Written by 2:01 pm Lawn Tips • 2 Comments

Centipede Grass FAQ – Power Your Lawn’s Growth With Expert Advice

Many new and experienced weekend warriors have questions about centipede grass. That's why we've put together this Centipede Grass FAQ page. Our experts have answered the most common–and even some less common–questions about centipede. Enjoy!

Is centipede grass good for dogs?

Centipede grass does not tolerate excessive traffic, and active dogs may cause damage to centipede lawns. All grass species can be damaged by pet urine and digging, and centipede grass is no different. 

Is centipede grass drought tolerant?

Centipede grass is not drought tolerant and requires 1.00 to 1.25 inches of water per week. Less water is needed in the winter season, and more in the summer. If your lawn has sandy or loose soil, you should consider watering your lawn more frequently. The first sign of centipede grass needing water is a fading of its lush green color.

How to get centipede grass to spread?

Remove all dead grass, thatch, and debris from the area and replace it with sand. Sand helps centipede grass spread to the affected areas. If you would like to accelerate the spread of centipede grass, fertilizer can be applied to the lawn. If you need to overseed large spaces or an entire yard, you can read our article on how to seed a centipede lawn.

How to get centipede grass to grow thicker?

Proper maintenance is the key to growing a thick and beautiful centipede lawn. Keeping correctly balanced and healthy soil pH first step in achieving a healthy lawn. Routinely watering your lawn with 1 to 1.25 inches of water a week helps it reach its water requirements. Bi-annual fertilizer applications supplies the grass with almost all of its nutritional needs, further boosting growth.

Lastly, overseeding your lawn may be what is needed to thicken your lawn. Maintaining a thick and healthy lawn not only looks great, but is the first line of defense against weeds, fungus, and insect attack.

How to kill centipede grass?

Centipede grass is easily killed by using glyphosate, a generic weed and grass killer. Glyphosate is a common weed and grass killer and is often the main active ingredient in popular brand names. Also, you may want to check out our article on the different types of weed and grass killers.

Will centipede grass choke out weeds?

Maintaining a healthy and full centipede grass lawn is the first line of defense against weeds. Centipede grass is exceptionally effective at starving invasive weeds of the resources needed to grow. Proper watering and fertilization keeps your centipede grass healthy and combat unattractive and invasive weeds in your lawn.

Can centipede grass grow in clay soil?

It is not recommended to grow centipede grass in clay or compact soil. The density of clay and its propensity to dry out over time are not well suited for centipede. Ryegrass, fescue, and Kentucky bluegrass are other alternatives that grow better in clay soil.

Can centipede grass grow in sandy soil?

Centipede grass flourishes in sandy soil, even with minimal nutrients. Sandy soil tends to drain water faster than more compact soil, meaning that water needs to be applied more frequently. Often, sandy soil is acidic, something that centipede tolerates very well. Centipede's propensity to grow in sandy conditions is one reason it is popular grass in the Southeastern United States and other coastal areas.

Why does centipede grass turn yellow?

The yellowing of centipede grass can be an early indicator of several problems. Though it loves heat, centipede grass does require an ample amount of water to thrive. If your lawn is not receiving enough water, the turf will begin to change from a rich green to a more yellow color. Overfertilization, or excessive nitrogen application, can stress your centipede lawn and cause a grass's yellowing. Another, more fundamental, cause of yellow centipede grass is chlorosis. Chlorosis is caused when the pH level of your soil is too high. High pH levels can wreak havoc on your grass's ability to process and use nutrients from the earth. Read more about addressing chlorosis and pH deficiencies here.

Why does centipede grass turn red?

If your centipede grass tips are turning red, it means that your lawn is experiencing some stress or is being damaged. A lack of water, abnormally high foot traffic, and a lack of nutrients are a few of the most common discoloration causes. Red streaks that run the entirety of the grass blade may also result from cutting the grass too short. Many think that red stripes on the grass blades are unique or attractive, but it is a warning sign that your lawn may be headed for trouble.

Where can I buy centipede grass seed?

Centipede grass seed comes in many different types and varieties. Depending on your lawn's attributes and size, you will be able to find a seed that fits your needs. Read more on the types and varieties of centipede grass seed here.

When does centipede grass go dormant?

Centipede goes dormant when cooler weather moves in during the fall. The grass is sensitive to cold weather and grows very little during the cold months. However, you should know that it is important your lawn still receive 1.00 to 1.25 inches of water a week, even in the dormant season.

Fertilizing should also be avoided during the winter, as cold season growth may make the lawn vulnerable to frost or insect damage during the grass' dormancy.

When does centipede grass come out of dormancy?

Centipede grass emerged from dormancy in January through April. As the grass begins to grow slowly, it is a perfect time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent weeds' future growth. It is not advised to use a nitrogen-based fertilizer during this period as grass con be harmed by a late-season frost.

Where does centipede grass grow?

Centipede grass is often found in warm and coastal climates, thriving in the Southern, Southeastern, and Coastal regions of the United States. Moreover, centipede grass thrives in high heat and direct sunlight. Also, it is not affected by sandy soil, making it an excellent grass choice for the Southeast. Areas with harsh or frigid winters are not desirable for centipede.

What does centipede grass look like?

Centipede grass is characterized by a light green color and broad blades, often being described as coarse. Additionally, it will continually grow into a thick, carpet-like lawn if adequately cared for. The grass is spread with stolons that resemble centipedes, that creep out and manifest in other areas.

When should I plant centipede grass?

Late spring is the optimal time to plant centipede grass. In fact, centipede grass requires consistent warm weather to grow. Additionally, seeds do not not germinate in temperatures below seventy degrees. Therefore, you must avoid end-of-season frosts or cold snaps when planting seeds or laying sod.

Exposure to freezing temperatures can cause irreversible damage to newly planted centipede grass. Consequently, it is not advised to plant centipede grass after August in most regions. Planting too late in the year can also potentially expose the grass to colder than desirable temperatures.

Is centipede grass the same thing as St Augustine grass?

No. Centipede and St Augustine grasses are two very different species of turfgrass. Each type of grass has its own unique nutritional, water, and sun exposure needs.

Is centipede grass a weed?

Centipede grass is not a weed. Centipede grass was imported to the United States from Asia in the early 1900s and is the most popular in the country's southern and southeastern regions. Known for its love of heat and low maintenance requirements, centipede grass is easy to maintain, yet beautiful grass.

Is centipede grass good?

Centipede grass is ideal for high heat and sunny environments and can grow in sandy or loose soils. Low maintenance and mowing requirements, coupled with simple fertilization needs, make centipede grass the right choice for lawns and yards.

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