Is this creeping bentgrass?

Asked September 4, 2019, 7:33 AM EDT

I began to notice a lot of thatch build up. I started doing some manual dethatching with a thatch rake yesterday. That got me looking really closely to the soil line as I could see the grass pulling up in an abnormal way. To me it looks like the grass isn’t hardly connected to the soil. You’ll see in the pictures that the grass plant has a 4-5 inch long “stem” before the roots start branching. The only part that is attached to the ground is the tiny branched root system. I have some clumping fescue that has the same long-stem/root bunch. The grass along my driveway (mainly clumping fescue) is pulling up in sheets. I thought it was grubs, but not a grub to be found. I’ve been putting bifenthrin down every 30 days. I appreciate any thought or feedback. I’ve always been a warm season guy, so this is new territory for me. Thanks all!

Howard County Maryland lawns and turf

1 Response

Very doubtful that this is creeping bentgrass. That is not a weed commonly encountered in a home lawn in MD. One possible way it could be introduced into a home lawn is if it was part of a seed mixture used to seed the lawn. But again, bentgrass seed is not typically contained in home lawn mixtures.
From what we can see of your lawn in the photos it looks very healthy. Considering we are at the end of summer most cool season lawns are looking their worst now but yours look good.
Grass roots can have a harder time growing along the sides of a driveway due to compacted soil, radiated heat coming off the pavement, or drier soil conditions among other things. So it makes sense that the roots will be weaker and pull away easier. However, you don't mention that the grass is browning out. So there is not much you can do about this.

The monthly bifenthrin applications are totally unnecessary. It is perfectly fine to have some insect activity in your lawn. Other than grubs there are very few insect pests of lawns in Maryland that cause significant damage and warrant an insecticide application. Many predators (good guys) like ground, rove, and solider beetles wander through grassy areas. They feed on soft-bodied insects, and the eggs and larvae of pests such as aphids, mites, mealybugs, caterpillars, grubs, fly maggots and pupae, root maggot larvae in the soil, and other small soil dwellers such as snails and slugs.
Even ants are okay, ants can help control termites in the landscape.
So it doesn't look like you need to be too concerned about your lawn at this point.
Deb