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Due to the large number of golf courses in our area, we have a problem with bent grass invading fescue and bluegrass lawns throughout the county. Next to crab grass, it is one of the things that clients complain most about as it looks completely different from the original lawn and often suffers from pests and grows poorly under our typical lawn programs.

I understand that there are some products on the market that selectively attack bent grass, but we would prefer not to use these products for a number of reasons - primarily because everything around here winds up in either our aquifer or the bays.

So what are some strategies for preventing, managing, or controlling bent grass in residential lawns?

  • with perennial grass on grass violence you generally only have manual removal... or killing the whole area (roundup or covering)... if it were an annual grass you could use a germination inhibitor (but that is still another chemical)... so shovel... or resod ... or skip to the final stage of grieving ... – Grady Player Jan 8 '15 at 14:59
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  1. Peel off the turf of the bentgrass.
  2. Sprinkle topsoil and reseed/sod.
  3. Corn gluten meal isn't super effective, but it's better than nothing with controlling pre-emergent weeds.
  4. Later, cut out patches as you notice them, and reseed.

It is, of course, more work, especially initially with a bad infestation. A slower method (that customers are less likely to let you do) is tarping over the largest patches, which will kill off the bentgrass, but will leave the lawn in an unattractive state for some time.

You can't always have super easy and non-mainstream. There's a reason the methods became mainstream: They are fast, relatively easy, and work. But there are of course downsides (such as environmental impact) that you will avoid. Now, I do some of each (mainstream and organic lawn care), or a mix, depending on what the customer wants. Organic is doable, but also more work. But hey, it's worth the extra effort, especially if the customer is happy to pay ya.

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