Best Fertilizer for Centipede Grass 2020 – Buying Guide and Review

Centipede grass is a warm-season slow-growing perennial turfgrass and one of the easiest types of lawn grass to grow because it doesn’t require too much maintenance and its low fertility. With the best fertilizer for centipede grass, you can easily grow and nurture a green centipede grass lawn.

Like all lawn grasses, centipede grass requires some fertilization, but you must know how much and when to use the fertilizer to avoid damaging your grass. The best way to fertilize your centipede grass is to come up with a schedule and do soil testing to ensure your soil has the right pH levels and to avoid over-fertilization.

Scotts ezseed combination mulch, seed, and fertilizer

This product is a combination of mulch, seed, and fertilizer and is specifically designed to grow grass anywhere even in full sun and shade. It contains everything your grass needs to grow in any type of soil. The mulch will absorb water like a sponge keeping the seed moist with a protective layer for fast growth, provide a protectant for the grass seed to keep the seedlings safe from diseases that can attack the newly growing grass, and the fertilizer to feed the seedlings to help jump-start their growth. These grass seeds can grow well in areas with acidic soil, in the scorching heat, on the slopes, in full and partial sun. The fertilizer uses the controlled-release technology to ensure the seeds get the nutrients they need to allow them to grow.

Pros

  • It can cover an area of about 400 sq. feet
  • Suitable for all soil types
  • Protects your grass seeds from diseases
  • Provides good mulch

Cons

  • Not suitable for large areas

Verdict

An excellent product that has a combination of all your grass seeds need to grow fast and healthy.

Espoma organic lawn booster fertilizer

This is an all-organic fertilizer made from pasteurized poultry manure, feather meal, and gypsum. It’s environmentally-friendly which makes it safe for your kids and pets and is very affordable. It’s specially formulated to boost the health of your lawn and it has a 2.5 times more slow-release of nitrogen than other fertilizers to ensure your centipede grass grows uniformly all season.

This fertilizer works well as a broadcast or drop application and it’s designed to be applied in spring when you’ve freshly mowed your lawn which makes it easier to penetrate the soil. Once applied, you should water it slightly if there’s no rain in the next 24 hours to help saturate the soil to achieve the best results. A 30-pound bag can cover an area of about 5,000 sq. feet which makes it ideal for use on large lawns and is safe to use around your kids and pets. 

Pros

  • Very easy to use
  • It’s organic so it’s safe to use around kids and pets
  • Makes your grass thicker and greener
  • It’s affordable

Cons

  • It has a strong smell

Verdict

An organic fertilizer that you can use around your kids and will help to boost the growth and health of your lawn.

Greenview fairway formula spring fertilizer

This is a product that performs 3 tasks in one application. It acts as a pre-emergent for preventing crabgrass from invading your lawn by creating a barrier at the surface of the soil that prevents the growth of crabgrass. It also kills broadleaf weeds and over 200 weeds. Its formula also features immediate release and controlled release of nutrients that will provide continuous feeding of your lawn for about 12 weeks.

This way your lawn will receive more nutrients over a longer period and will prevent the nutrients from being washed away. The best time to apply this fertilizer is in early spring when your lawn is wet to help the granules to stick to the wet weed leaves to get absorbed into the roots. You can use a broadcast or drop spreader and wait 3 days after applying the fertilizer to mowing your lawn.

Pros

  • Helps to make your grass green and thick
  • Very easy to use
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Doesn’t control the weeds completely

Verdict

A product that comes with 3 applications in one to help kill weeds, block crabgrass and fertilize your lawn all at one go.

Scotts turf builder summer lawn food

This is a 2-in-1 product that will feed your lawn but also maximize the water needed for its healthy growth. It has a unique formula that uses everydrop technology that will help to ensure water will penetrate dry and hard soil very easily. This will help to reduce run-off and puddling no matter if you’re using a hosepipe, rain, or irrigation water to water your lawn. This way your lawn grass will develop strong and deep roots with every drop of water. If you use it as directed, your lawn will become green for up to 6 weeks but this will depend on the type of turfgrass and the prevailing temperatures. Use a spreader and adjust the settings depending on your lawn requirements and for best results water your lawn after application. This is a safe product to use on all grass types.

