All summer long, grass in much of Ohio and other parts of the heartland suffered from summer heat stress.  With temperatures beginning to dip and rain moving in from Hurricane season, you may see a resurgence of green bentgrass and other weeds.  Bentgrass is a perennial grass that loves cool moist conditions.  It is often found on golf course greens because it can tolerate extremely low mowing heights, but it is not always a good addition to a lawn.

It all started so innocently…

Bentgrass moves in as finely bladed grass, in a lighter green than the rest of the lawn, and it develops in patches in wet or damp areas. If the lawn is mowed at a higher length, the grass bends over, earning the name, bentgrass.  When it first appears, it can seem like an attractive, desirable grass, but as soon as summer heat arrives, bentgrass turns brown and plays dead.  Since other grasses in your lawn stay green under the summer sun, it looks like something is very wrong with your lawn.  And while the bentgrass is that dormant brown, weeds move in to take its place.  Your lawn ends up with weedy patches, brown patches and an overall patchy appearance.

How did it happen?

Once bentgrass is in the lawn, it is challenging to completely remove, and older lawns were often seeded with this product. After it is introduced to a lawn, if it provides the preferred conditions, bentgrass will move in, sprout and take over.  Did we mention cool, moist environment?  Because bentgrass roots are closer to the surface, daily watering encourages bentgrass growth and actually damages the chances of your other grasses surviving.  Remember the mowing height we mentioned.  If you mow to an extremely short height, other strains of grasses will be stressed while bentgrass will thrive, allowing it to take over and push those other grasses out.

What lawncare action will eliminate bentgrass?

Because it is a perennial, to prevent the return of bentgrass in the spring, you need to remove all of it now.  If you only have a few small patches of bentgrass, it might be possible to dig them out, or use Glyphosate to kill it so you can reseed the area.  The catch is that bentgrass has a tendency to spread into other grasses and is usually more widespread than you think.  This makes killing spots for reseeding with other grasses difficult at best.  A good way to think of the infiltration is if you see a solid patch of bentgrass a foot in diameter, you can count on a circle three times that size infected with bentgrass amidst the more desirable strains of grasses. 

The options for lawns where bentgrass has taken over, is to either totally remove it and start over with your lawn, or promote the bentgrass to grow an entire lawn of it.  If this is the case, visit to set up a consultation on what treatments we recommend for pests and diseases that are common to bentgrass.   The time to apply several of these treatments is now.  Greensman professionals can help you get the lawn that will turn your neighbors green with envy, while you relax and smile, knowing Greensman’s got it covered. 

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