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5 Best Fertilizers for Centipede Grass


Most recommended
Repair Centipede Grass
  • Brand Scotts
  • Herbs
  • Partial Sun
A good choice too
Scotts Turf Builder Starter
  • New Grass
  • Style: Standard
  • 16.1 pounds
A good choice too
Feed with MicroFeed
  • SBM Life Science
  • 11.94 pounds
  • White
Winter Survival Fall
  • Jonathan Green
  • Color: Original
  • 14.95 pounds
Voluntary Purchasing
  • 3 x 14 x 22 inches
  • PURCHASING GROUP
  • 20.22 Pounds

Choose the Best Fertilizer for Centipede Grass

Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Fertilizers for Centipede Grass

30 users answered this survey. Please help us improve this review!

80% of users selected Repair Centipede Grass, 3.33% selected Scotts Turf Builder Starter, 6.67% selected Feed with MicroFeed, 3.33% selected Winter Survival Fall and 6.67% selected Voluntary Purchasing. Every month we analyze your answers and change our rating.

There are many different types of turfgrass, but centipede grass is one of the most common varieties. Centipede grass is a low-maintenance type of lawn that thrives in hot climates.It’s also relatively easy to grow and maintain, so it’s perfect for new homeowners who don’t have any experience with gardening.

However, before you start fertilizing your centipede grass, there are some things you need to know about the best fertilizers for centipede grass.

Scotts EZ Seed Patch and Repair Centipede Grass – the Editor’s choice!

This is a cutting-edge seeding mix for centipede grass. Because it contains special components that increase water and fertilize the plant during development, it is different from other centipede grasses on the market. The seeds are of high quality, so you can expect to have an excellent centipede lawn in record time. It’s also great for patching and repairing because of those characteristics.

The one-bag-equals-three-months garden supply is designed to pay for itself in a year. An ideal combination for producing lush and abundant perennials, grasses, and flowers without the clutter of hundreds of different types of grass seed (and expensive mowing around them) that are just as prone to burning out in a hot sunlit afternoon.

Pros
  • Great for seeding the patchy lawns;
  • Controlled release formula;
  • Keeps seed from washing away;
  • Helps to grow seed in scorching heat;
  • Germinates in 14 days;
  • Grows well on sloped areas;

Cons
  • No coverage information on the package;
  • Instructions are difficult to follow;

With Scotts EZ Seed Patch and Repair Centipede Grass, you can quickly and easily repair and patch your lawn with little to no preparation. This product grows well on sloped areas, germinates in about 14-30 days, and is good to cover the patches. So don’t let those bare spots on your lawn get you down any longer!


Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass – the best to thicken your lawn!

Mesotrione, an active ingredient in Scotts Turf Builder starter fertilizer, is included in the mix. This is a great all-in-one start for those spring seeding and needs to keep crabgrass at bay. While it is known to be effective against crabgrass, there have been testing results and users’ comments published in recent years comparing the two.

This fertilizer, created to help your new lawn get off to a quick start, is best for grass and is meant to aid both roots and grass blades in growing faster. It may be used on any type of grass and works well on grass.

Maintain a healthy lawn by spreading this granular fertilizer over your grass with a spreader. You don’t have to water it, but keep your newly planted grass moist as it emerges.

Pros
  • Helps to grow thick lawn grass;
  • The great coverage is 5,000 sq. ft.;
  • Safe for all grass types;
  • Improves seeding results;

Cons
  • Bad packaging;
  • Not rainproof;
  • Not for sale in Florida;

There are a lot of fertilizer and grass seed alternatives accessible, but the Scotts Turf Builder Starter is the most unique. It contains an excellent NPK ratio to keep your turf healthy and green for a long time.


BioAdvanced 100532518 All-in-One Weed & Feed – the best for killing weeds!

The BioAdvanced 100532518 is a one-stop solution that helps you destroy weeds, improve your grass, and get rid of crabgrass. This slow-release 25% granules product will grow your plants and provide you with a long-lasting effect.

Dandelions, crabgrass, and other grassy weeds will not be a problem for you to eliminate with this BioAdvanced weed and feed in the spring. It also makes the grass more heat- and drought-resistant, allowing it to grow faster. It’s effective against fescue, zoysiagrass, ryegrass, and a variety of other grasses.

