@##%%*&%# Creeping Bentgrass

oldog(5/MO)May 25, 2008

I live in Missouri, just west of St. Louis. As you all know this is a bad area for lawns due to our hot humid summers. Anyway, my lawn consists of a mix of bluegrass and several varieties of turftype fescues. The last several years I have been fighting a species of grass that is absolutely ruining my lawn. The color and the texture makes it stand out like a sore thumb. I have spent hours on the internet trying to identify it and have come to the conclusion that it is Creeping Bentgrass, a conclusion that was pretty much confirmed the other day when I was watching my favorite tv show, "Ask This Old House". Roger Cook, the landscaping guy was interviewing a lady about turfgrass and she had actual pots of grass for illustration purposes. When they got on the subject of "undesirables", she picked up a pot of grass that Roger immediately identified as Creeping Bent and stated that in most any lawn it would be considered a weed. The stuff she had looked just like what I have in my yard.

So, how do I get rid of it? I am formulating a plan that involves waiting until the middle of Aug. and using a non-selective herbicide, ie Roundup, to kill it, give it a few weeks to die out which would put me into early Sept., which is the best time for recondioning a lawn in this part of the country. Then I will power-rake and reseed. Any better ideas for dealing with this stuff?

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wxman81

Creeping bentgrass makes a beautiful lawn.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 10:48AM
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philes21(mi)

Oldog, we need pictures posted.

I have run into the concept of 'bentgrass' about four times, and each time, it turned out to be Nimblewill. Please look up Niblewill (it might be spelled Nimbelwill) and find some pics. That weed has a 'bent' aspect to it, and has been frequently mis-diagnosed as 'bentgrass' even though it is not.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2008 at 12:19PM
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dannyboyblue(5)

Nimblewill goes dormant and turns brown at the first frost and is very slow to green up in the spring. The brown patches seen in lawns in the early spring may be nimblewill contamination. Spread is mostly due to seeds produced in the early fall. This weed is difficult to eliminate without using total eradication.
If you do believe its bent grass, it really can make a beautiful lawn. Otherwise, eradication is the best option is what you have describe. Roundup, then your re-seeding in Sept.
I know it's frustrating but be patient. It takes time. It's only grass, oldog.

Here is a link that might be useful: TheLittleGreenApple.com

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 8:13AM
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oldog(5/MO)

To wxman81. Saw the pictures of your bentgrass lawn. Looks great. You put a ton of fertilizer on it, you cut it short like bent is supposed to be - looks great. Now, right out in the middle of that green expanse of lawn, picture about a 10 sq. ft. area of crabgrass. Picture that and you'll know what I'm putting up with.

To the person who suggested nimblewill, I immdediately Googled it and what I have is not nimblewill.

Thanks all!!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 12:51PM
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firstandgoal

There is no doubt that bent makes some great looking lawns. You may have to proceed with your current plan, with multiple applications of RU, unless you can get your hands on some "Tenacity" herbicide.

I think it is still labelled only for golf courses and sod farms.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 1:19PM
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genofish

This sounds like what i have been dealing with also. I googled nimblewill i too think i have bent grass
could you send a picture
my plan is the same as yours. good luck

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 2:51PM
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jtcm05(Zone 6 CT)

So, how do I get rid of it? I am formulating a plan that involves waiting until the middle of Aug. and using a non-selective herbicide, ie Roundup, to kill it, give it a few weeks to die out which would put me into early Sept., which is the best time for recondioning a lawn in this part of the country. Then I will power-rake and reseed. Any better ideas for dealing with this stuff?

Welcome to the club! Noone knows what youre going through more than I. I've been fighting bent for about 5 years now. 3 times now I've tried killing and re-seeding only to have it come back. My problem is now widespread. However, on the third try I did something different that may be working. I have been keeping a close eye on it and i don't see signs of it coming back. This was spring/summer of 2006. I started applying roundup in spring. Then rototilled the area and raked it out. Continued applying roundup every few weeks hoping to kill off any leftover germinating bent seed or shoots that may have survived the initial application. Come fall I prepped and seeded. As I said, so far so good. There are some studies being conducted to find a selective control for it. Chemicals like isoxaflutole and mesotrione have shown promising results under very controlled conditions, but nothing registered as yet. Something to hope for though.

