How to Plant Centipede Grass Seed in Bahia Pasture


Centipede and bahia grass work well when planted in the same area because they complement each other. Centipede is popular because of its ability to cope with less-than-ideal conditions. It's also very low maintenance. It has a very dense turf and grows fast because of its shallow root system. Bahia grass was originally grown in pastures across the country. It isn't as high quality as centipede grass but tolerates infertile soil and is low maintenance. Bahia grows slowly because of its extensive roots. When you plant centipede grass in a bahia pasture, you develop a thick lawn with a lasting green color.

Step 1

Determine the soil pH with a test kit obtained from a nursery or planting center. Centipede grass needs a pH of 5.0 and 6.0. Bahia grass thrives in a pH of 4.0 through 6.5. Soil that has a pH between 5.0 to 6.0 is perfect for planting both types of grass.

Step 2

Add nutrients to the soil to make the pH fall into the ideal range, if needed. If your dirt contains too much acid, spread some hydrated lime to boost the alkalinity. To make alkaline soil more acidic, spread ground rock sulfur over the planting center. Use the instructions on the packaging to figure out how much of each substance to use.

Step 3

Spread centipede grass seed once there is no longer a danger of frost, in the late spring. Use a soil thermometer to make sure the temperature is 70 degrees F.

Step 4

Mow the bahia pasture so the grass is shorter, but don't cut off more than one third of the grass blade.

Step 5

Rake the lawn to get rid of clippings that may remain. The centipede grass seed needs to touch soil to germinate and clippings will get in the way.

Step 6

Scrape lightly at the ground to create soil valleys throughout the lawn. This is where the new grass seed will adhere and sprout.

Step 7

Fill a hand or mechanical spreader with centipede grass seed. You need 1/2 lb. per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Split the amount of needed seed in half and run over the area twice. This will ensure even coverage.

Step 8

Put 1/4 inch of compost such as decaying leaves on top of the centipede grass seed. This will promote germination.

Step 9

Give the lawn water immediately. It needs 1 inch of water to get the germination process started. Keep the seed moist until it sprouts. It's a good rule of thumb to keep up with this schedule until the grass is 1 inch tall.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not give the grass fertilizer when you seed it because you may damage the fragile roots.

Things You'll Need

  • pH test kit
  • Hydrated lime or ground rock sulfur
  • Lawn mower
  • Rake
  • Centipede grass seed
  • Hand or mechanical spreader
  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Water
  • Sprinkler


  • Seedland: Centipede Grass
  • American Lawns: Centipede Grass
  • Texas Cooperative Extension: Centipede Grass
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Bahia Grass for Florida Lawns
Keywords: plant centipede grass, centipede grass, centipede and bahia

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.