Pros
  • MicroFeed action;
  • May cope with most broadleaf weeds;
  • May strengthen greens;
  • Great coverage areas;
  • Great for improving nutrient uptake;
  • Suitable to apply during spring;
  • Recommended for northern lawns;

Cons
  • Restricted for sale in NY, FL, HI;
  • Won’t work with St. Augustine and carpet grass;
  • Slow work;
  • Hard to use without spreader;

This BioAdvanced product is an all-in-one solution. It’s a fertilizer and herbicide in one. Crabgrass, as well as broadleaf weeds and grassy weeds like oats, are killed by the herbicides. It also improves turf’s resistance to heat and drought. Furthermore, it’s simple to use.


Jonathan Green & Sons Winter Survival Fall Fertilizer – the best for the winter season!

Winter fertilizer is a type of chemical fertilizer sold in most garden centers, home improvement stores, and big-box retailers. It comes in two forms that perform the same functions: preparing your grass for the winter season. It does so by prompting the development of a deep root system, allowing your lawn’s grasses to absorb and preserve every available nutrient and water.

This product is also excellent if you intend to seed in the fall. It can cover around 15,000 square feet of grass, but it is rather pricey.

Pros
  • Recommended for the winter season;
  • Helps to stimulate the root growth;
  • Good for fall seeding;
  • Helps to boost the pH of the soil;

Cons
  • Bad packaging;
  • The delivery system should be better;
  • Expensive;

The secret ingredient helps to balance your soil’s content and allows your grass to develop at its fastest possible speed. It not only aids in the uniform distribution of seeds, but it also promotes root development. This product will assist you to recover your garden’s quality after last summer’s disappointments with ease.


Voluntary Purchasing Group Inc 20LB Centipede Fertilizer – the best for strong roots!

The 20LB Centipede Weed Feed from VPG is a great product for keeping weeds at bay. It kills all the weeds and provides the grass with the required elements. It makes an ideal combination. Because of its triple nutrient provision, it is sufficient to finish the fertilization after application in both the morning and on wet grass.

It includes all of the elements that a garden should have. It’s been a favorite among many people due to its inclusion of all of the necessary minerals in the appropriate amounts. This product can also help you if your grass becomes discolored suddenly.

Pros
  • Helps to promote strong roots;
  • Easy application;
  • Good against iron deficiency;
  • Improves the color in 2 applications;
  • Safe formula;

Cons
  • Expensive;
  • Only for limited applications;

This fertilizer, while not as specialized as the other ones, offers all of the nutrients required by plants. They’re all aided by the gradual release of Nitrogen, which ensures maximum absorption. In light of this, the price is reasonable and the content is enough to cover many mid-size lawns. It’s a fantastic approach to get your start with fertilization.


The Buyer’s Guide

Main Features:

Fertilizer Type

Lawn food may be applied as a liquid or granule, using organic and nonorganic mixtures, and with various nutrient ratios. Each formulation is intended to satisfy specific requirements: to maintain a healthy grass stand or stimulate a thin or poor lawn:

  • Granular fertilizers are the most popular. They’re readily available and simple to use with a broadcast or drop spreader. The granules take time to break down and feed slowly, often 4 to 6 weeks or more. Within a few days to a week or more, you may notice improvements. This is an excellent solution for ongoing maintenance;
  • Water-based liquids can provide results within a day or two. Although liquid fertilizer does need to be mixed, hose-end sprayers make it simple to do so. These substances may be used to treat nutrient imbalances or for regular upkeep;
  • Premeasured spikes are popular for feeding trees, bushes, and other landscape plants for lengthy periods of time, but they aren’t a good choice for grass. Granular lawn food is the greatest alternative for uniform centipede grass and other types of turf feeding over an extended period of time [1];

Organic vs. Nonorganic

Organic lawn fertilizers contain compounds made from plant and animal waste. They rely on soil microorganisms to transport nutrients in a form that is usable to plants. Organics are slower-acting, non-burning, and generally have lower levels of nutrients when compared to non-organic goods. 

