A guide to Centipede grass
Centipede grass is one of the most popular varieties of grass found in American lawns. Like any type of lawn covering, centipede grass has its own unique care methods and ideal conditions. Before you decide to plant centipede in your yard, you should do some research to make sure that it is the best choice for your lawn. Here is some basic information about planting and caring for centipede grass in your lawn.
Basic centipede grass facts
Before planting any type of grass in your lawn, you need to first familiarize yourself with the best care methods and ideal growing conditions. Centipede grass has a medium texture, a fair cold tolerance and good shade tolerance. If your lawn is partially or mostly covered in shade, centipede grass will grow much better than other varieties of grass that require direct sunlight. If you are looking to plant a grass seed that establishes quickly, however, you’ll want to seek out another type. Centipede grass has one of the slowest establishment rates of the common grass varieties, meaning the initial care stage will last for quite some time after planting.
Centipede grass has been present in the United States since the early 1900’s, and is believed to have been first introduced to American soil in 1916. The grass originates in South China, but today it can be found in lawns all throughout the South, including South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas and other nearby states.
This grass should be mowed low, and because of its slow growing speed you won’t have to mow it as regularly as faster growing varieties. It grows in very densely, making it both attractive and very resilient to weeds. If you have flowerbeds or ornamentals planted in your lawn, centipede grass is a great choice. It rarely creeps past the boundaries of these plants, meaning very little maintenance will be required to keep your flower beds grass-free.
Varieties of centipede grass
As with most common US lawn coverings, there are several varieties of centipede grass to choose from. Some of these are likely to be a better fit for your lawn than others, so make sure to take the time to research the most common varieties before selecting one to plant. Here are a few of the most common types of centipede grass:
AU Centennial centipede grass: This variety is what is known as a ‘dwarf type’ centipede grass. It has one of the highest cold tolerances of centipede grasses, making it suitable for states that experience slightly colder weather than the deep south. AU Centennial has been commonly used since 1983, where it was first released by Auburn University.
Oklawn centipede grass: This slow-growing variety is blue-green in color with a medium texture. It is very resistant to many factors including heat, insects, disease and weeds. It is not as shade tolerant as some varieties, so it is best suited for lawns with full sun exposure. It has been present in the United States since 1965.
Hammock centipede grass: More so than any other variety of centipede grass, Hammock seeds are extremely tolerant to both heat and drought. If you live in a region where these factors aren’t uncommon, this will be the best fit for your lawn. It has a dark green color that makes it stand out in your lawn, as well as makes it quite visibly different from other types of centipede grass.
TifBlair centipede grass: The University of Georgia released this variety of centipede grass in 1997, making it one of the newest varieties on the market. It grows great in acidic soil and is unique in its resistance to soil with a high aluminum content. It has great color retention, a deep root system, and is extremely common in non-coastal areas of the United States.