The Lazy Man’s Grass: Centipede Grass
Centipede Grass is low maintenance and ideal in warmer climates.A native of China, centipede grass made its way into the United States around 1916. Since then, it has become popular in the Southeast. Known for its low maintenance properties and ability to adapt well to warm climates, centipede grass is mostly used for lawns, parks and golf course turf. If centipede grass is properly maintained, it rarely encounters pest problems. This grass type thrives in acidic, sandy soils found in the Southeastern region of the U.S. Centipede grass found in the Southwest often lacks adequate amounts of iron. Additionally, centipede grass doesn't flourish in the North due to colder temperatures. Centipede grass seed can successfully grow wherever St. Augustine grass thrives; however, centipede grass doesn't tolerate saline environments like St. Augustine grass, but it endures colder temperatures better and necessitates less mowing. Slow-growing and coarse in texture, centipede grass flourishes in areas that receive a great deal of sunlight. Additionally, centipede grass does not withstand heavy amounts of traffic. The establishment of centipede grass occurs via seed, sod or sprigs. Centipede grass seed should spread by hand or with a seeder. With sod or sprigs, centipede grass care is just as important as with seed, and they require more hard work when planting. With appropriate attention, centipede grass can be fully established within three months. Yellow-greenish in color, centipede grass produces a dense turf. In mild climates, this grass type remains green year round. Because it poorly tolerates cold temperatures, centipede grass does not enter a phase of inactivity during unfavorable conditions. Nevertheless, it resumes growth immediately after temperatures become favorable again. During hot summer months, centipede grass requires appropriate water management. Also, it does not withstand drought-like conditions very well, so proper amounts of water are vital to keep it healthy and strong. Oftentimes homeowners apply too much nitrogen to their centipede grass, believing it will improve its growth and color; however, it can cause a handful of other problems if over-fertilized. Essentially, centipede grass should receive one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet during the summer and fall, with summer applications being optional. For homeowners who live in warmer regions of the United States, centipede grass is a great option for a beautiful and healthy lawn. With proper centipede grass care, a lawn covered with centipede grass is stronger and will live longer.