Organic fertilizer encourages the growth of a healthy soil microbiome, resulting in increased organic content over time. Organic fertilizer aids in the development of a better growing environment for centipede grass in poor clay or sandy soils that lack organic matter.

Non-organic fertilizers are composed of chemical compounds that dissolve in water and are immediately available to plants. They do not require biological delivery systems such as those used by organic farmers, and over time, they can actually cause soil organic matter to decrease. 

Fast-acting and slow-release non-organic lawn food are available. Nonorganic fertilizer delivers nutrients to a centipede lawn as quickly and efficiently as possible in situations where soil nutrients aren’t adequately balanced.

N-P-K Ratio

The macronutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). They are usually required in greater amounts than the other micronutrients. 

The percentage of each of these three elements as a percentage of the total product by weight indicated on fertilizer labels is known as the N-P-K ratio. A 10-pound bag of 15-0-15 lawn food, for example, has 15% N (1.5 pounds), no P, and 15% K (1.5 pounds). 

The rest of the fertilizer’s weight is made up of other nutrients and fillers. To discover the total nutrient load and sources from which these elements are derived, refer to the label’s fine print.

Because centipede grass is a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant lawn that requires little fertilizer, N-P-K applications should be directed by soil testing. While high-nitrogen fertilizers are beneficial to all types of grass in order to stimulate healthy leaves, centipede lawn food does not require the large amounts of N consumed by other grasses. 

As a result, many of the same broad-purpose lawn fertilizers advised for “all lawns” are suitable for centipede grass as well.

Moderate P levels can severely harm centipede grass, so no amount should be used without a soil analysis. K applications are beneficial for centipede grass. 

32-0-10 helps the grass turn green early in the spring after it has awoken from its winter sleep. 15-0-15 is useful for drought tolerance and disease resistance in the middle of summer [2]

Grass Needs

To make up for what is lacking in the soil, grass only requires supplementary fertilizer. The best approach to know exactly what’s required is to do a soil test. In order to plan the fertilization schedule for the coming growing season, analyze the soil’s pH and organic content during winter testing. 

The ideal soil pH for centipede grass is 5.5-6.0. To lower the pH, use lawn and garden sulfur or a sulfur-based fertilizer; if necessary, add lime to raise the pH. 

Fertilize when the grass has become green in late spring as determined by test results, applying fertilizer only once per year. A single spring application of fertilizer is sufficient because of the low nutrient needs of a centipede lawn.

Soil Fertility and Condition

The soil’s fertility is what allows it to give nutrients in adequate amounts and the correct ratio for grass to thrive. When natural fertility is lacking, fertilizer makes up the difference. The addition of fertilizer to the soil improves its naturally available nutrient supply. It immediately affects plant growth by delivering compounds that the plant needs in order to absorb minerals from the dirt.

The soil’s condition is a structural problem that has an impact on grass growth, including that of “easy” centipede grass. 

The particle size of the soil, aeration, and drainage are all referred to as conditions. If these factors are not optimal, air, water, and roots will be unable to penetrate because they are saturated. Fertilizing does not improve poor soil structure

Fills of compacted soil, which are often low in organic matter, must be aerated to increase the structure for healthy, deep root development and for fertilizer to perform its function. Over time, frequent applications of soil amendments like compost assist to repair poor soil conditions.

How Much Fertilizer Should You Apply?

According to garden experts, applying 1-2 pounds of nitrogen-based fertilizer per 1000 sq. ft. each year is typically necessary. 

Fertilizer can be used in one application or divided into several doses, depending on the turf’s condition. Additional fertilizer is also required for lawns with sandy or loamy soil. The amount of fertilizer needed annually varies depending on the type of soil that the grass is growing in (clay, hard soil).

Excess fertilizer can wreak havoc on your grass. Excessive fertilizer can overstimulate grass growth and put your lawn at risk of pests, fungus, or weather damage. When it comes to fertilizer, too much isn’t always better. Your lawn may be scorched or burned if you apply too much fertilizer. A scorched lawn will become yellow and show symptoms of distress after being exposed to excessive heat for an extended period of time. 

Many scorched lawns perish as a result of the damage caused; surviving grass becomes vulnerable to disease and insect infestation [3].

