Centipede grass is a low maintenance turf grass that does not require much care. It gives your lawn a natural green look within a very low budget. The best thing about a centipede grass lawn is that it is tolerant of heat. Gardeners often like covering lawns with centipede grass due to their look and the less time required for taking care.
If you plan to grow centipede grass on your lawn, then there are certain things you have to keep in mind. Even though they require minimal attention, centipede grass is selective about the soil they grow in and the climatic conditions that help them flourish. Along with that, you need to provide them with proper nutrients that can help in their growth.
The most critical part of growing centipede grass is choosing a fertilizer. Due to the huge availability of fertilizers in the market, it becomes quite hard to understand which one would be best suitable for your lawn. Several factors come into account when you are choosing the best fertilizer for centipede grass.
You also need to know about the basic care tips to ensure that the centipede grass grows healthily. This involves the watering of the grass, soil used, the proper fertilizing process, and such. When choosing the fertilizer, you should see that it should deliver the necessary nutrients to the grass.
Go through the guide to find the best fertilizer for centipede grass and learn how to take care of the centipede grass.
Guide To Take Care of Your Centipede Grass
What Is The Best Place For Growing Centipede Grass?
Due to the low maintenance of centipede grass, it can be grown anywhere. Using sandy soil is best for the grass, but another base would also do the trick. You will have to ensure that whatever base you are using does not have too much acidic content and has less readily available nutrients.
Planting sods of centipede grass takes a lot of time, for which it is better to use a roller or a rake. Do not grow new grass in an area where there has been previous growth. Remove the growth completely or treat it properly using herbicide before new growth.
Once the old grass has been treated or removed, wait for at least one or two weeks. During this time, cover the area with a tarp. You can see large areas covered with lush green centipede grasses.
What Kind Of Soil Does Centipede Grass Require?
The best kind of soil that can help a centipede grass grow excellently is sandy soil. Sandy soil that does not have too many nutrients would be the perfect base for your centipede growth. You can use acidic soil; however, the soil’s pH level should range between 4.5 and 6.0. This is lower than what you will find for most grasses.
If you are unsure about the soil you have, you can conduct a soil test. This will clearly explain the soil type that you will be growing the centipede grass in. Even if you do not have sandy soil, you can make your available soil suitable for centipede grass growth.
The soil that you centipede grass is growing on should retain the nutrients and help in root and grass growth eventually.
When Should You Water Your Centipede Grass?
Watering should be done adequately after you have applied fertilizer to your grass. This ensures that your fertilizer mixes well with the soil and reaches the roots. Normally centipede grasses do not require severe watering. However, since centipede grass is best grown on sandy soil, it is necessary to have a fixed watering schedule.
You can water your grass every alternate or after every third day. Watering the grass should be done mostly during the morning. It is better to carry out the watering schedule before noon. This prevents the grass from being exposed to any diseases. Avoid watering your grass immediately after rainfall as the grass is already wet.
Over-watering is something that should be avoided at any cost. Water the grass for a maximum of 10 to 15 minutes. The main thing is to see whether the grass has received adequate water.
When Should The Centipede Grass Be Fertilized?
The growing season of centipede grass is during summer and late spring. This is the time when you need to apply proper fertilizer to your grass. The adequate application ensures that your grass grows healthy and is also very thick and green.
Before winter arrives, you need a fertilizer that can provide winter protection. This ensures that the necessary nutrients are stored in the roots, and during the spring, this is slowly released into the grass. You will have to find the perfect fertilizer for each season or opt for an all-season fertilizer.
Make sure that the soil receives proper fertilization during the growing season. The application during this time makes all the difference. If you do not fertilize the soil properly during the growing season, it can stop your grass’s growth.
How Often Should The Centipede Grass Be Fertilized?
It is necessary to mow centipede grass every six to seven days. The mowing should be reduced when the land becomes prone to drought. You must know the right times to fertilize the grass along with the mowing so that it receives proper nutrition at the right time.
The frequency of the fertilization process will depend on the fertilizer that is being used. While some fertilizers can be used once or twice every week, some are used two or three times in the whole month. When applying fertilizer, you need to ensure that you are not overdoing it.
If the fertilizer is overused, then it can burn the grass and make it yellow. For better results, you should always follow the instruction manual provided with each fertilizer. In case you know an expert gardener, you can ask them about any other fertilization schedules you can follow.
