Tifblair Centipede Grass Overview

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This article is an overview of Tifblair Centipede Grass.
by Spencer Young · Zone 7A · 0° to 5° F to Zone 9B · 25° to 30° F · Lawn Care · 0 Comments · October 05, 2010 · 6,784 views

Overview of Tifblair Centipede Grass

Tifblair Centipede Grass Lawn
Not that there's anything wrong with the Centipede grass that has been around the South for years, but the search for an improved variety of Centipede has been underway for many years. In 2001, Dr. Wayne Hanna at the Coastal Plains Experiment Station in Tifton, Georgia, released TifBlair Centipede. Since then, TifBlair has proven to be an improved Centipede variety - not only in research trials, but in landscapes from the transition zone south. TifBlair Centipede is available in seed and sod.

TifBlair Centipede Grass provides the following:

  • Faster germination and much quicker coverage
  • Excellent winter tolerance in the middle to lower South
  • Low maintenance requirements
  • Low fertility requirements
  • Drought tolerant and fast recovery from lack of water
  • Needs less mowing and easier to mow
  • The most Environmentally Friendly warm season grass
  • In addition to improved performance characteristics, TifBlair is also the first certified Centipedegrass ever

Selecting the right grass variety is always a challenge. Home lawns and many commercial construction sites have poor soils and difficult growing conditions. While Bermudagrass and Zoysia certainly do well in many environments, Centipede turf offers many additional advantages. It is a slow growing, medium-to-coarse warm season perennial grass which produces a very dense, attractive, weed-free turf.

Compared to other grasses, Centipede requires less care, less mowing, edging and fertilizer. Too, it's generally resistant to most insects and diseases. Centipede is also more shade tolerant than Bermuda grass, and since it produces only surface runners, is more easily controlled around flower beds and walkways. The fact is, common centipedes have very shallow rooting characteristics, which makes them less than ideal for difficult sites and colder climates. Certified TifBlair was bred to overcome these problems. As research from Georgia to Oklahoma has shown, it's exceptionally cold tolerant, has impressive fall color retention, and develops a deep root system even in poor growing conditions. TifBlair makes a beautiful, low-maintenance turf, ideal for home lawns, public parks and commercial landscaping.

Soil Preferences: Centipede grass adapts to many soil types but prefers moderately loose or sandy soils for peak performance. If you have clay-type soil that does not crumble when squeezed in your hand, add soil ammendments to existing soil at time of installation. Or, for existing lawns that are hard-packed aerate and apply sand, gypsum and/or soil ammendments to make soil more porous.

Light Requirements: Centipede will grow well in full sunlight but has shown tolerance to moderate shade. Afternoon shade would be recommended as morning shade would not allow dew to dry from grass.

Climate Preferences: Just as with common Centipede, TifBlair has demonstrated excellent heat tolerance. In regards to cold tolerance, its growth range should extend well into USDA zone 7B and possibly approach the 7A zone, which would be well into Virginia.

Irrigation: Though very drought tolerant, Centipede grass prefers infrequent deep watering. Do not over-water (avoid standing water for any period of time). A gray-green color, footprinting, and wilted, folded, or curled leaves indicate that it is time to water.NOTE: Always water during the early to late morning hours and never at night. Watering at night will often lead to fungal development.

Spencer Young

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Spencer Young - Spencer is an avid gardener and manager of GardenerDirect.com

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