Have creeping bentgrass in your yard? Read how Harold Enger, our lawn care expert, tells a reader the three best ways to eliminate it.
“I have question about creeping bent grass. It’s all over my lawn in splotches. I watched your video about it but you didn’t mention what I could use to get rid of it. Help! I just want a gorgeous lawn and am at a loss with it. Thanks in advance.”
Thank you for sending in your question. Controlling bentgrass can be a daunting task. My recommendations are based on the assumption that your lawn is composed mostly of bluegrass, ryegrass or turf type tall fescue. If you have other varieties of grass in your lawn, please let me know and I can provide you with recommendations to use for those grasses.
Dealing With Bentgrass – Expert Lawn Care Advice
There are three ways you can get rid of creeping bentgrass:
First method is to spray the individual spots with a non-selective herbicide like Round-Up.
This will kill off the bentgrass, but it will also kill the desired grasses, so only spray where the bentgrass is growing. You should spray about 6 inches beyond the patches to make sure you control the stolons, or above-ground runners, that may spread out into the lawn, but are often not visible. It will require two applications. Once the grasses die, you can either reseed or re-sod the spots. The best time to use Round-Up is when the grass is actively growing and not under heat or drought stress.
The second method is to use a product called Tenacity.
You can do a search on the product and find many sources that sell it. This is a selective product that will control the bentgrass without harming your desired grasses. The best time to start this process is in mid-July, and it requires three applications, spaced two weeks apart, to achieve complete control. Once Tenacity is applied to the lawn, the bentgrass will turn bright white and be very noticeable, so be prepared that this will happen. Once the bentgrass is controlled, you can reseed the lawn. The easiest way to do so is to core aerate the lawn first and then broadcast seed across the lawn. Be sure to read and follow the label directions before using the product. By the way, one 8 ounce bottle of Tenacity will cover an acre of property, so you probably will not need more than 8 ounces.
The third option is to contract with a local lawn care or landscape company that may offer one of these services.
While Tenacity will not damage your existing grasses as long as they are cool-season grasses, doing multiple applications, and then core aerating and reseeding or resodding, can be a time-consuming and frustrating process.
Do you have a question for Harold? Send him your lawn care question today!