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How to Plant Centipede Sod

By Sarah Terry ; Updated September 21, 2017

Centipede is a warm-season grass that can be planted to create a lawn either by seed, sprigs or sod. Centipede is a low-maintenance, slow-growing and creeping lawn grass that grows best in warm-winter climates that receive few or no hard freezes. Centipede grass has a coarse texture and will stay green year round in non-freezing climates. You must wait until spring temperatures are above 55 degrees F for about three weeks before laying Centipede grass sod. Soil temperatures of 70 degrees or higher are optimal for planting Centipede sod.

Loosen the soil in the area where you’re planning to lay the Centipede grass sod using a rototiller. Turn and loosen the soil down to a depth of 6 to 12 inches.

Spray the lawn area with a non-selective herbicide to kill any weeds about two weeks prior to sod installation.

Spread powdered lime, a granular 5-10-15 NPK (Nitrogen-Phosphorous-Potassium) fertilizer and 1 inch of organic compost over the tilled soil. Spread 50 pounds of lime and 10 pounds of fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of lawn.

Till the lime, fertilizer and compost into the soil to mix it thoroughly into the top 6 inches of soil. Rake the soil to remove any debris or rocks and smooth out the area.

Soak the prepared soil with ½-inch of water the evening before installing the sod. Try to plant the Centipede sod the same day it’s delivered to prevent it from drying out.

Find the straightest line in the area where you’re laying the Centipede grass sod, such as a driveway, a walkway or along the edge of your house. Begin laying the sod pieces along this straight edge.

Lay the sod pieces in staggered rows, fitting the pieces tightly together so that the seams aren’t easily visible. Trim sod pieces with a sharp trowel or shovel to shape them around trees, plants or other objects.

Roll over the installed sod area with a roller to press the underside of the sod into the soil below it. Water the Centipede sod thoroughly.


Things You Will Need

  • Rototiller
  • Non-selective herbicide
  • Powdered lime
  • Granular 5-10-15 NPK fertilizer
  • Organic compost
  • Rake
  • Centipede grass sod
  • Sharp trowel or shovel
  • Roller
  • Garden hose
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection


  • You can also use a roller to smooth down the soil after raking it to reveal and fill in any low spots in the ground surface.


  • Wear gloves and eye protection when operating the rototiller and roller, as well as when spraying or handling the chemical weed killer.

About the Author


Sarah Terry brings over 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.