Pros

  • Helps to keep your lawn green during the summer
  • Very easy to use
  • Ensures water and nutrients are easily absorbed
  • Provides continuous nourishment t your lawn

Cons

  • Doesn’t work with all grass types

Verdict

A great product that is meant to take care of your lawn and provide continuous nourishment that will ensure your lawn stays green and healthy.

Milorganite organic nitrogen fertilizer

This organic fertilizer is designed with a slow-release formula, rich in nitrogen, and provides your lawn with a deep green color. It has an easily digestible form of nitrogen and iron that helps to prevent your centipede grass from turning yellow. The non-burning slow-release nitrogen works for up to 10 weeks which mean you wait longer between applications, reduce mowing, and conserves water. This formula doesn’t contain salts so it’s safe to use in dry conditions when there’s reduced water.

This grass fertilizer will provide permanent long-term nutrients for your grass since it uses the controlled method of releasing the nutrients. A 36-pound grass can cover an area of 2500 sq. feet and by applying the granules evenly, it will encourage a lush green, robust, and dense lawn that is resistant to extreme temperatures and diseases. Using this fertilizer will provide our lawn with full lawn care during the spring and summer seasons and stimulate young sprouts without forcing growth.

Pros

  • It won’t burn your lawn grass
  • Provides nutrients that your lawn grass needs to grow
  • Makes your lawn dense and green
  • Provides long-term feeding

Cons

  • The results might be delayed

Verdict

An organic fertilizer that uses the slow-release method to ensure your lawn grass gets all the nutrients it needs for a long time.

Scotts liquid turf builder with plus 2 weed control fertilizer

This liquid control fertilizer will help to control the broadleaf weeds in your lawn while at the same time fertilizing your lawn. It helps to boost the nitrogen levels in your lawn grass which will help it to develop a more stable leaf mass and a healthy root system. Your grass turf will become thicker and greener to allow your centipede grass to display its decorative qualities. It’s very simple to use as you just connect your water hose to the sprayer, shake then turn on the water and point the nozzle where you want to spray. It will provide continuous nourishing care for your lawn and help to prevent it from turning yellow. It will give you a completely even growth in your grass and fast results. It will allow your grass to absorb water and nutrients much easier.

Pros

  • A quick weed control and fertilizer
  • It’s absorbed well in the soil to kill weeds
  • Helps to accelerate growth

Cons

  • The spray nozzle gets clogged
  • You spray yourself

Verdict

A very easy to use a liquid sprayer that helps to control broadleaf weeds in your lawn and also fertilize it to give you a lush green lawn all season.

Espoma urea plant food

This urea plant food is a quick way of providing nitrogen to your centipede grass. It will encourage vigorous growth and the grass will grow into a lush dark green color on your lawn that will be the envy of your neighbors. These fast-acting granules are in a digestible form which allows for quick absorption into the soil and decomposition to provide your grass with nitrogen food.

The fertilizer is very easy to use that provides an even and quality spread that will guarantee a faster fertilizing effect. This urea fertilizer doesn’t lose its qualities or deteriorate no matter how long you store it. It’s also safe to use since it doesn’t contain any toxic ingredients or explosive substances.

Pros

  • Don’t need to use much
  • Good quality granules
  • Very easy to measure and apply
  • Gets absorbed quickly for amazing results

Cons

  • Can damage your lawn if much is used

Verdict

Great urea plant food that does wonders to your centipede lawn turning it into a beautiful green lawn in just a few days.

What is centipede grass?

This is a very popular low and slow-growing perennial grass that mostly grows from spring to fall and reaches about 5 inches. It can in the sun and partial shade and is more sensitive to cold than other warm-season grasses, but can grow in the mild climate and withstand winter. The centipede grass is almost always apple-green and has larger blades than the Bermuda grass, but it doesn’t grow as thick. Because it grows slowly, it requires less mowing than other grasses and its relatively shallow root system means you have to be extra careful with watering when there’s low rainfall.

