There are several different grass choices depending on your needs. Let’s dive into which grass is the better choice for a low-maintenance lawn, golf courses, warm climates, acidic soils, different seasons, shady areas, etc. In this article, we will discuss the key differences between the following grass types: Bermuda Grass vs Centipede Grass, Centipede vs Bermuda, vs St. Augustine Grass vs Bermuda, and Bahia Grass Vs Centipede Grass.
Bermuda Grass Growing and Maintenance
Bermuda grass is a popular turf option for homeowners who are looking for a green lawn that tolerates drought, heat, and traffic. It is also tolerant of coastal salt spray and can grow in a variety of soil conditions. This warm-season grass is available in a wide range of cultivars and requires less maintenance than other types of grass.
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Bermuda Grass Drought Tolerance
Unlike other types of turf, Bermuda grass is able to survive prolonged periods of dry weather without damage. To help protect your Bermuda grass from drying out, water it often during the hot summer months. Make sure the water is soaking into the ground, rather than just running off of the surface.
Bermuda Grass Sunlight Requirements
As warm-season grass, Bermuda grass needs at least six hours of direct sunlight per day to thrive. In the cooler winter months, Bermuda grass will go dormant when air temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. To ensure that your Bermuda grass is green throughout the winter, you can overseed it with cool-season grass seed in late fall.
In most areas, bermudagrass is a spring and summer grass, growing during the warmer parts of the year when air temperatures are consistently above 80 degrees and the soil temperature is above 65 degrees. This makes it a good choice for southern and central US climates.
In order to achieve a lush, healthy Bermuda grass lawn, your soil must be properly enriched with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These nutrients are crucial for establishing strong roots and keeping your lawn lush and green. A soil test can provide recommendations on the right type of fertilizer for your soil type.
How much nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium you need to apply depends on your soil and how many square feet of your lawn you have. Your local home improvement store or garden center will carry a variety of fertilizers designed for Bermuda grass. Fertilizer applications should be spaced evenly throughout your lawn, and you will want to avoid applying too much fertilizer in any single area, which can cause it to burn the blades of grass and produce yellow or brown spots.
Newly established Bermuda grass will typically need to be mowed at 1 to 2 inches, a shorter mowing height than other lawn grasses. This will keep it from getting too tall, which can be difficult to maintain, and will prevent it from overheating and developing yellow or brown spots that can lead to other lawn problems.
Centipede Grass Growing Needs
Centipede lawn grass is an evergreen, low-maintenance turf that is ideal for southeastern United States lawns. It thrives in warm, humid climates with sandy soils and is low-maintenance even in drought conditions. However, it can suffer from water stress when drought conditions become severe.
Centipede Grass Soil Needs
The soil for growing centipede grass needs to be well-drained and loose. It can be amended with sand to make the soil more porous and to help it retain moisture. A small amount of peat moss will also be beneficial as it helps reduce the soil pH and promotes healthy roots and soil.
Soil pH Needs
The pH level of the soil should be between 6.5 and 7.2. If the soil is too acidic, it can cause problems for the grass and can lead to fungus and other issues.
Centipede Grass Climate Needs
The climate requirements for centipede grass are warm and moist with temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. It is not cold-tolerant and can be killed by winter temperature dips. In recent years, newer varieties have been introduced with better cold tolerances and are now able to be grown in more northern regions.
Centipede Grass Drought Conditions
Centipede grass is generally adapted to a wide range of drought conditions but may require more frequent watering than other grasses in areas with high levels of annual precipitation. This is primarily due to the shallow root system of the centipede grass. In these cases, it is important to water deeper than is typical for the grass and to water only when the grass needs it.
Watering Requirements for Centipede Grass
As with other warm-season grasses, Centipede needs to be watered at a deep, consistent rate in order to stay hydrated. It should be irrigated at least once per week with a sprinkler system or by hand, depending on the soil type and water availability.
Aside from regular watering, centipede grass requires occasional fertilization. It can get by with a few applications in spring and summer, but two fertilizations are better than one. Nitrogen is the primary nutrient for centipede grass, so it is a good idea to apply a slow-release nitrogen product.
Fertilization should be applied in early spring, followed by a second application in mid-summer. A slow-release fertilizer is best because it will not burn the grass and will give it a boost in growth.
Fairy Rings, Nematodes, and Other Pest Problems
The most common centipede grass pest is nematode damage to the root systems of the grass. This is caused by microscopic parasites that feed on the grass’s roots and turn it from green to yellow or brown. Various types of nematodes can cause this, as well as mole crickets and grubs. These pests can cause costly damage to the grass, so it is important to keep them under control.
Other pests include chinch bugs, aphids, and snails. These should be treated with insecticides if necessary.
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Centipede Vs Bermuda: How to Choose Between These Turf Types
Both Bermuda grass and Centipede grass are popular warm-season grasses that are well-suited to the climate of many regions. They are both popular options for homeowners who want to add a lush, green look to their yards. However, they both have some key distinguishing features that should be taken into consideration before deciding on one over the other.
Centipede vs Bermuda: How to Choose Between These Turf Types
They are both low-growing grasses that produce stolons or runners to spread them, creating a network of grass clumps. They grow slowly and take several years to establish a full lawn.
If you are considering installing a new lawn, you need to consider these two grass types and the best way to plant them in your yard. You should also consider your soil and shade conditions.
