Centipede Seeding and Propagation

Planting New Lawn

Centipede seeding is fairly straightforward and similar to many other lawns. One of the key considerations in centipede seeding is the soil temperature. Centipede seed requires soil temperatures of 70 degrees F or higher to germinate. However,  centipede seeding at other times of the year. Use a “nurse crop” to anchor the seed in place until the climate conditions are right.

Annual Rye is commonly used as a nurse crop when preparing a seed bed in the fall. Annual rye will quickly establish itself. This anchors the bed and other components in place. The centipede will then have a chance to germinate and establish itself once Spring arrives. Another popular Nurse Crop is Carpetgrass. This is typically used in early spring. In early Spring the temperatures are not quite warm enough for centipede. But they are warm enough for the Carpetgrassgrass. Carpetgrass germinates and establishes itself quickly. Consequently, Centipede will grow in and eventually choke the carpetgrass out.

Preparing The Seedbed

Prepare the Seed bed; Grade, smooth and level the lawn Remove debris such as stones twigs etc. Lightly till the first several inched of soil. This will also help loosen the soil and provide a good foundation for your grass seed. Work in a good starter fertilizer. Fertilizers such as a 28-24-6 would be ideal. You need a fertilizer that has a generous amount of nitrogen (28) and a higher rate of phosphorous then usual (24). Phosphorous will encourage vigorous root growth in your new lawn. This will help it to establish itself into a dense turf. Spread the Centipede seed at the rate of 1 pound per 2000 square feet. Rake the seed in to a depth of ½” and if needed, use straw as a light mulch to prevent erosion. Water daily for 30 days to give all of the seed a good chance to germinate.

Seed and Fertilizer Broadcast Spreader
Use a broadcast Spreader to help with distributing the seed evenly when planting a new lawn

Over Seeding Existing Lawn

Cut the existing lawn as close as possible without scalping it. Rake or scratch the soil and apply the seed over it at the rate of ½ to 1 Pound per 2000 Square feet follow mulching and watering instructions as listed above.

Sprigging and Plugging

Centipede can also be planted by Sprigging and Plugging. This is generally more time consuming. Rhizomes can be planted every 8 to 12 inches. Each of the Rhizomes (or stolons) should have at least 2 nodes (joints) and should be planted 1 to 2 inches deep. Sprigs can also be broadcast over the area to be planted and covered with a thin layer of soil. When plugging, sod should be cut into sections of 2 to 4 inches and planted 6 to 12 inches of center from each other.

Whether sprigging or plugging it is worth noting that the closer the plugs or sprigs are set the quicker the new lawn will be to establish itself. Keep the area moist (but not soggy) and do not now until new growth is seen. Do not mow if the soil is wet.  You run the risk of pulling the centipede out of the soil if the roots have not established themselves yet.

For more information on Centipede please go to our Centipede Description Page.

WARNING, Do not use any weed and feed fertilizers or weed preventative applications when seeding a lawn