The Cleanup after the Storm
The storm that hit Pensacola and the surrounding area on Friday and Saturday morning was a real soaker. Thunder rumbled here in the wee hours, however I awakened to a brilliant blue sky. Here in Northwestern Florida we got just shy of 3 ½ inches of rain! Not a bad way to start the grass growing.
I cleaned up the backyard and surveyed the damage. The tree hedge between our yard and the neighbor’s horse field lost a couple of large branches that the wind knocked down. My tomatoes in pots on the patio weathered the storm well. No damage there.
Our centipede grass is still semi dormant and the cool temperatures have hindered its growth. We are currently using “Trugreen” as our fertilizer and weed control service to get the grass up to par. The previous owners relied on rainfall as the main watering component for their lawn care. This allowed the grass to struggle and weeds took over in many areas. As with any gardening project, the lawn is a work in progress. Our backyard looks much healthier than the front lawn.
Centipede grass is an interesting grass. It adapts to rough soil conditions and is used in abundance throughout the Southern states. It does not grow well in alkaline soils or dry regions such as our Western United States. In addition, centipede grass does not do well in the cold. That could be one reason our grass is looking so poorly, as we had many days and nights hovering at or below freezing this winter.
I found a website called, “Aggie Horticulture,” at http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/turf/publications/centipede.html that explains everything you want to know about this type of grass.
The Aggie Horticulture site says, “Centipede grass, Eremochloa ophiuroides (Munro) Hack, is a coarse-textured perennial grass that spreads by stolons. The stolons have a creeping growth habit with rather short upright stems that resemble a centipede — thus, the name centipede grass. Centipede grass remains green throughout the year in mild climates, but leaves and young stolons are killed during hard freezes. It does not have a true dormant state and resumes growth whenever temperatures are favorable.”
Centipede grass from centipede grass images at http://www.turfgrass.ncsu.edu/Images/Plants/centipede/Web/leafarrangement.jpg
As I said our lawn is a real work in progress, and is part of my beautiful garden. It pays to do your research and incorporate lawn care into your garden plans.