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Centipede vs Bermuda Grass

Centipede and Bermuda Grass

Should you go with centipede or bermuda? This article breaks down the centipede vs bermuda grass debate. Ultimately, the best grass for your yard depends upon your soil, shade, and climate. Read on!

Table of Contents

Centipede Grass

Centipede Grass

Centipede is a common, rugged grass species for warm weather lawns. Also, it is highly-tolerant of sunlight and moderate salt exposure. Therefore, it is often found in the Southern and Coastal areas. Additionally, Centipede requires 6-7 hours of sunlight per day. Subsequently, it will not grow well in shady areas. 

Centipede grass flourishes in soil that drains well and does not retain water for extended periods. In fact, the need for well-draining soil is one reason centipede is prevalent in areas that have sandy or loose soil. Also, you should maintain a soil pH of 5.0 to 6.0 to maximize nutrient absorption with centipede grass.

Colder climates are not suggested for centipede grass, as extended freezing or frigid temperatures can severely damage the grass. In fact, if persistent temperatures below freezing kills centipede grass.

Centipede does not require much maintenance throughout the year, other than watering and cutting. However, it does need between 1 and 1.25 inches of water every week, depending on the local weather. Additionally, fertilizer can be applied to your lawn before the peak growing season. Fertilizing a lawn will boost the growth, spread, and color of Centipede grass, but is not a requirement like other grass species. Centipede grass does have a handful of natural enemies, such as chinch bugs and fungus.

👉 For more information, check out our Centipede Grass Pros and Cons Article.

Bermuda Grass

Bermuda grass is a dark green species of grass that thrives in warmer regions of the United States and is often featured on golf courses throughout the region. It is a relatively easy grass to grow, needing ample sunlight, water, and moderate fertilization. However, it requires at least 4 to 6 hours of sunlight a day. Therefore, it is less than ideal for very shady areas or yards. Bermuda is also drought and heat tolerant, making it ideal for Southern yards.

Bermuda grass is also known for its ability to tolerate heavy foot traffic and to recover from damage or stress quickly. If your yard is home to pets, children, or large amounts of foot traffic, bermuda grass may be an excellent grass for you. The species can tolerate being cut short, leading to fewer trimmings in the heavy growing season. Finally, bermuda requires at least 1 inch of water per week and thrives in soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5.

Like centipede grass, bermuda does not tolerate cold weather well and should not be planted in areas where temperatures dive below 25 degrees. It enters into dormancy around 50 degrees and can sustain severe damage below 30 degrees. Bermuda grass also grows aggressively, often becoming difficult to contain around flowerbeds, walkways, or driveways.

👉 For more information, check out our Bermuda Grass Pros and Cons Article.

Centipede vs Bermuda Grass Comparison Chart

Centipede Bermuda
Sunlight 6-7 hrs At least 6 hrs
Shade Tolerant No No
Temerature Warm Warm
Water 1 - 1.25"/week 1"/week
Soil pH 5.0 - 6.0 5.8 - 7.0
Soil Quality Loose/Sandy Sandy/Clay
Fertilization 1 - 2 lbs/1,000SF/Yr 2 - 4 lbs/1,000SF/Y
Fertilizer Mix 15-0-15 30-0-5
Traffic Tolerance Very Little High
Safe Herbicides Sethoxydim 2,4-D & Trimec
Salt Tolerance Moderate Moderate
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