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How to Overseed With Centipede Grass

How to Overseed With Centipede Grass
Centipede grass works for many lawns in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 to 10, since of its relative ease of care. With basic water and fertilization, centipede grass can grow and spread. If your centipede grass lawn is searching bare and patchy, you can overseeding centipede grass to help fill it in more rapidly, though it often fills itself in over time by spreading runners. You can also scatter centipede grass seeds within the fall with an annual ryegrass. The ryegrass stays green during the winter, then the centipede grass seeds germinate within the spring.

How to overseeding centipede grass

  1. Mow your lawn down to 1 1/2 inches tall to allow the sun to reach the seeds. Do this more than a few weeks if your grass is tall; only cut off the top one-third in the blade at a time. Bag the clippings as you mow, if possible.
  2. Water your lawn for at least 30 minutes to soften the top layer of dirt.
  3. Rake the thatch layer and soil with a steel garden rake to loosen it around the existing centipede grass. Try to not rake so challenging that you pull up the current grass, though you're likely to displace some runners that haven't taken firm root and they should root themselves once more after seeding.
  4. Add seed to your seed spreader and stroll back and forth across your lawn to disperse the seed, going from one side for the other in straight lines. Cover the lawn, then turn in the edge of the lawn and go back more than it, making lines perpendicular for the first set. Spread about one-half pound of seed per 1,000 square feet of lawn, unless your lawn is heavily patched. In that case, use as much as 1 pound of seed per 1,000 square feet.
  5. Rake over the lawn a second time to cover grass seeds with a thin layer of dirt and thatch.
  6. Water the grass thoroughly, soaking it until the soil feels damp at the least 1 inch beneath the surface; test this by sticking your finger in the soil and making positive it feels damp.
  7. Spread the bagged grass clippings evenly over the seeded area to serve as mulch and help shield the seeds from blowing away inside the wind; centipede grass seeds are small, so they're able to blow away simply.
  8. Water the grass with one-half inch of water each day until the seeds germinate, which can take as much as three weeks. Watering more than one-half inch can make current centipede grass more susceptible to disease, so test the watering amount by setting a wide-mouth jar on the lawn using a mark one-half inch up from the bottom. Turn off the sprinkler when the water inside the jar reaches the mark each day.
  9. Cut back to watering twice a week once seedlings emerge.
See also How to Dethatch a Centipede Lawn

Best Grass to Mix with Centipede

Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylane) is the perfect grass to combine with centipede grass for best results.

Mow lawn first before supervision. Bermuda is high season turf, and overseeding centipede grass before colder months to make it remain green. Usually, mowing and fertilizing is not necessary in a cooler season. October or November is the perfect time for overseeding.

Overseeding centipede with ryegrass

You can overseeding centipede with Ryegrass in spring. Fertilizer can stimulate the centipede grass and make it more susceptible to freezing. Rye also competes with centipede grass when it is trying to green-up in the spring. Let your centipedegrass lawn go dormant in November and take a break from mowing.

Overseeding centipede with bermuda

Overseed the centipedegrass with Bermuda grass in late spring or early summer to encourage rapid establishment and growth. Both Bermuda grass and centipedegrass are warm-season grasses and will turn brown in winter when temperatures become sufficiently cool. So, if you are overseeding the centipede grass because you want to ensure that your lawn remains green year-round, choose a cool-season grass to overseed the centipedegrass.