How to Care for Centipede Grass in Winter

Overview

Native to China and southeast Asia, centipede is a low-maintenance, warm-season grass that's often called "the lazy person's grass." This grass is slow growing and is somewhat resistant to pests and diseases. Centipede grass has a rough texture and is grown in lawns in regions that have mild winters, dying off completely during extended periods in which temperatures reach 5 degrees Fahrenheit or colder. Slight drops in temperature during winter cause centipede grass to enter a semi-dormant state, so little to no mowing is required during the winter months.

Step 1

Stop mowing your centipede grass regularly in late fall. Begin mowing your centipede grass lawn again in early spring, but avoid mowing the grass too short (less than 1/2 inch) before it begins actively growing again.

Step 2

Water your centipede grass lawn in winter only during times of drought or prolonged dry spells. Water the centipede grass thoroughly once per week during these times to soak the soil below the grass roots, usually 4 to 8 inches deep.

Step 3

Control broad-leafed weeds and other types of weeds in your centipede grass lawn by applying a pre-emergent herbicide, following the application instructions on the label exactly.

Step 4

Prevent crabgrass and other winter weeds by applying an appropriate herbicide to your centipede grass lawn in October and again in February. Follow the directions on the label.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid planting your lawn with centipede grass if you live in a climate that receives extreme cold and hard freezes during the winter. Cycles of hard freezes and cold followed by warm periods can kill the grass. Centipede grass is best suited for USDA zones 7, 8, 9, and 10.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Pre-emergent herbicide
  • Crabgrass herbicide

References

  • Pike Nurseries: Centipede Care
  • Seedland: Centipede Grass Maintenance & Care

Who Can Help

  • American-Lawns.com: Centipede Grass
Keywords: centipede grass lawn, centipede grass winter care, winterize centipede lawn

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.