What Kind Of Fertilizer Should Be Used For The Centipede Grass?
The kind of fertilizer you use for your centipede grass will play a big role in how green and thick your grass grows. There are many kinds of fertilizers in the market, but you need to ensure that the one you choose is specially made for grass.
Centipede grass requires fertilizers that have more nitrogen content in them. Fertilizers that have more potassium along with nitrogen are good for your grass. However, make sure that the fertilizer has low phosphorous content as it is not good for grass growth.
The amount of nitrogen that is present in the can be understood from the NPK ratio. N stands for nitrogen, P for phosphorous, and K for potassium. That means the first and the third number for any fertilizer should be more than the second number of the ratio.
The necessary NPK ratio will also depend on the kind of soil that is being used. Some soils have high nitrogen content, and for such a base, you do not need high nitrogen fertilizers.
Best Fertilizer for Centipede Grass
1. Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food (24-25-4)
The Scotts Turf Builder Started food is the first fertilizer in the best fertilizer for centipede grass category. This fertilizer from Scotts is one of the reputed and highly recommended fertilizers used by professional gardeners. An essential thing about this fertilizer is that it is organic and plant-based. Chemicals are not included in the formulation of the fertilizer.
The fertilizer release system is very reliable and ensures that the grass gets all the necessary nutrients that are needed for its growth. Moreover, there is no presence of bio-solids and bad odor that usually comes out of organic fertilizers. The packaged fertilizer can be available in different weights.
The fertilizer’s NPK ratio is 24-25-4, and the 15-pound package would be enough for a maximum of 5000 sq. ft. lawn. The presence of a high level of nitrogen, phosphorous and a low nitrogen level helps make the lawn green and lush. This fertilizer also helps in the development of blades and faster roots.
- Fertilizer is very natural and organic
- Application of fertilizer is very easy
- Provides green and lush grass
- The fertilizer does not stimulate weed growth
- Results may take longer to become visible
2. Scotts Turf Builder Winterguard Fall Lawn Food (32-0-10)
The Scotts Turf Builder Winterguard Fall lawn food is good for people who would like to repair their grass’s health. This can be used in different types of grass other than centipede grass as well. Moreover, this fertilizer is applied during fall so that the deep roots of the grass can get repaired from foot traffic, drought, and summer heat.
You can apply the fertilizer during the winter months to provide necessary nutrients to the roots during their dormant period. When the spring comes, you will see that your turf is green and the grass is repaired. This can happen if you apply the fertilizer properly during the dormancy of the grass.
The fertilizer is organic, which makes it completely safe for both children and pets. There is no chance of the fertilizer harming anyone. You can use them along with other feeds to keep the lawn healthy all through the year.
- Helps in repairing the health of your grass
- Safe for pets and kids
- Suitable for all kinds of grass
- Results maybe take some time to appear
- A heavy application can cause the grass to burn out
- New seedlings can get burned because of the fertilizer
The Scotts Turf Builder Thick’R Lawn Sun and Shade fertilizer is another well-known product of the Scott brand. The Nitrogen ratio in the fertilizer is high, which ensures leave growth. This fertilizer is best used for new turf grass. The solution is three in one and contains soil improver, seeds, and fertilizer.
The seeds help in filling the gaps present in your lawn with new growth. You can use the fertilizer for feeding the new grass and make it healthy and thick. And lastly, the soil improver helps add the necessary nutrients to the soil so that the roots can become strong. Proper use of this fertilizer can make your grass strong, thick, and green.
A unique thing about the Scotts is that there is a Scotts My Lawn application. Using this application, you can find out the fertilizer amount that needs to be used for your lawn. This ensures that you do not use more or less quantity of the fertilizer.
- Gaps can be filled with the grass seeds
- Improves the nutrients of the soil
- Availability of Scotts’ My Lawn application
- Helps in thickening the turf and new grass
- Can only be used for grass
Another Scotts brand product that has made its way into the best fertilizer for centipede grass category is the Scotts EZ Seed Patch and Repair Sun and Shade fertilizer. This fertilizer is known as a complete grass fertilizer and seed. The fertilizer can be used to repair the tiny bare sports present in the soil.
