Skipping the sod and establishing a lawn from seed can save you money. This is especially true if you have a large yard to cover. Following the advice in this article, you can establish a beautiful centipede lawn from grass seeds.
Types of Centipede Grass Seed: Coated vs Uncoated
Coated grass seed comes with a lot of advantages over uncoated seed. These advantages aren’t free, but they are worth the added expense.
Using coated seed results in increased seed germination. The increase in germination is so great that you can use less seed than you would with uncoated seed.
There are three major reasons why coated seed has increased germination:
- They wick moisture
- They have better contact with the soil
- They are more likely to land–and stay–where you want them.
The chemicals used to coat grass seed creates a natural capillary action. This causes moisture to wick in from the surrounding soil. The increased moisture ensures more seed germinates than would otherwise occur.
Contact with Soil
Coated seed has more surface area than uncoated seed. The larger surface area increases the opportunity for the seed to become established.
Since coated seed is heavier than uncoated seed, the ballistics of coated seed is far superior during the spreading process. The increased weight improves the chances of the seed penetrating and staying in the soil.
This means your grass will grow where you want it. It also means the germinated grass is more evenly spaced.
Best Coated Centipede Seed
The best centipede seed for southern lawns is TifBlair Centipede Seed. TifBlair was developed by the University of Georgia and has much more resilience to the environmental stresses common to southern lawns.
It has a greater cold tolerance and withstands waterlogged soil more easily than other brands of centipede grass. It also greens up faster in the spring or after a drought.
You can buy coated TifBlair seed at domyown.com. In fact, if you are going to be doing any meaningful lawn maintenance, domyown.com is a valuable resource.
Alternatives of TifBlair Centipede Grass Seed
While TifBlair is the most popular and commercially available type of Centipede on the market today, it is not the only type that exists.
Oklawn Centipede Grass
Oklawn was developed in 1965 at Oklahoma State University. This variety was an improvement over previous varieties. This is because it tolerated cold and drought better than previous varieties. Also, it is a slow-growing centipede with a blue-green hue.
AU Centennial Centipede Grass
This variety was released in 1983 by Auburn University. It is a vegetatively-propagated dwarf variety of centipede. AU Centennial is thicker than common centipede grass and tolerates lower temperatures than its predecessors. It also has a higher tolerance of soil alkalinity than common centipede and Oklawn centipede grasses.
Watering Grass Seed The Right Way
True story: the summer of 2007 I cleared some brush behind my house and seeded the ground with centipede. I watered it exactly one time and it turned out beautiful.
This isn't normally the case. It just so happened that the day I spread my centipede grass was the last day of a 10+ year-long drought in southeast Alabama. It rained the next day and the next. In fact, the ground stayed so moist that I never had to water my new lawn again.
The season of drought gave way to years of torrential downpours.
Unless you are as blessed as I was, you'll need to manually water your newly sown grass seed. In fact, you need to keep the ground moist for 14 days after sowing your lawn.
For more information about how to sow a new centipede lawn, check out our article, Seeding a New Centipede Lawn.