Centipede grass is one of the easiest, nearly maintenance-free, grasses available.
Benefits of Centipede Grass
Centipede “hugs” the ground and requires very little mowing. It develops into a dense, weed-resistant turf. It performs best in acidic soils with low fertility, so you rarely need to apply lime or fertilizer to a Centipede lawn. Centipede goes dormant in the winter, resulting in even less maintenance.
Things to Consider
Centipede does not favor extremely cold temperatures. It is relatively slow growing and does not withstand foot traffic as well as other grass varieties. Centipede has a rough, rather coarse blade. It often requires fertilizers and chemicals specific to Centipede grass. Products that can be used on other turf grasses may damage a Centipede lawn.
Full sun or dappled shade
Water Centipede sod every day or every other day until it is fully rooted into the ground. An established Centipede lawn can tolerate periodic droughts, but performs best when it receives one to two inches of water per week.
Keep Centipede grass at about 1 ½ inches high. In the dead of summer, you may allow the grass to grow to 2 inches in height. Do not mow Centipede at all in drought situations.
When to Plant
Plant Centipede seed from mid-May until early August. Centipede sod is available from May through September.
How to Plant
Plant Centipede seed at a depth of ¼ inch and at a rate of ¼ to ½ pound per 1000 square feet. Centipede seed is even smaller than Bermuda seed, so to get uniform coverage, mix the seed with sand before you put it in a spreader. Pike Nurseries offers free spreaders that you can borrow for the weekend free. Centipede will germinate in approximately 21 days.
Feed your Centipede lawn only once during the growing season, just after it greens up in the spring. The fertilizer should have moderate amounts of nitrogen and potassium, but no phosphorous. Overfertilizing can weaken Centipede grass.
Apply a crabgrass preventer such as Pike Crabgrass Preventer in October to control poa annua and in February to prevent crabgrass. Growing weeds can be controlled with a lawn weed control formulated especially for Centipede grass.