Creeping Bentgrass is a cool season turfgrass that optimally grows when air temperatures are between 60F – 85F. Growth can still occur when temperatures rise or fall out of this temperature range, but not as efficient. Typically bentgrass growth follows an up/down growth chart, peaking in Spring and Fall, and minimal growth in winter and the summer months. The chart below illustrates these facts.
Below is a Bentgrass Research Study by North Carolina State University and Fred Yelverton, PhD illustrating average root biomass throughout a year. Rooting masses were observed and data collected each month of the year to have a detailed account of how much root decline occurs and when bentgrass rooting is the most greatly effected by temperatures. From these results, turf managers are able to anticipate the amount of roots gained and lost throughout a year and implement safety measures during stressful months to avoid turf injury or loss.
North Carolina State University’s study shows a drastic decline in root mass during the summer stress months, particularly during August and September. During Spring, in the months of April and May, root biomass increased to 1.5″ of roots and decreases to approximately .25″ of roots by September. This is a significant reduction of the root system, accounting for 83% of root loss by the end of summer. These stressful months for bentgrass are important for a club to be cautious and diligent with operations like repairing ball marks, limiting foot traffic in concentrated areas, and allowing cultural practices to be utilized to insure the safety and health of a green.