The best thing about any Scotts product is that the application is very easy. This means that you do not have to spend hours just to make the perfect mixture and worry about the fertilizer not reaching the roots in the end. Along with that, the amount of fertilizer that is needed for your lawn size would be mentioned in the packaging.
Try to follow the application instructions so that you do not over-do or even under-apply it. The correct amount of fertilizer needs to be applied for the fertilizer to work its magic. You will also find a variety of sizes for the fertilizer. Choose the package size depending on the size of your lawn. Make sure that the application is thorough so that every root receives the nutrients equally.
- Application of the fertilizer is very easy
- Fertilizer is available in different package sizes
- Fertilizer is very expensive
The Jonathan Green & Sons Inc winter survival fall fertilizer does exactly what the name suggests. It helps prepare the lawn for the coming winter season and is also perfect for the fall seeding. The package is perfect for covering 5000 square feet of lawn and ensures root growth. The NPK ratio of the fertilizer is 10-0-20.
When the winter arrives, the harsh weather changes can create a drastic impact on your lawn. That is why you need to ensure that your grass can get proper nutrients and survive this condition even during the winter. This is where your fertilizer will help you in preparing the lawn so that your grass is nourished.
This is known as the best fertilizer for centipede grass for winter survival. All of the nutrients will be stored so that they can work accordingly during the spring. The fertilizer can also be applied if you see that your grass is no longer growing during the fall. Remember that the fertilizer is used as nutrients retention for the winter season and not for growth.
- Fertilizer is good for winter care
- Reduces weed growth on the lawn
- Ensures that roots grow strong and healthy
- Not capable of grass growth
6. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Lawn Food (24-8-16)
One of the most famous and best fertilizers for centipede grass is the Miracle-Gro Water Soluble lawn food. This is a great option for people who would like to restore their grass and lawn health. The fertilizer is a water-soluble one, which means you need to mix the fertilizer in water to get the desired effect.
You will find a Miracle-Gro feeder or applicator to make the dispensing process easier. With this application, around 1000 sq. ft. of the lawn can be finished applying in just a matter of 12 minutes. One box of Miracle-Gro lawn food can be used for a maximum of 4000 sq. ft. A very attractive feature of this fertilizer is that it is fast-acting.
The results will be visible to you within a matter of a few days. The grass would receive the necessary nutrients instantly, ensuring that the grass turns lush and healthy. Additionally, the fertilizer contains compounds that will not burn the grass or your turf.
- Fast greening is caused due to instant reaction of the fertilizer
- Contains nutrients suitable for most grass types
- Available with a dispenser that is ergonomic and user-friendly
- Highly recommended
- Can get washed away in rain or air
7. Espoma Organic All Season Lawn Food (18-0-3)
The Espoma Organic All Season Lawn Food is perfect to be used in any season. This is a lawn feeder that ensures that your grass becomes greener and lush. The fertilizer works very fast and will help the grass take the necessary nutrients from the soil. It contains beneficial microbes that will be helpful for grass growth.
The Espoma lawn food is organic and is derived from pasteurized manure of poultry and feather meal. This makes the product a very safe one, both for the grass and for your children and pets. The fertilizer has high nitrogen content that can be understood from its NPK ratio of 18-0-3.
One 28 pound package of the organic lawn food helps in covering 5000 sq. ft. of your lawn. With proper use of the fertilizer, you can ensure that your lawn would not die down. The soil’s quality will increase, which sustains the growth of new grass and keeps the old grass strong.
- Grass becomes thicker and greener
- The formula is safe to be used for pets and kids
- Grass health is promoted due to beneficial microbes
- Granules can be hard to dissolve even with consistent watering or rain
- Emits earthly odor
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Can Centipede Grass Be Revived?
You may see that your centipede grass has become damaged or turned yellow. The success rate of your centipede grass revival will depend on the intensity of the damage. You need to remember that dead grass cannot be revived. You can only revive that portion that still has life but is damaged.
Some of the major reasons for this damage are harsh weather conditions, thatch, overwatering, high pH level of soil, foot traffic, and lawn pests. Some fertilizers can help revive your damaged centipede grass. However, this is only possible if you have an idea of how to do it.
If you do not know how to do it, it is better to contact a lawn care professional. They can also give you proper advice on what tips to follow to successfully revive the grass.
