How to Plant Centipede Lawn Seed


Centipede grass is known as the "lazy man's grass" because it requires less maintenance than any other warm-season grasses, can handle cold temperatures and never goes into true dormancy. Native to China and Southeast Asia, centipede grass was brought to the United States in 1916 and is now a popular lawn grass throughout the South. It is a slow-growing creeper with short stems that grow upward--hence the name.

Step 1

Prepare your lawn bed by raking out roots, rocks and other debris. If you like, add top soil to compensate for the debris you removed.

Step 2

Add lawn fertilizer, ideally a standard 8-8-8 blend or one with a higher nitrogen content, such as 16-4-8, which has been specially formulated for Centipede grass. Rake the fertilizer into the debris-free lawn bed, using about 1 lb. for every 100 square feet.

Step 3

Distribute the seed, ideally using a cyclone-style seed feeder. Use a 1/4 to 1/2 lb of seed for every 1,000 square feet of area. Don't scrimp on the seed, since centipede grass is slow-growing and the denser the seeds the faster you will have a uniform green lawn.

Step 4

Rake the seed into the soil to a depth of about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch. Go over the whole area with a lawn roller to make sure the seeds stick in the soil.

Step 5

Water the seeds immediately, and keep watering to make sure the soil is kept moist at all times until germination. After the seedlings pop up, cut back on watering to prevent root rot. Watering every other day should be sufficient.

Tips and Warnings

  • Beware of erosion on sloping areas. To minimize the risk, distribute mulch, such as wheat straw, on slopes, especially at the first sign of rain.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Top soil
  • Lawn fertilizer
  • Centipede grass seed
  • Cyclone-style seeder
  • Lawn roller
  • Water


  • Seedland: Centipede Grass
  • American Lawns: Centipede Grass
Keywords: centipede grass, planting grass seed, planting a new lawn

About this Author

Thomas K. Arnold is the publisher and editorial director of Home Media Magazine and a regular contributor on entertainment to "USA Today", "The Hollywood Reporter," "San Diego Magazine" and other publications. An alumnus of San Diego State University, Arnold has appeared on such TV shows as "CNN", "E! Entertainment" and "G4's Attack of the Show" to discuss home entertainment and technology issues.