I would gladly trade with those with huge crab or broadleaf weed problems!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2008 at 3:22PM
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turftiger

http://aggie-turf.tamu.edu/aggieturf2/grasswee/grasses/grasskey/id33.html
Hi guys,
Go to the above link with a good sample of your invader and a decent hand lens to correctly determine if you've got bentgrass or not. If you are unfamiliar with turf ID jargon, just match your sample with the drawings. But here are the identifying characteristics of Creeping Bentgrass (Agrostis palustris)too.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Vernation: rolled.
Ligule: membranous, rounded, finely irregular-toothed, 1-2mm long. (means short!)
Auricles: absent.
Sheath: round, smooth, split.
Collar: narrow, distinct, slanted.
Blades: narrow (2-5mm)(click on less than 3mm on the key), flat, veined (ridged upper" surface), rough along the edges.
Rhizomes: none.
Stolons: yes, slender.
Seedhead: panicle, generally compressed.

I have dealt with this issue many times on many lawns. I use glyphosate (roundup) in the professional concentration which I mix to a %10 solution. Be sure to spray at least a foot beyond the patch as the stolons can be quite extensive. Glyphosate has NO residual activity in the soil so you can reseed asap. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 9:32PM
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dzd9fy(6)

Have to agree with the hate for creeping bent grass. I went the route of complete kill last year and reseed as suggested, but obviously some if it still hung on deep in the soild beneath the dead patches that I left for two weeks after applying the round up.

Too bad there is not a herbicide out there for this stuff, it would be liquid gold.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 6:35PM
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reelfanatic

You guys crack me up having a hard time trying to eradicate Bent. Most people have a hard time ceeping it alive.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 7:18PM
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eriocaulon(5)

I hate both nimblewill and creeping bentgrass. To me, they are equally bad. I hope that mesotrione will start coming down in price or I may just have to break the bank and get me some.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 10:43PM
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dzd9fy(6)

reel,

Here is the formula for this stuff thriving aginst my will:

1. A neighbor three houses down that has this as the entire lawn by choice.
2. Previous owners of our location letting the lawn go to #($* and allowing brent along with a lot of other weeds to get a foot hold.
3. My wife not trusting that we should kill the ENTIRE LAWN last fall and talking me into less that 100% coverage with round up.
4. My failure last fall to agree....!

Oh well we all have our battles. :- )

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 3:44PM
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sand10

I too believe I have bentgrass. I have pulled it all out (it almost peels off, very little root system. & no I don't have grubs or pets causing the problem)I have used round Up, I have rototilled & re seeded numerous times. My lawn service, Grassmaster, told me it was due to the shade from the maples, however this didn't explain the brown "thatchy" areas that were in sun all day long.I am so frustrated and would gladly pay someone to de-sod my lawn & then re seed it if they could guarantee this stuff wouldn't come back

    Bookmark   July 22, 2009 at 8:40PM
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neilaz(9a)

If only it was 10 begrees cooler in Phoenix I would take your bentgrass

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 12:15PM
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hortsense

Nimblewill usually turns a brownish-white in winter (up North) Both grasses are very shallow-rooted, spread by stolons (runners) and prefer to be mown short. Bentgrasses can be damaged but is not often killed outright by many broadleaf herbicides (can be made to look crappy), Nimblewill not so much. Nimblewill does have little 'knuckles' or knobs on the stems (technical description is "very knotty at the nodes"--You could not make this up). The "knottiness" (naughtiness??) is perhaps the easiest way to tell the two plants apart. Bentgrass does not have nodes, much less knotty ones)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 12:59AM
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annette_g(z7 NJ)

