A green lawn in front of the house is always a dream of many gardeners. A windy, sunny space and a large lawn will create a comfortable space to relax after a hard day’s work.
Many gardeners have chosen centipede grass to start realizing their dream of a green lawn. However, this process is also time-consuming and requires a specific plan to get started.
How to make centipede grass spread? Let’s learn in detail about the process of planting, caring for, and stimulating the growth of centipedes in this article.
How To Make Centipede Grass Spread?
Before learning about how to help centipede grass grow faster and thicker to create the perfect lawn, you need to learn about the characteristics and ideal conditions for centipede grass to grow from seed, care for squirrels, and pruning.
1. What Are The Characteristics Of Centipedes?
You need to learn about the ideal characteristics and standards for centipede grass to grow so that you can come up with a reasonable and long-term plan for the whole process.
Features of centipede grass include:
- Has good drought tolerance
- Live in partial shade
- Centipede grass belongs to the warm season grass
- Centipede grass loves the sun every day
- Centipede grass has shallower roots than other grasses
- Doesn’t grow well when constantly being stepped on
- Low care and maintenance costs
2. Ideal Conditions For Centipedes To Grow
Centipede grass is native to China and Southeast Asia. It is warm-climate grass and usually grows best in areas like the Southeast or warmer temperatures in the United States.
Centipede grass needs light at least 6 hours a day to grow faster and thicker. This grass can only live in partial rather than complete shade. It also grows best in well-drained and acidic soil.
Centipede grass is very wet grass, so you need to water it every day to create favorable conditions for centipede grass to grow. It also doesn’t need to be pruned as often so you can save time on maintenance.
This grass also doesn’t need too many nutrients, so you only need to add fertilizer at the beginning of the crop and when they are mature.
3. How To Plant Centipede Grass?
Centipede seeds need great humidity as well as warm weather to germinate. So, the most ideal time to start growing centipede grass is between May and July when temperatures are at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to grow centipede grass:
- Select seeds carefully after consulting the detailed information on the package.
- Improve the ground, and make it moist and porous because the roots of the centipede grass will be very shallow. Make sure not to use herbicides for at least 2 months before seeding begins.
- Add a layer of hummus or organic matter mixed with fertilizer to improve the quality of the soil.
- You can sow 0.25 to 0.5 pounds of grass seed per 1,000 square feet, or mix a pound of seed with a gallon of sand and spread it throughout the field.
- Seeds can take up to 30 days to germinate, so you need to water them every day to maintain moisture in the soil for 3 consecutive weeks.
- After the young centipede plants are about 2 inches, you need to check the humidity before watering because too much water will also cause the young centipedes to die.
4. How Do Make Centipede Grass Grow Thicker?
Centipede grass will grow branches from the nodes and the stem will grow new roots to begin increasing the size of each bush.
Once your bushes have reached a large size, you can cut the rooted branches and place them in another patch of soil.
You should cover them with a layer of humus mixed with nutrients and provide enough water for them every day so that the roots quickly attach to the soil.
This process needs you to check every day because centipede grasses are very susceptible to drying out and dying if their roots do not quickly attach to the soil to absorb water and nutrients.
An important note is that you should only do this work in spring or summer when the temperature is warm rather than in winter. Extreme cold temperatures and winter frosts will kill the centipede bushes after being uprooted.
Read more: Can I Mix Bermuda And Centipede Grass?
5. How To Care For And Maintain Centipede Grass
Centipede grass is known for its low maintenance and care costs because it is often referred to as poor man’s grass or lazy man’s grass.
Some notes when caring for centipedes include:
Trimming: Use a sharp mower to avoid damaging the blades and later growth. Trimmed grass sections can be composted and used as fertilizer for them.
Fertilization: Centipede grass does not need too many nutrients at a time. So you need to fertilize the soil at the beginning of the crop and when the centipede grass matures and begins to spread rapidly.
You should not use fertilizers with too high a nitrogen content, instead, use a fertilizer with a high potassium content. You can use organic compost, or animal manure to fertilize the lawn if you do not want to use chemical fertilizers.
Watering: You should not water the centipede grass too often, check the moisture in the soil before watering. Watering infrequently to stimulate the roots to go deep into the ground in search of water and nutrients will help the bushes grow faster and larger.
In winter, you only need to water occasionally in dry and windy climates to provide moisture to the lawn.
Aeration: You can use an aerator to aerate once a year in early summer.
Utilization of seeds: Centipede grasses can produce natural seeds when they reach about 4 inches in height and flower to form seeds.
Therefore, do not prune the centipede grass in the autumn so that they flower and produce seeds. These seeds will be dispersed by the wind and increase the area and density of centipedes in your plot.
Read more: Is Milorganite Good For Centipede Grass?
6. Common Pests And Diseases That Attack Centipedes
Centipede grass can be easily attacked by a number of pests, so you need to be on the lookout for timely detection to avoid them spreading and attacking the entire lawn.
The grass turns brown: The fungus Rhizoctonia Solani is the cause of the leaves of centipedes turning brown in hot weather and frequent rain. This situation will be overcome with regular light and nitrogen-rich fertilizers.
Leaf spot: The fungus Sclerotinia Homeocarpa is the culprit that causes brown spots on the leaves of centipedes. You can use Neem oil to kill this fungus.
Nematodes: This is a phenomenon where the lawn turns yellow at the same time because this microscopic insect attacks the roots and stems of the plant, making it impossible for the centipedes to absorb water and nutrients.
Wormwood is considered a natural killer of Nematodes, so you can take wormwood leaves and spread them in this area, and water them.
Other pests: Several other pests also attack centipede grass, such as mole crickets, bugs, spittlebugs, ground pearls, and chinch bugs.
7. How To Revive A Centipede Lawn?
A centipede lawn will have a period of marked decline in numbers and brown patches on the leaves in early spring. To control this situation, you should not apply too much fertilizer at the same time with different fertilizers.
If you notice a worsening decline, you need to take steps to revitalize the lawn. First, you need to test the pH of the soil, the ideal pH is 5.0 to 6.0.
Next, you need to determine if the cause of the decline and brown patches on the leaves is due to cold weather or pests.
If due to cold weather, centipede grass can regenerate itself in the spring when the temperature is warm, they will grow new blades of grass and cover it with a green color.
If these brown patches continue to grow and spread, the cause is pests. Use insecticides to kill pests, then improve the soil, and remove insect-infested leaves by drying and burning to prevent pests from spreading to the whole lawn.
Centipede grass is a warm, humid temperature-loving grass that grows quickly as they begin to mature. The process of seeding to a perfect lawn can take up to three years.
Centipedes don’t need too many nutrients at once, so you only need to fertilize them early in the crop and when they start to grow quickly.
Centipede grass does not need too much time to care for and prune, and maintenance costs are also low, so centipede grass is also a reasonable choice for you to start.