When Should I Apply Fertilizer:

Early Summer (April 20th to May 10th)

Before applying fertilizer, make sure the soil temperature is above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Centipede grass will not emerge from dormancy in soil that is below 55F.

Between April 20th and May 10th, almost all places where centipede grass will grow will have moderate soil temperatures. Fertilizing a centipede lawn as soon as it enters a growth stage has a significant impact on the grass. The sooner a lawn can be fertilized safely, the better.

Late Summer (August 25th to September 10th)

Fertilize your grass between August 25th and September 10th. This reduces the danger of applying fertilizer too late in the season. Centipede grass can be damaged by fertilizing it close to winter weather.

Fertilizing in the winter causes centipede grass to sprout new shoots near a freeze, resulting in damage or death. Before feeding a centipede lawn for the last time of the year, ensure that there are at least six weeks of above-freezing temperatures. [4].

Post-Application Care Guide:

General Information

Centipede grass is limited by both the temperature and soil requirements. It is more sensitive to cold than many other types of grass (and, conversely, much more heat tolerant). It flourishes in the arid, acidic soils of the southeastern United States.

The grass has a minor root system, which means it requires frequent watering, whether through natural rainfall or additional irrigation. When rainfall is scarce, the lawn will require supplementation with extra water in order to recover quickly. Its capacity to heal rapidly after periods of stress is one of its greatest assets.

The southeast is home to a number of people who adore the grass called centipede grass. This is because it flourishes in these regions and needs little upkeep. It has modest shade tolerance, so it will not die if planted under trees or shaded areas. 

Even though it is susceptible to drought conditions and will most likely brown, it tends to go dormant and perk up when water is resumed. It also grows at a relatively slow rate, which means less mowing is required [5]

Soil Requirements

The grass species known as centipede grass thrives in acidic, sandy soil. It can exist in soils with a pH of 4.5 or lower. In more basic soils, it becomes more susceptible to iron shortages. Iron deficiency may cause it to become more sensitive in very basic soils. In some instances, this makes the task of maintaining it somewhat more complex.

Ongoing Maintenance

You can try to keep your centipede grass at around 1.5-2 inches tall while it’s still alive. Try not to mow more than a third of the blade of grass when you’re actually mowing your lawn. To help preserve moisture, leave lawn clippings on the lawn as a mulch.

Keep your lawn free of too much foot traffic. It’s not as sturdy to pedestrian impact as certain other grasses. It spreads slowly, so after it is damaged, it may take a long time to recover.

Watering Frequency

Centipede grass has relatively shallow roots, which may lead to droughts and cause it to brown prematurely. However, due to its short root systems, centipede grass is more susceptible to droughts than other grasses. That said, you should only water when the blades are drooping or the grass becomes grayish-green. It’s also a good idea to space your watering timetable at least 24 hours apart.

When you water, use a bit over an inch of water. This should be enough to wet the soil to about 6-8 inches deep. Try to water early in the morning when the grass has time to dry (again, to minimize disease risk).

In a nutshell, water on a regular basis (but not too frequently) and allow it to fully immerse itself.

Fertilization

Overfertilizing can be dangerous to centipede grass, especially if it gets too much nitrogen or phosphorus. This is why it’s critical to select a product that is specifically designed for it. You’ll want one with higher potassium components and virtually no phosphorous ones. 

A fertilizer without any phosphorus in it, with an N-P-K of 15-0-15, would be ideal. Only around 2 pounds of nitrogen should be used per 1000 sq. ft. 

After you’ve finished your taxes, spread nutrients to your lawn! 

It’s true: fertilize your lawn after tax season. Typically, you should fertilize your grass two weeks after the grass becomes green, but before the temperature rises above 85F. This generally implies that you will need to start applying it around early to mid-May.

Use caution when using feed additives unless they are specifically designed for centipede grass. General weed and feed additives can be fatal to centipede grass [6]

FAQ

Do you need to test the soil before fertilizing?

Depending on the crop and location, soil testing is typically most beneficial when it’s least well-supplied with nutrients after harvest and before fall fertilizer applications. Testing during this period will allow you to gather superior samples of the particular elements required for your operation [7]

How do you make my centipede grass dark green?