2. How Can The Spread Of Centipede Grass Be Enhanced?
If you want your centipede grass to spread, then you need to maintain the lawn properly. Even though centipede grass is low maintenance, it does not mean a lack of maintenance. For a healthy spread, you will have to carry out certain tasks. Some of these tasks are mowing, weeding, watering, thatching, aerating, and fertilizing.
Along with that, you need to maintain the pH level of the soil. Using proper fertilizer is very important for proper spread. Make sure that you do not over-do any other task and damage the grass. Additionally, avoiding any of the tasks is also not suitable for a proper spread.
The fertilizer should also be used in the correct amount. Take advice or follow the instruction manual to know the amount that needs to be used. This will help in a healthy spread, enhance the growth of the centipede grass.
3. Can Grass Seed Be Spread On The Lawn?
Yes, grass seed can be spread on the lawn. You can use your hand to spread the seeds if the area to be covered is a small one. However, for larger areas, this would not be possible. For larger lawns, you can use a lawn spreader, mechanical seeder along with hand spread.
You need to see that the spread is uniform and covers the whole area properly. The approximate spread should be about 16 seeds for every inch. The seeds should not spread too close since this would cause the seedlings to run over one another. They need room to grow and proper air to breathe.
In these areas, the grass can become very thin, or the grass may get damaged. The spread should be done in such a way that the grass can each grass can grow properly and freely.
4. Can Centipede Grass Be Aerated?
Yes, centipede grass can be aerated, but the aeration frequency would depend on the soil type. Oxygen is a major requirement for the roots, but this is not hard for centipede grasses since the roots are shallow growing. The higher the compactness of the soil, the more beneficial aeration is for your grass.
Aerating removes certain sections of the soil and leaves space for water and oxygen to reach the roots. This enables better and thicker growth of your centipede grass. Another benefit of aeration is that the roots can go deeper into the soil. You can go for aeration if you see that your grass is not looking healthy.
The correct aeration process should be followed for it to be effective. You should not damage the roots while removing sections of the earth. Use proper technique to take out those sections and water them as necessary.
5. Can Lime Be Used For Centipede Grass?
Lime is a very good element that helps in balancing the pH of the soil. However, the amount of lime that you put in the grass should be monitored. Using a large quantity of lime can be very damaging for the centipede grass.
Measure the lime amount before you apply it to your grass. Consult with a lawn care expert before use lime on your own. They will be able to tell you the exact amount that can be used. The main consideration is the soil type and the area that your lawn covers. Using agricultural limestone is the best option in this case. You can also opt for Super-Cal, which is liquid calcium that is also good for your centipede grass. This form of lime will also not damage your grass tissue.
6. Why Are The Tips Of My Centipede Grass Turning Red?
If you see that your centipede grass tips are turning red, then the cause can be red thread disease. Red thread occurs due to a fungus that is a result of humid weather. The first signs of red thread can be leaves with lesions that are water-soaked. With time these lesions will grow bigger and start spreading.
To stop this, you need to use proper fertilizer. As soon as you spot this problem, provide necessary nutrients immediately to spread the disease. Give the grass the right amount of nitrogen along with adequate water to slowly recover the health of your centipede grass.
Go for deep watering instead of frequent light watering, as this can make the spread of the disease much worse. Stress and iron deficiency are two other reasons that can turn the grass tips red.
The best fertilizer for centipede grass would help you protect your law, new growth and provide necessary nutrients. Depending on the requirement that you have, you can choose the fertilizer. Make sure that the fertilizer you choose serves the purpose. Always check the NPK ratio of the fertilizer that you are opting for.
The guide also contains some necessary tips for the care of your centipede grass. If this is your first time maintaining a lawn, then these tips can help you in the process. When using fertilizer, always keep your hand protected. Wear proper gloves and do not handle the fertilizer with bare hands.
You should also follow the instructions properly. Using fertilizer more can damage the grass, and using them less would not affect the growth and nourishment. If you see that using one particular fertilizer is not having the needed effect, you can choose another fertilizer.
James Fields is the founder of Gardener to Farmer. His passion for gardening goes back to his childhood days when he would visit his grandfather during the holidays and help him with the plants in the backyard. This has now translated to creating a dependable resource for gardening.