OH DO I EVER SYMPATHIZE with you!! I have..rather HAD, a Kentucky Blue lawn.. it was sodded years ago and about 4 yrs ago this Bentgrass started. At first my husband was calling it 'chemo' grass because of it's thin wispy property.. It lays down flat or in swirls when I tried to cut it..
I took a sample to the county extension and they ID it... they said to do what a lot of you have done..the Roundup..roll it on then reseed. But the Scott's people say no.. not to do that... always a conflict.
I have it growing on the sides of my house where there is a swail with water there all the time... poorly graded...and along the back edge of my pool...Yesterday..for the first time, I lowered the blade and cut it... now it looks good...but it's slimy to walk on ..I have to get rid of it..and I have a lot!.. I am at my wits end..they told me a bird probably dropped a seed ...RRR.. I am laying in waiting for this bird!! No one else around here has it but me..I am in NJ... anyone have any better tips than what has been posted? Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 6:20PM
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reelfanatic

I'm with the posters who believe this to be a weed of some sort. Bentgrass is VERY tough to maintain. Noting that the OP stated "Hot and Humid summers" I highly doubt bent would survive, let alone thrive without a heavy fungicide and nutrient rotation.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 10:06AM
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mike9

reelfanatic,bentgrasses arent neartly as tough to maintain when you dont stress them by cutting them to putting green heights ;)

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 7:44PM
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reelfanatic

@Mike.. Ah, I will take that under advisement sir. I have no experience with Bent that is cut at anything higher than 1/4inch. Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 7:54PM
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mike9

thats what ive heard, i dont have personal experience with growing bentgrass though. Did you hear about that bentgrass turf on the new carnival crusie ship? Now that sounds like a tough job.

http://www.greenroofs.com/content/guest_features003.htm

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 3:57AM
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hortsense

As for bentgrass being "not tough enough to survive..."

A plant growing out of place is a weed. No more, no less. Bents are often site adapted in lawns. They grow well as a weed on poorly drained soils. Think you don't have any in your lawn? Look where your downspouts run off onto the lawn, the swale between your house and your neighbors, the low area out back,...

Bents can be tricky to maintain, but those that chose them as a desired turf use improved varieties and proper maintenance practices for the grass type. It not only tolerates but prefers close mowing which can make it ideal for many applications.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2009 at 6:46AM
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dzd9fy(6)

Soooo..... if there are so many people like myself that are having problems with this, why isnt there a selctivie manner to get rid of it? I would think there would be big dollars to be made as the alternative methods to date are less than effective and desireable.

Anyone???

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 2:31PM
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andy10917(NY 6a)

DZ:

Is the lawn that you planted 100% KBG? If it is and you have nerves of steel, there is a solution.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 8:04PM
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stevesixer_yahoo_com

There is only one way to eliminate bent grass. Kill it! Round-up will do. DON'T SEED. THEN, let the lawn grow in again and kill it again. That should take care of any remaining surviving grass/seeds. If you have the patience, time and money and don't mind an ugly lawn for a while, letting it grow in again and killing it a third time guarantees the fix.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 7:06PM
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downhillin_gmail_com

I've been fighting this too for 4 years now. Actually I've had it for a long time and the patch was was just getting bigger and bigger. I should have sprayed it 12 years ago when I first spotted it.

Control in the past consisted of roundup and then reseeding. However I would have mixed results. I would get patches of it growing here and there. I'm about 60 percent done now, but like some of you the seed keeps coming back.

This year I've tried something else. I've dug up some sprayed stuff and laid sod but man that's just too much work so I took a weed burner and have burned anything yellow. I'll keep some fertilizer on the burned spots and keep spraying and burning it till fall then using a small rototiller, till my soil and mix a bunch of seen and starter bed stuff together and replant the bare spots again.
Hoping this is the last of it.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 9:37PM
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amt36

I have creeping bentgrass in my fescue lawn and wanted to share that there is a relatively new herbicide that selectively kills the creeping bentgrass and not fescue. It's called Tenacity and it's made by Syngenta. it was developed for golf courses. I purchased it on Amazon. After application, the bentgrass, and other listed weeds, turn white and die. A second application is recommended after 3 weeks.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tenacity from Syngenta

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 8:21AM
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