Centipede Grass

Centipede grass is called such because it resembles the centipede. Learn how and where to plant, grow, and maintain this warm-season turf grass.

Centipede grass is a native grass of the orient in China and parts of South East Asia. It can also be found in South America and Southern to Southeastern US and Hawaii. It is named after the centipede which it resembles somewhat as it grows. This warm-season grass should be planted in late spring or else early summer. Centipede grass is a slow growing and low maintenance turf grass. This sun-loving heat thriving grass grows in just about any soil type whether it is clayey, loamy, silty, or sandy. It even grows in relatively poor soil, which may not be nutrient rich. Salt whether in the soil or in the air, like near oceans, is not tolerated by this turf grass. It thrives in slightly acidic soil, so the soil pH should be from 5-6 on the pH scale. Soil that is more alkaline may not allow the grass to use enough iron from the soil and thus iron may need to be added through fertilizer to avoid a deficiency. 2 ounces of ferrous sulfate per 1000 sq ft may be needed.

Centipede grass only needs at least one inch of water per week. If you get an inch of rain in any given week then you will not need to water that particular week. This grass is not particularly drought tolerant, so water it if your area gets less than one inch of rainfall in a given week. You can give it up to two inches of water within seven days. During any one watering the water should soak 6-8 inches into the soil. Upon laying sod apply ¼ inch of water daily until it grow one inch then water the lawn 1 inch per week. If you have a weed problem and want to prevent weed seeds from germinating by using a pre-emergent herbicide, in most cases you may need to either apply the weed preventer at least four weeks before you seed the lawn or after the seeds have grown to grass that has been mowed at least four times. Most pre-emergent weed preventers hinder all plant seeds from germinating. It is best to either not use a pre-emergent at all until the next proper time of the year or to apply it weeks ahead of planting centipede grass seed. Wait at least a year to apply a post-emergent herbicide for existing weeds in the centipede lawn. Always make sure that the herbicide is safe to use on centipede grass.

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