Sod Comparison & Differences
Centipede vs. Perennial Ryegrass

Let's dive into a side-by-side comparison of these two grasses. We're looking at everything from cost and looks to how well they stand up to drought, shade, and foot traffic. Stick around to see which one comes out on top!

Close up photo of Centipede sod
Centipede
vs
Close up photo of Perennial Ryegrass sod
Perennial Ryegrass

Cost

Which grass is typically more expensive, Centipede or Perennial Ryegrass?

Between these two, Centipede is typically on the pricier side with an average cost per square foot of $0.73. On a per pallet basis, which is usually how sod is sold, this comes out to roughly $362.50 per pallet.

Perennial Ryegrass on the other hand, is a more moderately priced at $0.48 per square foot (on average). This comes out to around $237.50 per pallet.

Centipede
from$0.50 / sq ft
to$0.95 / sq ft
Perennial RyegrassBudget Friendly
from$0.30 / sq ft
to$0.65 / sq ft

Editor's note: It's important to remember that both of these are averages based on data from around the country so cost can vary depending on your location. Keep in mind this doesn't include other fees like delivery or installation.

See our sod calculator to get a comprehensive sod estimate.

Shade Tolerance

Which grass grows better in the shade?

Centipede Grass requires about 4 to 6 hours of sunlight but can handle light shade, surviving with slightly less sun if needed.

Centipede
Shade Tolerance5 / 10
Perennial Ryegrass
Shade Tolerance6 / 10

Similarly, Perennial Ryegrass can survive with 4 to 6 hours of sunlight per day and is moderately shade-tolerant, coping well with partial shade.

Appearance

Which one looks better? You decide.

When choosing between sods like Centipede (pictured top) and Perennial Ryegrass (pictured bottom), personal preference plays a significant role, but understanding the nuances of each type's appearance can guide your decision. Here's what to consider:

Centipede close up imagePerennial Ryegrass close up image

Centipede Grass, with its unique light green shade and soft leaves, creates a laid-back, low-growing lawn that feels easy underfoot and is fuss-free to maintain.

Perennial Ryegrass offers a bright green lawn with fine blades that grow quickly into a soft, welcoming turf perfect for everything from picnics to soccer games.

Drought Tolerance

Which one needs more water?

Centipede Grass offers above average but not great drought tolerance, often bouncing back from dry conditions once regular watering is resumed.

Centipede
Drought Tolerance6 / 10
Perennial Ryegrass
Drought Tolerance3 / 10

On the other hand, Perennial Ryegrass has limited drought tolerance and may require regular watering to maintain its lush appearance.

Takeaway: If you're located in a somewhat dry and arid geographic region and are looking for a grass that can handle drought-like conditions, Centipede is the better option between Centipede and Perennial Ryegrass.

Grow Zones

Cold or warm weather - which do they prefer?

Centipede is well-suited for growth in warmer climates. The ideal temperature range for laying Centipede sod is between 70°F and 85°F.

Centipede
warm zones
Perennial Ryegrass
transition zones
cool zones

Perennial Ryegrass generally grows better in cool or moderate climates. When it comes to laying sod, the ideal range for Perennial Ryegrass is between 55°F and 80°F. If you choose to lay outside of the ideal range, you can still have success, but it may take a longer time to esablish and require a bit more maintenance.

As you may have noticed, Centipede and Perennial Ryegrass have somewhat different climatic preferences for optimal growth! Let's move on...

Traffic Tolerance

Which sod handles heavy foot traffic better?

Centipede Grass has moderate foot traffic tolerance and is best for lower-use areas, but it can handle occasional gatherings and games in the yard.

Centipede
Traffic Tolerance4 / 10
Perennial Ryegrass
Traffic Tolerance9 / 10

On the other hand, Perennial Ryegrass is highly traffic tolerant, recovering quickly from wear and tear, a solid choice for lawns that double as weekend soccer pitches.

Takeaway: If you're looking for a grass that can handle heavy foot traffic, Perennial Ryegrass is the better option between Centipede and Perennial Ryegrass.

Establishment Rate

Which grass grows faster?

Centipede grass is a slow-growing, low-fertility requirement grass that gradually establishes to form a low-maintenance, dense carpet ideal for acidic soils in warm climates.

Centipede
Establishment Rate5 / 10
Perennial Ryegrass
Establishment Rate9 / 10

Perennial Ryegrass germinates rapidly and establishes quickly, offering a fine-textured, vibrant green turf that is popular for overseeding and cool-season lawns.

Net, net - if you're looking for a grass that establishes quickly, Perennial Ryegrass is the way to go.

Pest & Disease Resistance

Which handles pests better?

Centipede Grass has moderate resistance to pests and some fungal diseases, but it can be susceptible to nematodes and needs care to prevent issues.

Centipede
Resistance6 / 10
Perennial Ryegrass
Resistance6 / 10

Perennial Ryegrass is generally hardy against pests and diseases, but it can experience problems with gray leaf spot and is attractive to webworms and billbugs.

TLDR - if you're looking for a grass that wards off pests and disease, they are pretty similar in this respect, so feel free to go with either one!

Let's Pick a Winner

Which sod is better, Centipede or Perennial Ryegrass?

Alright it's time to count the scores up.

Most blogs or articles are going to give you a wishy washy "it's up to you" speil. That is definitely true. You'll need to choose based on your geographic conditions and what you like most looks-wise.

That being said, if we just compare the scores based on the following measures. Higher is better in this case.

  • Average Cost: 4 for Centipede, 8 for Perennial Ryegrass
  • Shade Tolerance: 5 for Centipede, 6 for Perennial Ryegrass
  • Drought Tolerance: 6 for Centipede, 3 for Perennial Ryegrass
  • Traffic Tolerance: 4 for Centipede, 9 for Perennial Ryegrass
  • Establishment Rate: 5 for Centipede, 9 for Perennial Ryegrass
  • Pest & Disease Resistance: 6 for Centipede, 6 for Perennial Ryegrass

Drumroll please...

All in all, Perennial Ryegrass comes out on top with a score of 41/60 versus 30/60 for Centipede.

Thanks for reading! If you have any feedback or corrections for us, please email our editor at editor@sodcalculator.com.