When choosing turfgrass for customers, maintenance requirements should be a major consideration. Any home and business owner would opt to do less yard work, given the choice, and many do little beyond mowing and watering, leaving the grass to fend for itself. This guide will help you determine which varieties perform best for easy sod maintenance.
Topping the list for low maintenance sod is centipede. The slow growing variety offers low fertility requirements, needing only one to two pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet each year, applied after spring green-up and again in August.
In well balanced soils, centipede may not need any fertilizer. In fact, overfertilizing can result in excess thatch and reduced vigor, so a soil test is recommended. With a preferred pH level of 5.0 to 6.0, lime is rarely needed as well.
In addition to slow growing, centipede is also low growing, requiring less frequent mowing while sustaining a manicured look for easy sod maintenance. Kept within recommended mowing heights of 1.5” to 2.0”, the grass will only need mowing every 10 to 14 days during the growing season.
TifBlair™, a premium centipede variety, was developed with a deeper root system, providing superior drought resistance and cold hardiness compared to other centipede varieties.
Another low maintenance variety is zoysia. Premium Zeon® zoysia offers the lowest fertility requirements, and all zoysia grasses require only 0.5 to 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year, applied after spring green-up and again in fall.
Similar to centipede, soil tests are recommended to prevent excess thatch. Zeon was developed for low thatch production, but soil tests are still recommended to avoid overfertilizing and to achieve optimum vigor.
Zeon zoysia rates among the lowest for mowing frequency compared to other zoysia varieties, although all perform well, thriving best at mowing heights of 0.5” to 1.5”.
Zoysias, especially Zeon, outperform centipede in shade and drought tolerance, so a project’s environment must be balanced along with fertility and mowing requirements to ensure a successful project with easy sod maintenance for your customer.