Bentgrass Plus Drought Plus Heat, Means Dead Patches on Lawns

When we receive unseasonably high heat and dry weather, these conditions cause bentgrass and other annual weedy grasses in lawns to brown out much earlier than we normally see it. If you are seeing areas on your lawn yellowing or browning right now, there is a good chance it is Bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera),  or one of its close cousins, Poa Annua (annual bluegrass) or Poa Trivialis (Rough Bluegrass).bentgrass poa annua 006 with writing

Bentgrass and Annual Bluegrasses,  can invade a lawn through use of a low-quality seed mix, from sod (more commonly found then anyone likes to admit) or from a nearby golf course.  These weed grasses are encouraged by too frequent, shallow-watering.  Golf courses use bentgrass because it doesn’t mind being mowed very short (so the ball can roll).  They can spread quickly through a lawn during cool, wet weather, taking over areas where the rest of your grass isn’t doing well. But it is helpless against heat and drought. Once that weather hits, an invaded lawn will start to brown out in large, uneven patches.


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Tips For Identification of Bentgrass in Your Lawn & What To Do About It

The damage in this lawn is easily identified. The dividing line between healthy and dead grass is sharp. You can also see that the blades of the brown grass are much thinner than those of the healthy grass. Bentgrass also roots shallowly, which just makes droughts worse as its root structure quickly dries out in the top level of the soil, while the more deeply rooted desirable grasses remain protected deeper in the soil profile. Patches are easily pulled out when tugged on, even gently.

The only way to deal with Bentgrass is to replace it with more desirable grass cultivars. If you have a dead patch now, there is nothing to do but rake it all out, loosen the soil, and reseed it with a proper seed varietal.

In the future though, you can avoid ugly brown patches like this by dealing with patches of Bentgrass before they die. In the early Spring, when everything is going well, you can find Bentgrass when it is healthy and green. Look for patches of lighter-coloured grass with the characteristic skinny blades. The shallow roots make it easy to pull out at this time, too.

Patch of annual bluegrass - Poa Annua

Finding a patch early in the year gives you time to spot-seed the area while giving the desirable grass time to establish itself. Then by the time the heat strikes, you will have stronger grasses among the weak bentgrass. This method also avoids making the kind of large area of open earth that weeds consider an open invitation to take root.

If you notice large areas of bentgrass in your yard it could be worth it to reach out to a lawn care specialist near you for a consultation and to set up a reseeding appointment where they can clean up the spots for you and make sure to reseed with high-quality seed. At Lawnsavers we offer a number of seeding services to help your lawn grow healthy again.

Contact LawnSavers For Help Dealing With Brown Spots on Your Lawn

Call Lawnsavers when you are looking for the best lawn service company near you to help you deal with dead patches of brown grass. We’ll provide you with a free estimate for our lawn care services to help you take care of the issues that could be plaguing your yard. We also have many add-on lawn service features, such as custom over-seedingwhich will introduce your lawn to a much hardier variety of seeds. These are bred to withstand higher temperatures, need less water, and resist insects like chinch bug!

Contact us today if you have any lawn maintenance questions or to set up an initial assessment. 1-888-503-5296

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    2020-21 important turf and tree high (and low) lights:

      • Nine days of snow, ice and wintry weather in May 2020
        2021 was the driest April May and June in 51 years See Actual GTA daily weather records by clicking here.
      • One of the hottest driest summers on record in 2020 with long spells of grass-killing heat and drought. Read more here in our 2020 summary blog.
        2021 carried on this trend with only a few days of rain in July and August, with extreme dryness and heat.
      • A bumper crop of crabgrass that germinated in the perfect (rainless) storm. As expected, even more arrived this past summer in 2021!
      • Chinch Bug numbers in 2020 were record breaking and persisted through the dry heat they love, secretly killing lawns while dormant! We can help with Chinch bug damage  Expect even more this summer!
      • Fall of 2021 provided excellent conditions for lawn that were treated through the summer with our recovery amendments to bounce back and regain their vigour. (thanks for the compliments!)
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