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How to Plant Centipede Grass Seed

By Kathryn Hatter ; Updated September 21, 2017
Grass growing

Centipede grass grows lusciously green during the growing season and becomes dormant during the winter months. Centipede grass grows successfully and abundantly in the southeastern regions of the U.S. but it will not tolerate the freezing weather in colder regions. Plant centipede grass in areas receiving full sun or partial shade and provide regular water to grow a lush centipede grass lawn on the green areas around your home.

Prepare the growing area in mid-spring. Planting in early spring may result in more weeds and planting in late spring may prevent the centipede grass from establishing properly before winter. Use the rototiller to cultivate the soil down to between 6 and 8 inches. After you have tilled the soil, rake the soil level smooth with the garden rake.

Fertilize the soil with the granular fertilizer by spreading 10 pounds of fertilizer evenly over each 1,000 square feet of growing area. Use the garden spade or the rototiller to work the fertilizer into the top 6 inches of the soil. Use the garden rake to smooth the surface of the soil.

Apply 1/4 lb of centipede grass seed for each 1,000 square feet of growing area. Mix 1/4 lb of centipede grass seed with 1 gallon of sand in a large bucket. Divide this mixture in half and begin to broadcast the first half of grass seed mixture working from east to west over the growing area. After broadcasting the first half of grass seed, place the second half of the grass seed mixture into the broadcaster and apply it to the growing area working from north to south. This will ensure even and adequate coverage over the entire area.

Continue mixing the seed and sand together and broadcasting in this fashion until the entire area is seeded. Use the leaf rake to rake lightly over the entire area to after broadcasting the seed.

Work the roller over the entire seeding area next. Lightly roll the roller over the seeded area to make sure that all of the seeds are in direct contact with the soil. Spread the straw mulch over the seeded area.

Use one bale of straw for every 1,000 square feet of growing area. This will ensure that the area stays adequately moist and that the seeds do not wash away.

Provide water for the seeded area every day for the first three weeks. Water with a light spray early in the day and make sure that you saturate the entire area lightly with water. Do not water so much that the planted area becomes soggy—it should be moist only.

Watch for seedlings to sprout within approximately 2 weeks. Decrease the number of waterings and increase the amount of water applied each time after the seedlings germinate.

Fertilize again immediately after the seedlings sprout. Use only nitrogen and apply up to 4 lbs of nitrogen for every 1,000 square feet of growing area. Repeat this nitrogen application once per month until approximately 8 weeks prior to the first hard frost of the autumn.

Mow the new seedlings when they reach 2 inches in height. Cut the grass back to 1 ½ inches and keep the grass at this height by mowing every week.


Things You Will Need

  • Rototiller
  • Garden spade
  • Fertilizer (5-10-15)
  • Metal garden rake
  • Centipede grass seed
  • Play sand
  • Large bucket
  • Seed broadcaster
  • Leaf rake
  • Roller
  • Straw mulch
  • Nitrogen
  • Lawn mower

About the Author


Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.