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Centipede grass seed is used for lawn grass, small pastures and premium turf grass applications throughout the southern climates. Centipede grass seed varieties require little to no chemical treatments providing an economical and environmentally friendly lawn grass. Centipede grass seed varieties also perform well in poor soils, full sun or partial shade with little maintenance or fertilization. Centipede grass is a great choice for home lawns throughout the Southeastern United States!
Centipede Grass Adaptation - Centipede grass has proved itself to be one of the best all-around lawn grass seed varieties for most sections of the South especially the Southeast. For many years Centipede grass had to be sprigged which was very expensive and labor intensive, now with Centipede grass seed it is finally economical to establish a Centipede lawn.
Preparation for Seeding Centipede Grass Seed
Till and level the lawn area, removing sticks, stones and other debris. While tilling the area go ahead and incorporate lime or dolomite in the soil if the pH is less than 6.0. Usually, you will need to incorporate 20 lbs. of dolomite along with 15 lbs. of 16-4-8 lawn fertilizer per 1000 sq. ft. of lawn area. This will provide adequate nutrition to your young seedlings when they emerge.
Seeding Centipede Grass Seed
Uniform distribution of Centipede seed is essential. Use a hand held or over the shoulder type spreader which can regulate the amount of seed more precisely than the push type spreaders. If you want to use the push type spreader it will be necessary to mix the seed with sand at 1 lb. of seed to 20 lbs. of sand. Plant 1 to 2 lbs. of Centipede seed per 1000 sq. ft. Mix the seed into the soil with a hand rake or power rake trying to cover the seed no more than ¼ inch deep. Follow the raking with a lawn roller to insure firm contact of seed and soil.
Maintaining Centipede Grass Seedlings
Water daily for the first 10 days to two weeks after planting Centipede to insure the top 2 inches of soil stays moist. Continue watering the lawn after the seedlings emerge at least 3 times per week so as to prevent the top inch of soil from drying out. This is very critical the first couple of weeks after germination. Centipede is a very small plant for several weeks after germination so do not let the top one inch of soil go completely dry. Of course it is not necessary to water the lawn if you are receiving adequate rainfall. Weeds are almost certain to infest new lawn plantings as most soils contain millions of weed seed per acre and when you till your soil you bring many of these seed to the germination zone plus the fertilizer is utilized by the weeds increasing their vigor. Mowing is essential in controlling weeds. Keep weeds mowed to 1.5 – 2 inches even if the Centipede is only ¼ inch high. Centipede is very competitive and will eventually choke out most weeds. Avoid using any herbicides for the first year after planting Centipede. Even if the herbicide is cleared for use on Centipede, the chemicals can still harm the young Centipede seedlings. Use the mower instead of herbicides the first year.
Fertilizing Centipede Grass
Fertilize with 2 – 4 lbs. of 16-4-8 when the seedlings are 30 days old. Apply when the grass is dry so the fertilizer does not stick to the grass and cause a chemical burn. Water in the fertilizer immediately after spreading. Once the Centipede grass has covered the lawn completely fertilization is not necessary. Too much fertilizer is harmful to Centipede. In fact a good healthy Centipede lawn should only be fertilized once every three years.
Centipede Grass Insects and Diseases
Centipede grass has few enemies and the few it has seem to come when you over care for your lawn by too much fertilizer or too much water. Insects are attracted more to highly nutritious grass and diseases are more prevalent in damp humid lawns.