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Fertilizing Centipede Grass: When, How & Which Fertilizer?

The vibrant green and healthy grass need care, if the proper care doesn’t seem to happen, the centipede will act poorly under high traffic, as well as you will encounter slow growth and partially brown random pieces.

The bright side about these so-called eremochloa ophiuroides or centipede grass is being very drought-tolerant and don’t need regular lawn mowing.

Getting back to the fertilization, since it’s a living and breathing thing, feeding the centipede grass is your duty. Believe me, it will thrive unexpectedly, if the fertilization is done properly because as I said before, this type of grass doesn’t require special conditions to blossom. Heat, humidity, cool weather and is tolerant almost against everything.

Not any fertilizer will do good with centipede grass, the soil needs to be in a low pH, phosphorus, and average potassium.

Fun Fact: Centipede grass type has no dormancy period. It is possible to stay green throughout the winter. The dormancy deficiency makes it unprotected from cold. When the weather is cold, centipede grass is resilient to damage which can cause the death of the plant. 

When to Fertilize Centipede Grass

 The ideal time to fertilize the centipede grass is when temperatures reach more or less 85° F which can be either springtime or during summer (over a 6-8 week period). The right timing also depends on your location, let the grass decide whether it needs fertilization or not.

In case new turf grass stirs up by fertilization in the spring, then you can also fertilize the grass in the late season. 

Fertilization in centipede grass is determined by the soil test. Clemson Cooperative Extension gives some tips on how to test the soil in order to decide the frequency of fertilization. 

How To Fertilize Centipede Grass

It would be useful to know that centipede grass doesn’t go along well with a high level of nitrogen as it can attract many diseases. Phosphorus on the other side drains the iron levels.

It would be better to use phosphorus-free fertilizers like 10-0-15. A 2 pounds of nitrogen will be enough on the surface per 100 square feet.

If you choose to use a granulated form, then the placement should be near the stem of the plant and if you use a liquid form, spraying is ideal.

Best Fertilizers For Centipede Grass

1. Scotts Turf Builder Southern Lawn Food

As the centipede grass is mostly found in the southern lawns, Scotts Turf Builder is made for it. A 28.12 lbs. package will be enough for 10.00 square feet. If that’s too much for you, there is less amount available.

Scotts Turf is a builder and will help to keep the root super strong and take care of the undesired attitude of the pests and weather.

The product is any season fertilizer and helps the lawn absorb water and other nutrients better.

A quick professional tip for care. After you have fed and clipped the lawn, leave the leftovers on the lawn and water the centipede grass. As for the watering, it should be somewhere between 6-10 am because the water evaporation is less during the afternoon.

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2. Simple Lawn Solutions Liquid Fertilizer

A liquid type of fertilizer, Simple Lawn Solutions has a 15-0-15 NPK ratio. It combines the right amount of nitrogen (15%) which is ideal for centipede grass since they cannot withstand more amounts. The same amount of potassium will help the grass in enzyme activation and protein formation.

The mixture of acidic humic comes from the great quality source leonardite.

As you know the spraying form is much easier, but that depends on the preference, but hooking a hose that covers 3.200 square feet is way easier than worrying about the location where granules prefer.

Besides centipede, you can use Simple Lawn Solutions for Bermuda, St. Augustine, zoysia, buffalo, palmetto, and bluegrass.

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3. Scotts Turf Builder Bonus S

Scotts Turf Builder Bonus S has tested positive in double tasking, one on feeding and two in killing weeds. Use this fertilizer in spring times to kill everything ugly on your lawn such as dollarweed, clover dandelion, and oxalis.

By using the fertilizer, you can cover the 5.000 square feet and it’s recommended to use in case of dryness in the lawn while growing.

The NPK ratio is 29-0-19 and is a synthetic spreader (non-organic). The bright side of synthetic chemicals is not attracting pets and children with their good smell. The ingredients contain 7% sulfur, and 1.29 percent atrazine.

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Signs Of Overfertilization Centipede Grass

  • Make the centipede grass a guide to prevent overfertilizing, feed once in the middle of the spring and summer between 6-8 weeks.
  • Noticing crabgrass in radon places is a sign of overfertilization.
  • The high level of nitrogen can burn the centipede grass.
  • Acidic soil with above 6.0 pH level creates iron deficiency and turns the grass yellow.
  • Liming the centipede lawn without testing the soil because the soil decides the need for fertilizer. This can also result in loss of grass leaving brown spots in random places.

FAQ’s

What Does Centipede Grass Look Like?

The centipede grass looks like a super light green shade and the tips are broad, which many gardeners address as coarse.

When the Centipede Grass Gets out of Dormant Period?

The dormant period lasts 4 months, from January to April. As the springs start to show up on the door, the centipede grass shows signs of growing. In case of too much nitrogen use in the fertilizer, the grass may not come back after the dormancy.

Is Centipede Grass Preferable?

Centipede grass doesn’t have much of a difference, but the drought-tolerant feature is the best for high temperatures during summer. The low maintenance and less fertilization make the centipede grass the right choice for you.

When is the Best Time to Plant Centipede Grass?

The mid or late spring is ideal for centipede grass planting because the grass needs constant and stable warm weather. Eliminate the end of the season and you’ll be fine to plant between 4-6 weeks during the season.

A Brief Recap

For super light green and healthy centipede grass, fertilization is a must, but be careful with the nitrogen level and other NPK ratios when buying.

Instead of feeding the grass for a beautiful look, you can end up with brown tips and empty random spaces.

Further Reading

Do you want to know about different topics? go ahead and find out about the possible issues of calla lily leaves turning yellow as well as what causes desert rose leaves to turn yellow.

Alternatively, find out what dieffenbachia represents and the reasons behind brown leaves. As the name presents itself, the Christmas cactus leaves turned red out of blue, find out why.

Natalia Michalska

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