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How To Care For Creeping Bentgrass

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Management Of Creeping Bentgrass

It has been stated creeping bentgrass species are different and not to be managed as other bents are. Summarizing this, it means less fertilizer, less water, less babying than the old bents that superintendents are accustomed to. Summation of this is it also adds up to less worry. These bents are tough, useful grasses that require different management but overall the management is actually easier than the superintendent or homeowner is accustomed to. The end result is a very high quality putting green surface that thrives on low mowing and culminates in a near perfect putting surface with no grain and no extraordinary practices.

Creeping Bentgrass

Additional Information; http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/Turfgrasses/Bentgrass_Creeping.aspx

Fertilization of Creeping Bentgrass Varieties

The fertilizer formulations and rates may need to be adjusted according to soil test results and turfgrass performance in the fertility program listed below. After the turfgrass has grown in, fertilizer applications should be kept light and infrequent. This can be accomplished by the use of a fertigation system or a soluble product.

The amount of the fertilizer should be .1 of a pound of nitrogen maybe every 14 days +/-, depending on growth, clippings and performance. The yearly amount of nitrogen will be from 2 to 4 pounds, phosphorous 2 to 3 pounds, and potassium 6 to 10 pounds. As far as micronutrients amounts this should be checked with tissue tests during the year and again with a soil test in the early spring.

Fertility Program

  • Preplant - Starter Fertilizer 12 - 24 - 12 350 lbs./Acre
  • Micronutrients package 400 lbs./Acre
  • Week 2 - Turf Fertilizer 21 - 4 - 11 200 lbs./Acre
  • Week 4 - High K 14 - 0 - 26 180 lbs./Acre
  • Week 6 - Starter Fertilizer 12 - 24 - 12 200 lbs./Acre
  • Week 8 - Micronutrients package 200 lbs./Acre
  • Week 10 - Turf Fertilizer 21 - 4 - 11 100 lbs./Acre
  • Week 12 - High K 14 - 0 - 26 180 lbs./Acre

Maintenance Program For Creeping Bentgrasses

The first mowing should be when there is uniform turf coverage with a height from 1/4 to 3/8 inch and definitely not more than a 1/2 inch. The mower should have a smooth front roller. It has been reported that some people have used grooved rollers too early. Clippings should not be caught early on as this will help build a biomass or padding that will protect the plant from damage. During the early stage it is important to do a weekly light topdressing. This will cover the clippings and smooth any roughness in the surface as well as accelerate the filling in of the turf grass canopy. It is possible to get to the desired mowing height within 6 to 7 weeks after the first mowing if not sooner. Seaside II is being maintained by most facilities at 5/32nd or 9/64th for greens.

Irrigation Practices For Creeping Bentgrass

It is important to irrigate only when necessary, when required fill the soil profile to field capacity or like trying to flush salts from the soil profile. This could be a 30 to 40 minute cycle depending on the type of irrigation used or time of year. Do not irrigate the next few nights with a 5 or 10 minute cycle. Stretch the time between irrigation cycles as long as possible. Again, this will vary from the time of year, it is possible to go at least 4 to 10 days longer, with only needing to hit hot spots if required.

Aeration For Creeping Bentgrass

As far as aeration, this has varied from course to course. Most golf courses aerate two to three times a year. Once in the spring, early summer and fall, similar to what is currently being done with other bentgrass courses and lawns. Some courses are going less, others more, all depends on the size of the greens, soil type and traffic.

Top Dressing Creeping Bentgrass

Top dressing varies depending on management style from light weekly applications to once a month when verticutting. As with all bentgrass types it is important to get as much topdressing into the canopy as possible. This can only be accomplished if the canopy is opened up by the use of groomers, verticutting, grooving or spiking.

These are basic guidelines, which should be adjusted to location conditions or requirements.

Technical Information
courtesy of Tee-2-Green
Copyright Tee-2-Green

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