How to Grow Redtop

Redtop grass, or agrostis gigantea. image by Kristian Peters:


Redtop, also known as "creeping bentgrass," is a ground cover that was once used exclusively on golf courses, but was sought out by homeowners for its lush, velvety appearance. Redtop is now popular as a ground cover for lawns in the United States because of its thick, mossy appearance. Redtop grows in acidic and alkaline soils, and can grow in both warm and cool conditions.

Step 1

Prepare and fertilize the seedbed. Rake the seedbed thoroughly, removing any weeds, large rocks and inconsistencies in the soil. This will provide adequate drainage for the redtop grass, which is crucial. Apply a nitrogen lawn fertilizer before planting redtop seeds. Depending on the amount of nitrogen in your fertilizer, apply 1 lb. of true nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn.

Step 2

Sow seeds or plant redtop plugs. Seeds will take longer to grow, while plugs are already established clumps with roots. Spread seeds evenly across the prepared seedbed, 3 lb. of seed per 1,000 square feet. Place redtop plugs 8 to 10 inches apart across the lawn. The redtop grass will slowly spread to cover the entire lawn.

Step 3

Fertilize the lawn twice a year. Apply 3 lb. of fertilizer per 100 square feet of lawn during the spring and fall. Lay the fertilizer in early spring while frost is still on the ground, and in late August for the fall application. You do not need to water the ground after the fertilizer is applied.

Step 4

Mow the grass only when it reaches 1 1/2 inches in height. After this first mowing, mow the ground with a standard lawnmower every three to four days to maintain an even, lush turf.

Step 5

Apply a top dressing to the lawn for more even growth. Apply a sprinkling of a sandy, well-draining soil like cactus soil, to the top of the lawn, then spread it around with a flat, light object like a doormat. Add this top dressing three times during the spring and fall seasons.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Redtop seed or plugs
  • Fertilizer
  • Doormat
  • Cactus soil


  • Chest of Books: Redtop Grass
  • Farm Seeds: Redtop Grass

Who Can Help

  • Plant Ideas: Creeping Bent Grass Lawn
Keywords: growing redtop grass, how to grow redtop, how to grow agrostis gigantea, grow agrostis gigantea, care for redtop grass

About this Author

Megan Smith has been a freelance writer and editor since 2006. She writes about health, fitness, travel, beauty and grooming topics for various print and Internet publications. Smith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing from New York University.

Photo by: Kristian Peters: