Centipede Sod


First introduced into the United States in the early 1900s, centipede is originally from southern China. It has adapted well to the state of South Carolina and is one of the few turf grasses that performs well on acidic and infertile soils. Centipede needs less fertilization and, therefore, less maintenance than other grasses. For that reason, it is often referred to as the “lazy man’s grass.” And, while it may be the perfect grass for some, it is not for everyone. It depends on your soil type, climate, etc. Centipede is best suited for residential lawns throughout the Midland and Coastal regions of South Carolina.

Low-Maintenance Grass

Yellow-green in color, centipede is a warm-season grass with medium-to-coarse textured blades and short stems growing upward. It propagates by stolons. (Stolons are above-ground stems that shoot off and produce new plants in the nearby ground.) It is a low-maintenance grass, in part because it grows more slowly than a lot of other grasses. Centipede requires fewer nutrients and therefore will perform better in less fertile soils like the sandy acidic soils and some clay soils of the Midlands and Coastal regions of South Carolina. It thrives in full sun and is very tolerant to heat up to 100° F. In cold, winter months with temperatures below 55° F, centipede is dormant.

Wear Resistance

How resistant is the grass to normal usage?


Wear Recovery

How quickly will the grass repair itself?


Drought Tolerance

How quickly will the grass recover once it experiences drought?


Drought Recovery

How quickly will the grass recover once it experiences drought?


Heat Tolerance

How much heat can the grass endure?


Cold Tolerance

How much cold can the grass endure?


Shade Tolerance

How much shade can the grass endure?


Disease/Insect Resistant

How resistant is the grass to insects and disease?


*Chart is based on the comparison of varieties we produce and sell at Carolina Fresh Farms. Individual climate and soil type will affect the performance of each variety. Please call any one of our six retail outlets located throughout South Carolina for more information.


  • Slow vertical growth, so it needs to be mowed less often.

  • Lower fertility requirements (one to 2 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year).

  • Will tolerate moderate shade if it receives at least four hours of full sun daily.

  • Good drought recovery.


  • Does not tolerate heavy traffic or sloped terrain due to the shallow root system.

  • Does not tolerate long periods of cold well. (Unpredictable winter and early spring temperatures and several hard freezes may lead to slow spring green-up or winterkill.)

  • Although considered a drought tolerant grass, if not watered properly, centipede can suffer damage during high heat or drought periods.

  • Some consider its color a disadvantage. (Its natural color is “Granny Smith” crab apple green. Overfertilizing to obtain an unnatural dark green color reduces its cold tolerance and more than likely will increase long-term maintenance problems.)

Care and Maintenance

Centipede is one of the few turf grasses which perform well on acidic and infertile soils. Centipede grass has long been called the “Lazy Man’s Grass.” This is due to its slower-growing habit and lack of nutrients to grow. Many homeowners have complained of delayed spring green-up or even dead spots within their lawns. For the past four years, Clemson University has researched the effect of fertilization on centipede lawns. Although the research is ongoing, they have linked this phenomenon to overfertilization. Centipede grass grows best when no more than one to 2 pounds of nitrogen per growing season is applied to the lawn. The 20-0-25 EXPO will provide 1 pound of nitrogen in a form which will continue to feed the lawn for up to 10 weeks as well as slow release potassium to help the lawn become more drought tolerant.


Centipede should be mowed at a height of 1 ½ to 3 inches. Always remember that the more stress a plant is under, the higher the lawn should be mowed. The frequency of mowing will also vary depending on the growth of the grass. Most centipede lawns should be mowed every seven to 10 days. During drought conditions, it would be best to mow the lawn once every two weeks. As with any other lawn, a consistent mowing interval will improve the quality of the lawn.


Centipede lawns require 1 to 1 ½ inches of water per week during the growing season. Irrigation of the lawn should be performed in the early morning hours of the morning just before daylight. This practice will avoid any rapid evaporation of water before it reaches the lawn, yet allow the leaf tissue to dry quickly after the sun rises. Do not water your lawn every morning for short intervals. This process will only encourage shallow root growth. Instead, water your lawn for long periods two to three times a week.


Aeration has two purposes. The first is to simply loosen the soil. The second is to prune the roots. Core aeration is the recommended method and should be performed every two years on a typical home lawn during the growing season. If your lawn receives heavy foot traffic, it would be advisable to aerate every year. Aeration should be performed during the growing season.

Soil Basics

A practical understanding of your soil is essential in managing your lawn. Soil pH is perhaps the most crucial element. Most turf grasses perform best when the soil pH falls between 6.3 and 7.0. We recommend that a soil test is performed annually to check the pH values as well as other nutrient levels within the soil profile. Any Carolina Fresh Farms Turf Center will be happy to send your soil samples to our soil testing laboratory. Our soil testing program is a free service.

Customized Maintenance Program

  • February 21-March 15

    0-0-7 0.38 Percent Prodiamine prevents summer weeds such as crabgrass

  • April 1-May 15

    Take a soil sample; test for pH and fertility levels

  • April 1-May 15

    Use any fungicide

  • May 15th-May 21st

    20-0-25 EXPO 1 Percent Fe all the nitrogen the lawn needs

  • May 21-June 7

    Aloft Insecticide prevents insects such as spittle bugs and grubs

  • July 1-August 1

    6-1-11 7 Percent Fe Produces green color without flushing top growth late in the season

  • August 15-September 15

    Headway, Heritage or Pillar; must rotate between these products

  • October 1-October 21

    0-0-7 0.38 Percent Prodiamine prevents winter weeds such as Poa annua

Fertilizers and Disease Prevention

Pre-Emergent Herbicides are essential in providing a weed-free lawn. Never apply these products to a lawn which is not well-established.

Specialty Products

For spreader settings or any other fertilizer information, please call any of our retail outlet locations or go to lebsea.com.

Sol-u-Cal is used to adjust soil pH. When applied at a rate of 12 pounds per 1,000 square feet, Sol-u-Cal will raise the pH as much as one point in as short as four to six weeks.

Headway controls a wider range of diseases than any other currently registered product, including dollar spot, brown patch and all other major turf diseases.

Pillar G is a combination of two effective ingredients used to control and prevent numerous turf diseases.

Heritage is excellent long-term preventative control of most diseases in turf.

Fire Ant Control

If you are experiencing fire ant problems within your lawn, please contact any one of our retail outlets. There are several ways to control these insects. Our experts will help to identify the best fire ant solution for your lawn.

Fungus Alert

Over the past few years, many lawn professionals have observed large-patch disease in centipede lawns in both the late fall and early spring. This disease is similar to brown patch in fescue which is prevalent throughout the Carolinas. In order to protect the investment in your lawn, you will need an application of fungicide in the fall as well as the spring. There are many fungicides recommended for this fungus. It is suggested that you rotate between fungicides to avoid any resistance of the fungus to the chemicals applied for control. A fungicide should be applied once at the first of May and again in mid-August.

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