Gerry's Blog



Martin wrote

"I sewed the grass in late summer 2013 and it has taken well and is now about 4 inches long. in the spring what procedures should i adopt to get the length down from its present 4 inches to the putting surface i require?"


Okay, so we asked some questions. ...

What kind of grass did you sow? Kentucky bluegrass, Fescue, a mix or creeping bentgrass?
I take it that it has not been cut yet?
Is it under snow?
What kind of soil is it growing on?
Hi Gerry,

Great to hear from you. I live in Scotland and bought it from a UK supplier. 60% Highland Bentgrass and 40% Egmont Bentgrass. It is not under snow yet since it has been a very mild but wet winter thus far. I tried cutting it when it was about 6 weeks old and was about 2 inches long but it damaged badly so I left it and have only cut it twice since late fall. It has stopped growing now obviously. I had 2 feet of clay soil removed and refilled with top rate topsoil before sewing. I also put a couple of inches of a sandy topsoil on and rolled it flat before sewing.



Graeme Mann (Twitter name @thebgsgr) says 

Highland and Egmont Bentgrass is a good mix but personally I would of added a % mix of chewings and slender creeping red fescues.

The reason I suggested adding a slender fescue as this acts as a protective cover grass whilst the slower growing Bentgrass becomes established.
So given the weather we have had here since you have seeded your putting green, I think you  have probably done okay and just need to give the grass time to become more established.
I assume that when you mowed the grass you used a sharp bladed cylinder mower (preference being multi bladed10 blades or more) and just took off the tops with as many repeated mowing to bring the height down to a reasonable / desired level.
Please note that the cutting height must be determined to ensure that the grass has at least enough leaf to survive and not aim for the must have 2mm.
One point worth highlighting is that cut height alone doesn’t alter speed of roll etc. It’s a balance between grass species, soil conditions as well.
In reference to your particular “problem”, I would hazard a guess that the grass hasn’t become fully established.  So more of a question of giving it time.  Re-assess the situation once the grass starts to become more active and consider taking appropriate action as required.  This could be aeration, fertilisation, topdressing, over seeding.
When determining your desired cut height (note fescues are not as tolerant of close cutting on a daily basis so aim for 5mm), Bent grasses vary between species but at around 2.25 to 2.75mm should be okay.
Key is to cut little and often, slowly reducing the height down to your desired level - keep an eye out to make sure the grass sward doesn't start showing signs of stress or disease and act accordingly.


Charles Egelston - Lawn Consultant with Nutrite Fertilizer  Wrote 2014-01-10 18:25

You should never have allowed the bentgrass to get to 4" in length. Will have to gradually reduce the cutting height in 1" increments until you've mowed the green down to the desired maintenance height ( probably in the range of 3/8" for a home putting green)

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