Centipede grass doesn’t grow as fast as other warm-season turfgrasses. The day length and temperature are two key factors determining when the centipede grass comes out of dormancy and how fast it grows.
Centipede lawn problems can often occur three to five years after they are established. These problems can be attributed to excessive mowing heights, nitrogen applications exceeding two pounds per 1,000 feet annually, and early spring or late fall fertilization.
Is your lawn prone to brown spots and dead patches?
These areas can be caused by excessive nitrogen application, excessive thatch, winter injury, or insect disease.
Many lawns will show signs of injury in the coming weeks. This could be caused by the recent cold winter. The grass is more vulnerable to winter injury if treated with too much nitrogen during the last growing season.
Because of the distance between the stolons and the soil surface, lawns with excessive thatch are more likely to sustain winter injuries.
Problems can also be caused by insects. Your lawn can be harshly damaged by grubs and mole crickets. You may have extensive root damage if you have mole crickets.
If mole crickets are causing severe turf damage, you may need to contact a landscape professional for an application.
Another factor is the disease. Common problems in centipedes include large patches and take-all patches. Most of the damage that you are noticing was done last year. It is important to identify the disease and take appropriate control measures.
The iron chlorosis and yellowing of centipedes can be caused by excessive nitrogen or nitrogen applied during spring green-up.
One or more of these factors may cause chlorosis: excess nitrogen or nitrogen applied during spring-green-up; high soil pH; phosphorus, potassium levels; excessive thatch caused over-fertilization or pesticide use or poor mowing.
You can temporarily treat iron chlorosis by spraying two ounces of ferrous sulfate on 1,000 feet of area or using a chelated iron product according to label rates. A high iron level will cause the leaves to turn black within hours.
It may require a couple of weeks for the grass to recover from iron overload. The real solution to chlorosis is to identify and fix the root cause.
You may notice signs that your lawn is experiencing a combination of these factors. Don’t be anxious about fertilizer applications this spring.
Wait until your lawn has reached 100 percent and soil temperatures have increased (usually in late April or early May).
How to Plant Centipede Grass
Centipede grass can either be grown from sod, seed, or plugs. The cost of the method, labor required, and time it takes to create a lawn will determine which one you choose.
Planting Centipede Grass Seed Centipede grass seeds are the most expensive but require the most work and take the longest time to establish a lawn.
To start centipedegrass seed, you must first till the area in which the seed will grow. After the soil has been tilled, use a rake to level it.
You can either remove any grass that was growing in the area or use herbicide to treat it. Wait for up to two weeks before you move on to the next step.
This will kill any remaining grass and prevent it from growing back on your lawn.
Once the area is prepared, spread the centipede seed. 1 pound (0.5 kg.)
One pound (0.5 kg) of centipede grass seeds will cover approximately 3,000 feet (915m).
Mixing the centipede grass seeds with sand will make them easier to spread.
Mix 1 pound (0.5 kg.) Mix 1 pound (0.5 kg) of seed with 3 Gallons (11 L.).
Sand will help cover the area as efficiently as possible. Water the centipede grass seed thoroughly after it is planted.
Keep it hydrated for three weeks. You can fertilize the area with high-nitrogen fertilizer if necessary.
Planting Centipede Grass With Sod
Centipede grass seed is the fastest, most labor-intensive way to create a centipede lawn. However, it is also the most costly.
When laying grass seed, the first step is to till the soil. You can also add organic material or a nitrogen-rich fertilizer as you till.
Next, place the centipede grass strips over the tilled soil. The sod strips should touch the soil, but the ends of the strips should be arranged staggered.
Sod staples are required for centipede grass sod. These will attach the sod to the soil.
After the sod has been laid, water the area thoroughly and roll it down. For the next three to 4 weeks, keep the centipede grass well-watered.
Centipede Grass Plugs Centipede grass bulbs are a middle-of-the-road option. They can be planted in a few weeks or less.
To plant centipede grass bulbs, you must first till the plugs’ area be grown.
At this point, add organic material and nitrogen-rich fertilizer. You may need to trim any existing grass that was present before you start tilling.
Next, use a drill bit to insert the centipede grass pieces approximately 1 foot (31cm) apart.
The grass should be about 1 foot (31 cm) apart. After the plugs have been inserted, water the lawn thoroughly and continue to water it for three to four more weeks.
4. Management tips that can help your centipede lawn grow better.
1. The soil test analysis should be used to determine the fertilization program. After spring green-up, fertilize the lawn again with a complete fertilizer in the middle of summer. Two pounds of nitrogen should not be applied to 1,000 feet annually.
2. Your centipede lawn should be mowed at the height of 1 1/2 inches. Avoid thatch buildup.
3. During drought stress, water your lawn. You should water the soil enough to reach a depth of 6-8 inches.
4. You can identify and treat diseases and insects on your lawn.