Centipede Mowing Aeration and Dethatching

Centipede Mowing

There are recommendations on mowing centipede that range from the low end (1.5”) to the higher end (3”). Presumably anywhere in between these two should work well. I don’t recommend too low as this invites weeds with a centipede lawn. I have found that a 2” cut produces the best looking lawn. Since centipede is a slow grower you do not need to mow it as frequently as other lawns, so cutting it short wont help much in terms of extending the amount of time between mowing.

Aerating Centipede

It is recommended that the lawn be core aerated once a year. Aerating centipede can be done anytime during the growing season but it is important to allow for at least four weeks of growing season so that the lawn can fill in the aeration holes before dormancy sets in. Aerating Centipede is an important step in your lawn care program. I aerate my lawn at least twice a year.


Core Plug Lawn Aerator
Core Aerator

Dethatching Centipede

General Recommendation on dethatching centipede lawns – If there is more then 1/2” of thatch present (Thatch is the presence of dead leaves and stems that build up on the surface of the soil). You should power rake in the spring or fall. Centipede spreads by rhizomes. Consequently it has a network of interlaced runners. Don’t use a rake style dethatching tool. Preferably, use a power dethatcher that cuts through the runners,

Authors Note – I generally dislike dethatching for the simple reason that it has a tendency to damage turf, this is especially true for grasses that spread via rhizomes. My preference is to aerate as aerating breaks up the thatch and helps it along in the decomposition process.

Please refer to the section on fertilization for more details on fertilizing your centipede lawn.

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