season grass
  • It uses stolons to spread
  • If you look closely, you’ll notice a tint of blue
  • Creeping bentgrass as long narrow leaves if left to grow on its own
  • It can be aggressive if it comes into contact with your lawn
  • It doesn’t handle cold weather well, so you may need to overseed again in the spring

Keep in mind that there is still so much more to learn about creeping bentgrass, so think of this has a halfway recap. I hope you enjoy the rest.

Creeping bentgrass water requirements?

If you’ll be caring for creeping bentgrass, one of the things you’ll need to know is how to water it. This is due to the fact that creeping bentgrass has some unique traits, so you want to make sure that you don’t actually drown it. Let’s dive right in.

Check out my article on watering a lawn with a sprinkler system.

How often should I water creeping bentgrass?

Watering creeping bentgrass is a bit easier than you think, especially if you live in an area suitable for this type of grass. So for normal watering purposes, you’ll want to apply light moisture consistently. So what do I mean by this? All this really means is that the shallow roots need quite a bit of steady moisture, but you don’t want to drown the grass out.

What if I live in the South?

Now, if you happen to live in the South, the process is going to be a bit different. You’ll want to make sure that the creeping bentgrass has plenty of water exposure, and you should be watering this grass at least twice per day in the hot months. This will keep the grass cool, and I would also recommend watering this grass at night.

Creeping bentgrass under heat stress?

If you live in a very warm climate, heat stress can be a real concern for creeping bentgrass. This applies to all grass, really, and will actually become worse if you live in a dry area as well. Now, with that being said, let’s take a look at what creeping bentgrass can handle.

bentgrass for lawns

How much heat can creeping bentgrass handle?

As I’ve mentioned throughout this post so far, creeping bentgrass is cool-season grass. This means that it will survive better in areas that have cooler temperatures throughout the warmer months (summer). Once things start getting into the ’80s and ’90s, you’ll need to take closer care.

What about the nights?

Heat stress will occur when creeping bentgrass is exposed to high temperatures over a long period of time. This can actually be reduced if temperatures at night dip down below 70, so keep an eye on night time temperatures as well.

If your in an area that has cooler nights, you actually won’t have to worry about creeping bentgrass as much. Just make sure it has enough water to make it through the day.

Check out my article on the question of will grass get burnt if you water it in the sun?

How do you care for creeping bentgrass?

If you’ll be cultivating your own creeping bentgrass, one of the things you’ll need to consider is how the grass will actually behave. This is due to the fact that it’s a bit different than other grass types, which means it will need some unique care. Let’s take a look.

Check out my article on making your lawn greener and thicker.

As seeds

If you’ll be growing creeping bentgrass from seeds, you’ll want to make sure that you fertilize the grass every 10 days. I’ve mentioned this before, and I’m only mentioning this again to reinforce how crucial this is. Also, once the grass has made a nice patch, if it does get damaged you’ll need to fertilize it again until it repairs.

Watering

As I’ve mentioned in the water section, you’ll need to water creeping bentgrass quite frequently. Just be sure to keep it moist when possible, but don’t overdo it or anything. This will be a bit more hands-on if you live in a warmer climate.

Pest control

Creeping bentgrass is actually quite prone to disease, which means you’ll need to keep an eye on this. You’ll want to monitor the types of insects that hang out around your creeping bentgrass, and if needed, be sure to apply the proper pest control.

Creeping bentgrass is also prone to fungal issues as well. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to make sure that you make fungal prevention a top priority if you can.

Repairing

If your creeping bentgrass does become damaged, you’ll need to make sure that you actually repair the patch. This can occur if it becomes thin, or if foot traffic has beaten it down a bit. You’ll want to overseed the patch and monitor the patch until it returns to the density it was previously at.

How do you overseed creeping bentgrass?

Overseeding is something that occurs when you’re trying to density back to where it was. I’ve noticed that this is important with creeping bentgrass, because if you want that mat-like feel, you’ll need to make sure that each patch is dense. So let’s take a look at overseeding.

When should I overseed?

This is a common question, and the answer is actually quite simple. You’ll want to overseed when you notice a patch has begun thinning out. Now, obviously you don’t want to overdo it, but make sure that you allow new seeds to fill the patch back in.

It’s always a good idea to do some light overseeding if your creeping bentgrass had a tough winter.

Does overseeding actually work?

I get this question a lot, and to be blunt, it tends to be more of a case by case basis. This is due to the fact that overseeding does not always work the way we want it to. Luckily, if you do overseed a damaged patch properly, you’ll notice that the patch will fill back in within 2-3 weeks.

How much should I fertilize during overseeding?

I get the desire to fertilize often when overseeding, but you don’t want to choke out the rest of the patch. So be sure to follow the 10-day rule of thumb, this way the patch grows back in properly on its own.

When overseeding, to be honest with you, a lot of it comes down to patience.

Final Thoughts

I know that I went over a lot of information today, but I just want to make sure you’re well informed. Creeping bentgrass can be quite a hassle to maintain -or even deal with- so I just want to make sure you’re prepared.

Now, with that being said, please feel free to refer back to this post as a guide if you need to. Once you know how to handle creeping bentgrass, trust me, everything gets a bit easier.

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