The Q&A Archives: planting centipede grass

Question: We live in northeastern Florida and want to plant a new lawn. We live in Palatka, Florida and the area is sandy and dry. We love the look of St. Augustine grass but we are thinking about centipede grass. The upkeep of St.Aug. isn't the problem but knowing and doing the correct thing to make it look good is frustrating. Can you give us some names of correct grasses that look plush but easy.

Answer: Centipede grass is considered to require the least maintenance of any of the warm-season grasses. It requires less fertilizer and less frequent mowing compared to other grasses. Centipede can be established either from seed or sprigs; however, it will take longer to cover an area than bermuda or St. Augustine and has poor salt tolerance.

Plant any time from March through July for best results. Plant one pound (16 oz.) Centipede per 2,000 to 4,000 square feet of lawn. Planting more seed will result in faster coverage. Here are descriptions of the different varieties:

This is a low-maintenance cultivar that can be established by seed or vegetative means. It grows slowly and in a prostrate manner.

This improved cultivar has better cold tolerance than Common. It must be established vegetatively.

This cultivar was also selected for cold tolerance. Like Oklawn, it requires vegetative establishment, but is more tolerant of alkaline soils than Oklawn or Common.

This cultivar was released by the University of Georgia in 1997. It has good cold and freezing tolerance, and can be propagated by seed or vegetative means. It has a slightly faster rate of growth than other centipedegrass cultivars.

Released by Tennessee in 1999, this cultivar has the best cold tolerance of any centipedegrass. It is currently available only as sod, sprigs, or plugs. It prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade.

Best wishes with your new lawn!

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