How To Grow Centipede Grass In Sandy Soil - Centipede grass is a popular turf grass for lawns in the southern United States. Centipede grass's ability to grow in poor soil and its low maintenance requirements make it an ideal grass for many homeowners in warmer regions. While centipede grass requires little care, some centipede grasses require maintenance. Read on to learn more about how to plant centipede grass and care for centipede grass.
Centipede grass can be grown from seeds, turf, or centipede grass plugs. The method you use depends largely on your preferences in terms of cost, labor, and time to install the turf.
How To Grow Centipede Grass In Sandy Soil
Centipede grass seed is the cheapest, but it involves more work and takes longer to establish a lawn.
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The first step in getting started with centipede grass seeds is to locate the area where you want to grow centipede grass seeds. Using a rake or roller, level the area after plowing.
If other grass has previously grown in the area, remove it before plowing or treat with herbicide and wait a week or two before moving on to the next step or cover the area with a light barrier such as a tarp. Two to four weeks. This will kill the old grass and prevent old grass from re-establishing centipede grass in your lawn.
After preparing the area, spread centipede grass seed. 1 pound (0.5 kg) of centipede grass seed will cover 3,000 square feet (915 m). To make centipede grass seeds easier to spread, you can mix the seeds with sand. Mix 1 pound (0.5 kg.) of seed with 3 gallons (11 L.) of sand for maximum area coverage efficiency.
After planting centipede grass seeds, water well and keep them watered for three weeks. If desired, fertilize the area with a high-nitrogen fertilizer.
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Using centipede grass turf is the quickest and least labor-intensive method of starting a centipede grass turf, but it is also the most expensive.
The first step in mulching is to till the soil, adding organic matter and nitrogen-rich fertilizers as you till.
Then, place strips of centipede grass into the tilled soil. Make sure the edges of the grass strips touch, but the ends of the strips are staggered. Centipede grass clippings should come with turf staples, which will help bind the turf to the ground.
Once the bed is laid, turn the sod down and water thoroughly. Keep the centipede grass patch well watered for the next three to four weeks.
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Centipede turf plugs fall somewhere in the middle in terms of labor, cost, and time to install a turf.
When planting centipede grass plugs, start by protecting the area where the centipede grass plugs will grow. Add organic matter and nitrogen-rich fertilizer to the soil at this time. If the grass was established before this, you can use a lawn mower to remove the old grass before plowing.
Then, using a grass plug bit, place centipede grass plugs about 1 foot (31 cm) apart on the lawn.
After inserting the plugs, water the area well and water well for the next three to four weeks.
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Once your centipede grass lawn is established, it requires very little maintenance, but it does require some. Centipede grass maintenance requires occasional fertilizing and watering.
Fertilize your centipede grass twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer lightly once in the spring and again in the fall. Fertilizing more than this can cause problems with your centipede grass lawn.
Water your centipede grass only when it begins to show signs of drought stress. Symptoms of water stress include a pale color or wilted appearance to the grass. When watering during drought, water shallowly several times a week instead of deep watering once a week. Centipede grass [Eremochloa ophiuroides (Munro) Hack.] introduced to the United States from Southeast Asia. It is well adapted to the climate and soil of central and north Florida and is the most common household grass in the Florida Panhandle.
Centipede grass is a slow-growing, low-maintenance grass with low fertility requirements. Grass grows close to the ground, is medium in texture, and is naturally pale green in color. Over-fertilizing to achieve an unnatural dark green color reduces its tolerance to cold, increases long-term maintenance problems, and is thought to contribute to the "decline of centipede grass."
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Centipede grass does best in acidic, infertile soils. It has good shade tolerance and good drought tolerance. It can be established from seed, turf, or plugs and spreads by runners. Maintenance and reproduction requirements are low compared to other grasses.
Centipede grass is highly susceptible to nematode damage, especially ring nematodes. This damage limits the use of centipede grass on the sandy soils of South Florida. It is also subject to attack by insects called ground pearl. It is naturally pale green in color and is prone to iron chlorosis. It has little tolerance to salt, wear and cold.
Centipedegrass runners are high in lignin and contribute to a thick thatch layer, especially under conditions of high reproductive rates. The grass is often subject to "centipede grass decline", for which a causative agent has not yet been identified. It is affected by declining management practices and has increased under high fertility, high irrigation, and low grass height regimes.
Intensive management for 4 to 5 years results in root dieback in spring. This condition is exacerbated by thatch buildup, which causes new runners to grow several inches above the soil surface. Proper management, with an emphasis on maintaining a viable root system, is the best solution to this situation. These include watering during drought, maintaining a height of 1 1/2 - 2 inches, preventing ash buildup, and maintaining a low fertility rate.
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It is a low maintenance cultivar that can be established by seed or by vegetative means. It grows slowly and prostrate.
This cultivar was also selected for its cold tolerance. Like Oaklawn, it requires vegetative establishment, but is more tolerant of alkaline soil than Oaklawn or Common.
This cultivar was released in 1997 by the University of Georgia. It has good cold and frost tolerance, and can be propagated by seed or by vegetative means. Its growth rate is slightly faster than other centipede grass cultivars.
Released by Tennessee in 1999, this cultivar has better cold tolerance than any centipede grass. It is currently only available as grass, twigs, or plugs. Prefers full sun but can tolerate some shade.
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Centipede grass establishes by seed, plug, twig, or turf. Planting centipede grass as cuttings will immediately produce a lawn that will establish more quickly and be less susceptible to various types of stress. To prevent cracks in the turf, place the pieces together in a well-prepared seedbed.
Moisten the centipede grass soil surface well. After turf is laid, water thoroughly and lightly roll to ensure firm turf-to-soil contact. Entire area should be irrigated daily with 1/2 inch of water per application.
Once rooted in the soil, watering frequency can be reduced as needed. Although sod laying is more expensive than seeding or plugging, good quality, weed-free thatch produces the best quality turf.
Centipede grass seed is expensive, but seeding rates are low and this method of establishment can be more economical than vegetative seeding when time and labor are considered. The suggested seed rate is 4 ounces per 1000 square feet. The best time for sowing is the period from April to July, as it allows for a full growing season before the winter season.
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Fall planting is undesirable because young plants may not be established enough to resist cold damage during the winter. Centipede grass seeds are naturally slow to germinate and can take up to 2-3 weeks. Areas of soil washing due to heavy rain or overwatering should be minimized with a light mulch.
When buying seeds for planting, the quality of the seeds should be considered. Emphasize seeds with 90% or higher purity and a minimum of 85% germination. Burrowing or burrowing centipede grass leaves open areas of soil, which are subject to attack by fast-growing opportunistic weed species. Due to the slow growing habit of centipede grass, diligent weed control measures must be applied if this method of planting is used.
The best time to establish centipede grass is during the spring or early summer months. This allows the grass to grow before cold weather sets in, when growth will be slower. Seeds can be safely planted later in the year, but growth will again be very low in the fall.
When establishing any lawn, it is important to provide watering more frequently than is generally recommended. until feasible
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