Have you ever thought about building a real putting green in your backyard? Well now you can!
We have collected case studies from three of our successful customers, (Gary, Jye and Sean) who have been kind enough to share their experience.
Seeds Used: Bentgrass Penncross
Locations: Victoria, Australia.
Step 1: Soil Preparation
How did you prepare the soil?
Gary – “First, I sprayed area to be seeded with roundup and rotary hoed area twice over and then levelled off the soil.”
Jye- “I originally had loamy soil from our farm but found it didn’t provide a smooth enough roll for putting. So I covered it in around 2 cubic meters of a fine sandy loam as it packs down to a hard smooth surface, yet still allows the grass to easily grow through it.”
- Kill off any weeds and grasses before you rotary hoe the area. Roundup is an effective spray.
- If necessary, top dress with fine sandy loam soil for a harder surface.
- Level off – Here’s a good method for levelling off that you might find useful (youtube video). Use a roller to compact the soil too, as Sean did below.
Step 2: Sowing
How much seed did you sow?
Sean: “I sowed 3KGs on an area that is around 250 square metres.”
Gary: “I sowed seed at rate of 1KG per 100m2.”
Jye: “I planted 3kg in a 250 square meter area. I also found that placing the seed in a freezer** before planting speeds up germination, and I watered lightly afterwards.”
Note: **Personally I have never tried freezing/refrigerating seed before planting, so I can’t comment on this point, but in Jye’s case it has worked out great. Whatever you choose to do with your seeds, remember to store them in a COOL, DRY and DARK area.
- Sow at a rate of 1kg per 100 square meters.
- Water lightly after sowing
Step 3: Germination and growth
How long did it take before germination?
Sean: “Germination occurred from 6 to 10 days, but the temperature was crucial. In my experience the air temp has to be over 16 degrees but under 30 degrees. Keeping the soil moist during germination is also crucial.”
Jye: “The grass germinated quickly, I planted straight from the bag and it took around 2 weeks for all seed to germinate, I saw signs of the first seed germinating within 3 days.”
Gary: “I seeded on the 12th May, which was probably a little bit late in the season. First sign of strike was around 28th of May.”
- The best time for sowing bentgrass is in the spring or autumn, when soil temperature is high teens/low 20’s.
- Bentgrass will germinate quickly under the right conditions, usually within 7 days.
- Water requirements are light but frequent.
- Mulch is sometimes applied to keep the seedlings moist until they are established, this will also help with weeds.
Step 4: Mowing
When was the first cut?
Sean: “First cut with a hand mower was after 28 days. A heavier motorised cylinder mower was used at 60 days.”
- In order to cut bentgrass, you are going to need a reel mower. The first cut of your bentgrass should be there is universal coverage of ~1cm. Do not catch your clippings, as this will help build a biomass or light mulch that will protect the plant from damage.
Step 5: Weeding and maintenance
What does the maintenance look like?
Sean: “I trialled a bent grass friendly weed killer at around 60 days but found this sickened some of the bent. From that point, I hand picked weeds which took time, but was far more effective.”
Jye: “Maintenance wise I have regularly fertilized it with seasol when the grass was young to accelerate growth. I also give the grass regular doses of high nitrogen and iron fertilizer just to keep it healthy. I also try to mow the the grass twice a week with a reel to keep the grass short and fine. I haven’t found weeds to be an issue when the grass is well established as the roots get so dense that weeds and other grasses can’t compete with it.”
- Bentgrass is a high maintenance grass, regularly fertilise.
- Broadleaf weed killers can burn off your bentgrass, so be careful what you apply.