How to Plant Centipede Grass by Seed

Overview

Despite its name, centipede grass won't sting you. In fact, the grass' low maintenance needs and soft texture has made it popular as an ornamental turfgrass ever since it was imported from China in the early 1900s. Centipede grass can be purchased as plugs or sod, but starting the lawn by planting it by seed is the most economical method. Sow the centipede grass seeds in the early summer months of April or May to give the lawn time to establish itself before the winter cold kicks in.

Step 1

Clear the lawn area. Remove all existing vegetation, as well as debris such as rocks and sticks. As you clear it, use a spade to break up the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches.

Step 2

Amend the soil. Stir in 2 inches of aged compost; compost boosts the soil's organic composition, increasing its ability to hold onto moisture. Follow the compost with a standard application of lawn starter fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer according to its labeled guidelines, since potency varies by product.

Step 3

Prepare the centipedegrass seed. Due to the seeds' very fine texture, the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service (ACES) recommends mixing the seed with sand. Mix the seed in a bucket at a rate of 1/2 pound of seed for every 10 pounds of sand. This is enough to plant 1,000 square feet of lawn, according to ACES.

Step 4

Scatter the centipede grass seed. Spread half of the seed and sand mixture in horizontal strips across your lawn area. Spread the second half in vertical strips. The overlapping helps to ensure even coverage of the soil.

Step 5

Cover the seed with 1/2 inch of mulch. This, along with the sand, helps to keep the seed from being blown away.

Step 6

Water the centipede grass seed. Apply water twice a day to keep the soil moist to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. The centipede grass seed will sprout within 14 to 21 days, according to ACES.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Compost
  • Lawn starter fertilizer
  • Centipede grass seed
  • Sand
  • Bucket
  • Mulch

References

  • "The Lawn Bible: How to Keep It Green, Groomed and Growing Every Season of the Year"; David Mellor; 2003
  • "Lawns: Your Guide to to a Beautiful Yard"; Nick Christians, et al.; 2007
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension System: Centipedgegrass Lawns
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About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.