The use of bent grass
use to be confined almost entirely to golf greens.
Today, however, many homeowners and gardeners
prefer bent lawns for their beautiful carpet like
turf, in spite of the work of establishing and
WHAT IS BENT GRASS?
The bent grasses are characterized by their long
creeping stems, which extend over the surface
of the soil. The joints (nodes) of these stems
take root very easily, to form the thick, velvety
turf for which bent grass is famous.
The seedbed is prepared in the same manner as
for any other type of lawn, with special care
being given to drainage. Before the final grading
is done, Lawn fertilizer should be applied at
the rate of 3 pounds per 100 square feet of area
and raked into the top 3 or 4 inches of soil.
PLANTING OR SEEDING.
If seed strains are used, they should be sown
at the rate of 2 to 3 pounds per 1,000 square
feet. Bent lawns can also be started with plugs,
which are small clumps of already existing bent
turf. These are set out as individual plants 8
to 10 inches apart. In two seasons or less they
will completely cover the soil if sufficient quantity
of plant food is available. The type or strain
of bent also determines spreading ability.
grass must have an ample supply of plant food
nutrients available at all times, in order to
maintain a dense, even turf covering. The established
bent lawn should be fed in both the spring and
fall, at the rate of 3 pounds Lawn fertilizer
per 100 square feet. The spring application should
be made while the frost is still in the ground.
This application does not require watering in.
In the fall the feeding should be made in late
August or September. The method used for feeding
bluegrass applies also for bent grass. Fohor (leaf)
feeding in summer with Lawn fertilizer is also
recommended to keep bent lawns thriving.
and frequent clipping is necessary to maintain
a good bent turf A new planting should be allowed
to reach a height of 11/2 inches before the first
mowing. The height at which regular mowings should
be made varies from 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches, depending
upon, the geographical location and the strain
of bent used. In some sections daily cutting is
necessary during the early growing season; however.,
in the greater part of the season and in most
sections, mowing every 3 to 4 days is sufficient.
Any mower that is sharp and can be set low enough
will do a satisfactory job of clipping; however,
a special "putting greens" mower that is geared
smoother, has more blades, and can be set lower
will do the best job of cutting bent lawns.
The rooting or creeping activity of bents is speeded
by top dressing of a fine sandy loam, which may
be augmented with compost or fine grass clippings.
It is important that this top dressing not contain
an excessive amount of clay materials, which will
compact the turf and affect aeration of the roots.
Neither should the top dressing material contain
peat or muck, as these materials tend to create
a soggy condition. The first top dressing should
be applied in the early spring about 1/4 inch
thick and worked in by dragging it with a light
object. A doormat can be used satisfactorily as
a drag. Top dressing should be repeated 1 to 3
times a season, depending upon the growth of the
The lawn should be
rolled and watered after each top dressing. Many
green keepers mix plant food with the top dressing.
If Lawn fertilizer is used in this manner, it
should be mixed with the top dressing material
at the rate of 1 pint per bushel of material.
Bent grasses are subject to some 50 odd fungus
diseases, such as Brown Patch, Snow Mold, and
Dollar Spot. These fungus diseases occur more
frequently and are of more serious consequences
in areas and seasons of hot, humid weather. Close
clipping allows air to move freely through the
vegetation and will therefore reduce the hazard
of fungus. The disease-resistant ability of bent
grasses is definitely affected by the balance
and availability of plant food nutrients. A healthy,
well-fed turf will resist many fungus diseases.
Preventive protection, by frequent spraying with
a good fungicide, is often the most effective
as well as the surest way to maintain disease
control. Consult your Lawn fertilizer, representative
or a garden supply dealer for definite recommendations.