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Centipede Grass Tops the List in the Southeast

by Kelly Richardson, All About Lawns Columnist

It adapts to low fertility conditions. It requires very little weekly maintenance. And it resists an entire range of grass pests. If you want to make growing and keeping a lawn as simple as possible, toss a handful of centipede grass seed down and watch it thrive!

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    Centipede grass was brought from South China to the United States in the early 1900s. Since that time, homeowners have embraced this low, medium textured, slow growing grass type. Centipede grass is perfect for properties with pine straw islands or gardens because it's so easy to maintain around edges. Here are some of the characteristics of centipede grass that make it a joy to grow.  

Characteristics of Centipede Grass:

  • Ideal Growing Conditions. Centipede grass seed grows best in full sunlight and in soils with a pH of 5 to 6. Where iron deficiencies exist, an iron sulfate spray enhances growth and color.
  • Development. Cultivate centipede grass from seeds or sprigs. It grows slower than St. Augustine or Bermuda grass, typically three years for complete development.
  • Fertilization. Fertilize with one-half pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet in mid-June, using a high potassium fertilizer. No phosphorous needed.
  • Aeration. Aerate centipede grass anytime during the growing season, but not during periods of extreme drought.
  • Beware Nematodes. Keep worms from attacking by applying less nitrogen, providing less frequent but deep watering, and ensuring ample soil potassium and phosphorus.

You have several choices of turf. Why not choose one that is easy to take care of and beautiful to boot? It's no wonder centipede grass seed is one of the more popular grass types for the Southeast.

About the Author
Kelly Richardson has obsessive compulsive lawn disorder and is afflicted with the need to share his knowledge with the world. Kelly writes lawn columns for a variety of home and garden magazines and e-zines.

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