To encourage the formation of robust grass, fertilize centipede grass with a nitrogen solution once a year. To improve the health of centipede grass, apply a nitrogen fertilizer once a year. By fertilizing more than once each year, you may harm centipede grass by providing it with an excessively rich soil environment.

Instead of fertilizer, apply liquid iron to your centipede lawn to give it a rich green color [8]

How do you apply fertilizer to your lawn?

The optimum time for the first treatment is late spring, just as the grass is beginning to grow enthusiastically. The grass puts energy into root development early in the year. If you apply fertilizer too soon, it will cause the plant to develop leaves prematurely [9].

Can you apply fertilizer to wet grass?

If you water your grass when it is wet or the grass becomes wet before the fertilizer has a chance to soak in, it will harm it. Watering your lawn as soon after application as possible prevents a number of issues that become more prevalent with time [10].

Should I water the lawn after applying the fertilizer?

If you use liquid fertilizer, wait at least 2-4 hours before watering. If it’s granular fertilizer, water right away. One exception: if you also got spot weed treatments at the same time, wait for that to dry before watering; otherwise, the water will wash off the weed killer before it can do its job [11].

How often should centipede grass be fertilized?

Centipede grass will grow in acid soil, although it may look its best if it is limited to a pH of 6.0. Only 1/2 to 1 pound of nitrogen should be used for the first fertilizer application. In the fall, do not apply any fertilizer [12]

Should you put lime on centipede grass?

Add lime to a centipede lawn only if you’ve conducted a soil test first. Before laying Centipede, fertilize the soil according to the results of a soil test. If the test suggests that fertilizer is required, use a low-nitrogen (N) fertilizer like 5-10-30 + iron [13]

What is potash for centipede grass?

Potash may be used all year round to benefit from the benefits of adding potassium to a lawn that has lost this nutrient in the summer, as it can be utilized during the fall as a fertilizer to repair summer damage and depletion [14].

How do you bring centipede grass back to life?

At a rate of 5 pounds per 500 square feet, distribute 10-10-10 fertilizer over the area to be seeded. Centipede grass seed may be spread at a rate of 1/3 to 1/2 pound per 1,000 square feet using a drop spreader and running the spreader over the lawn once in each direction [15].

Should you dethatch centipede grass?

If the grass has been over-fertilized and not properly maintained, it may grow thatch. If thatch is an issue, the lawn should be dethatched every three years. Centipede grass should be trimmed to a height of 1 inch and should not exceed a height of 1½ inches tall [16].

Useful Video: How to fertilize Centipede grass | Centipede Lawn Care

Final thoughts 

Centipede grass is an excellent choice for homeowners in hot climates because it doesn’t need much maintenance. But before you start fertilizing your centipede lawn, there are some things you need to know about the best type of fertilizer for centipede grass. Read this guide on the best types of fertilizer and how to apply them correctly!

References:

  1. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/best-fertilizer-for-centipede-grass/
  2. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/best-fertilizer-for-centipede-grass/
  3. https://www.lawnandpetal.com/centipede-grass-fertilizer/
  4. https://www.lawnandpetal.com/centipede-grass-fertilizer/
  5. https://www.thegreenpinky.com/best-fertilizer-centipede-grass/
  6. https://www.thegreenpinky.com/best-fertilizer-centipede-grass/
  7. https://smartnitrogen.com/soil-testing-tips/
  8. https://blog.supersod.com/fertilizer-tricks-for-your-tifblair-centipede-lawn
  9. https://www.thespruce.com/when-to-apply-spring-fertilizer-2152974
  10. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/long-can-fertilizer-sit-yard-water-89554.html
  11. https://www.lawnbuddies.com/blog/when-should-water-lawn-after-fertilizing-how-long
  12. https://www.walterreeves.com/lawn-care/centipede-fertilizing/
  13. https://blog.supersod.com/fertilizer-tricks-for-your-tifblair-centipede-lawn
  14. https://www.crabgrasslawn.com/what-is-potash-and-what-is-it-used-for/
  15. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/revive-centipede-st-augustine-grasses-90151.html
  16. https://beaufort.ces.ncsu.edu/2014/01/how-to-make-your-centipede-lawn-look-better-than-your-neighbors/