Soil is a crucial factor in how well these grasses will grow and flourish. Both Centipede grass and Bermuda grass prefer sandy, well-drained soil. They do well in soil with a pH of 5 to 6.
Both types of grass have deep fibrous roots that extend deeply into the soil to draw water from it when droughts hit. This makes them highly resistant to summer droughts.
Although they both require full sun to thrive, Centipede grass is more tolerant of partial shade than Bermuda grass. It is also more tolerant of salty soil, making it an excellent choice for those who live near the ocean.
Bermudagrass, on the other hand, is a resilient grass that can handle heat and drought as well as heavy traffic. It spreads via stolons or shoots, but it also has long rooting rhizomes that help it survive poor soil conditions better than centipede grass.
It can withstand heavy foot traffic and recover from damage and stress quickly and is known for being low-maintenance. It is a good option for homeowners with children and pets who frequently use the yard.
The color of both types is different, too, so you may have to decide on which one will better match your home’s aesthetic. Both varieties are available in a range of shades from light to dark.
While both kinds of grass need a lot of sunlight, they are not as resistant to cold temperatures as some other warm-season grasses. Both will go dormant if temperatures drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, though, and they are both susceptible to winter injury.
They are also both invasive weeds. The best way to ensure that your new lawn will look great is to overseed it with the proper grass seed. This will give you grass that is similar to the existing grass but will be a little darker in color and have a more durable root system. This will make it more likely to resist disease, mold, and fungus, as well as pests and grubs that can be damaging to the soil.
St Augustine Grass Vs Bermuda Grass
Both types of turf thrive in hot, dry climates. But there are some differences between the two types of grass that you need to know about if you’re planning on establishing a new lawn.
The most important factor in choosing the right type of grass for your area is soil preference and salt tolerance. Bermuda grass is a versatile variety that can tolerate most soil types, while St. Augustine grows better in sandy or loamy soils.
Regardless of what you choose, the key to healthy turf is maintenance. In both cases, you’ll want to water regularly and fertilize every couple of months to ensure the best results.
Shade & Sun
In addition, you’ll need to make sure your lawn is shaded properly. Both types will grow well in full sun, but if your landscape is exposed to a lot of shade, you’ll need to consider a different turf option.
Aside from that, pests can cause problems for both types of turf. Grubworms, armyworms, and sod worms can all be common pests that eat away at the roots of your grass.
If you have a soil test available, it can reveal if your turf will need additional nutrients to adjust pH ranges or if the salt content in your soil is excessive. Typically, soil test kits can be found at your local gardening store.
In general, Bermuda grass has a faster metabolism rate than St. Augustine, which means it will experience heat stress more quickly under certain conditions. The good news is that you can stagger your watering cycles and sequence them back-to-back to reduce the risk of heat stress.
Bahia Grass Vs Centipede Grass
The other two popular choices of grass are Bahia grass and centipede grass. Choosing the right one depends on many factors, including your climate and soil conditions.
Bahiagrass, also known as common Bahia or Paspalum Notatum, is a warm-season lawn grass that’s native to South America and Mexico. It’s a great choice for a warm, tropical environment that provides plenty of sunshine and moderate temperatures.
Water & Shade
It grows well on sandy soils with shallow roots and requires high amounts of water. However, it is not a good choice for a property with deep shade trees or in a region that experiences cold weather frequently.
The main disadvantage of centipede grass is that it needs to be watered more often than bahiagrass. It requires an average of 1 inch of water per week to thrive. This can lead to a thatch layer that impedes water infiltration, which can make the grass vulnerable to fungus and fungal infections.
Another difference between the two types of grass is that Bahia grass grows in tufts, while centipede grass creates a dense turf through the growth of small stolons. This thick coverage of blades prevents weeds from growing between the stolons and reduces maintenance requirements to dethatch or aerate.
Choosing the Best Grass For Cool Temperatures
The transition zone between warm and cool seasons is where you’ll find many different types of grass. Understanding what each one can offer will help you develop a strong lawn year-round!
Cool-season grasses grow the fastest in the fall and spring, preferring temperatures between 50 and 80 degrees. They stay green until winter temperatures drop below 32 degrees for extended periods, and some species can survive subfreezing weather.
The following grasses are good for cool climates:
Best Grass For High Temperatures
You can find several types of grass blades that thrive in hot climates and can be grown successfully from seed or plugs. The type of grass that you plant depends on your climate, soil, and sun exposure.
If you’re looking for heat-tolerant varieties, consider Bermuda grass, Zoysia, Centipede, and Bahiagrass. They’re all good choices for hot climates, though they require different levels of water to thrive, which we have discusses above.
Best Low Maintenance Grass
The most important aspect of lawn care is choosing the right type of grass for your yard. Whether you have a sunny, shady, or in-between climate, there are grass species that will work for your yard.
- Centipede grass
- Tall Fescue grass
- Zoysia grass
Best Grass For High Traffic
If you have little feet and pets running around, then you’re probably looking for the best grass to stand up to the pounding. The right type of turfgrass can make all the difference in a high-traffic lawn.
Ideal grass for high-traffic areas are Zoysia grasses, Bermudagrass or Hybrid Bermuda handles high traffic better than cool-season grasses (like Fescues). They also fill in bare areas caused by heavy foot traffic or dog urine spots more quickly.