How To Care For Centipede Grass

Care for your centipede grass with these organic fertilizersWhile there are quite a number of people who enjoy caring for their lawns, there are also those who appreciate having a nice-looking lawn but would rather not spend so much time on keeping it that way. Thankfully for the latter group, there are several grasses that are ideal for their preferred low-maintenance lawn. One of these grasses is the Eremochloa ophiuroides. This perennial grass is native to China and was introduced to the Northern Hemisphere in the early 20th century. Aside from these two regions, the grass is also grown in Africa and the West Indies. More commonly known as centipede grass, this warm season grass has a medium to light green in color.

There are many characteristics that make this grass desirable by those who want a low maintenance lawn. For one, this grass is a slow grower, which means that it requires less frequent mowing. As the grass grows, it creates a dense mat that makes it capable of resisting weeds from growing on the lawn. Other benefits that people get from growing this grass is its tendency to grow uniformly, thus making the lawn look smooth and even, and its long lifecycle. Centipede grass can grow well in sandy and acidic soil, and even in soil with low fertility.

The grass has low fertilization requirements as well. Regular fertilizer application done just once a year is sufficient. The best time to apply fertilizer on this grass is during the spring when it re-greens. This is also the time of year when it is experiencing active growth, making it the ideal time for the grass to get all the benefits from fertilizer. The ideal fertilizer for centipede grass is one that is low in nitrogen and phosphorus.

Free seasonal remindersBecause of its low growing characteristic, the centipede grass is also drought tolerant. By being closer to the ground, the grass is able to conserve water in the soil better. It also has minimal watering needs. One only has to water the lawn once a week where one to two inches of water will do.

As mentioned, the grass is slow growing such that mowing is done less frequently than other grasses. During the growing season, mow the grass to a height of one inch. In the summer, one can allow it to grow much longer but not more than two inches. Bag the clippings after mowing to avoid thatch.

Centipede grass has poor tolerance to cold. Nevertheless, it can survive the winter months unless there is a hard freeze. It goes into a dormant state in winter, turning brown during light freezes. The grass recovers in spring and becomes green again. In the southeastern areas of the Northern Hemisphere, the grass remains green even in winter.

The downside of this grass is that it is salt sensitive and not suitable for planting in high traffic areas such as sports fields or where humans and pets usually pass by. It is also susceptible to grub worm attacks. These worms feed on the blades of the centipede grass. The easiest remedy for this situation is to use grub traps of which many types can be purchased. Grub worms can also be removed using insecticides.

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