Centipede grass doesn’t do very well in highly alkaline soil. This warm-season grass spreads by stolons, creeping above-ground stems, that will eventually form a dense lawn, but it doesn’t hold up very well to heavy foot traffic and will take time to recover. This grass is easily susceptible to fungal diseases like dollar spot and brown patch and its slow growth rate allows weeds and sprouts sensitized grass to grow. 

Which is the best grass for centipede grass to grow in?

Lush and healthy growing grass can’t flourish in the wrong soil, only weeds can thrive in that soil, so before you plant your grass you should find the right soil environment for centipede grass. Sandy soil has many large particles that water drains through very quickly which causes it to dry out quickly. This soil also doesn’t hold the soil nutrients as well as the denser sandy and clay soils. However, sandy soil is easier to work with and plant roots can easily grow through the soil and it drains much more quickly which makes it less prone to stagnant water which can destroy or injure your grass.

Centipede grass thrives in soil that mostly contains sand with a bit of clay and mud. For this grass to grow well, it needs to be exposed to at least 6 hours of sun, but it doesn’t tolerate high phosphorous soils, low potassium soils, high pH, drought, compaction, heavy shade, traffic, or excessive thatching. Ensure that you water your centipede lawn as you should prevent your grass from becoming stressed. Watering deeply and thoroughly encourages deep roots, but shallow watering shallow and stress susceptible roots.

How to Fertilize your Centipede Grass

The most important step is to find the right fertilizer for centipede grass, but don’t use phosphorous if you don’t want to burn your lawn. The best is always organic and natural which won’t burn your lawn, but if you opt to use chemicals, choose fertilizers with these numbers, 10-0-10, 15-0-15, or 18-0-18. Any fertilizer with a higher number in the middle than zero will not be the best for centipede grass. The fertilization rate for this grass is lower than other grasses so you only need 1 pound of fertilizer for 1000 sq. feet each year. You can split this application into two or more to avoid burning your lawn.

You should also check your lawn for white grubs that can damage your lawn and if they’re present, you can use milky spore, a natural product that will help to control these pests without using harsh chemicals. If you fertilize the soil in late spring and avoid using excess phosphorous, it will grow very well even if you opt for chemical fertilizer.

Care for centipede grass

Although centipede grass requires very little maintenance, it has some specific needs for its maintenance. Proper care isn’t only putting fertilizer, you should also irrigate properly, control weeds, and other care needs that need to be completed at the right time.

Irrigation

It’s important that you carefully irrigate centipede grass because it has a very shallow root system. If you don’t water it correctly, the roots will become weak and will not be able to withstand the drought. Also, light watering will damage the root system, but deeply watering the roots as needed to a depth of about 16 inches depending on the soil type will be sufficient to avoid any problems. To prevent turf loss and winter dehydration, you should not forget to water your centipede lawn. During the summer, you should only water your lawn when it begins to show moisture stress or you see it turning to a bluish color.

Insect control

During the winter, there’s very little insect activity, but when it becomes warm, you should look out for grubs and mole crocket damage. Unless the damage is extensive, don’t apply insecticides during early spring, wait till the grass is fully green. During the summer, different insects may attack your centipede grass, so you should identify the pests to know the right insecticide to use. You should apply the last application before the first frost which will prevent further damage during the winter.

Weed control

You should use a pre-emergent herbicide in early spring to prevent weed seeds from germinating in your centipede grass, but if the weeds appear later, you should use a post-emergent herbicide. Centipede grass is sensitive to some herbicides, so you should only apply the herbicide selectively to the areas with weeds, should only be applied when the grass is fully green and not when the grass is growing, it should indicate it’s safe for centipede grass, and it should work on your specific weeds. You should ensure that your grass can withstand the treatment because the herbicide can kill both the weeds and your entire lawn. However, centipede grass can tolerate herbicides as long as it’s safe for this grass.

Disease control

Centipede grass is mostly affected by large patch, a fungal disease that grows in warm humid weather in spring or fall. Moisture levels are the main contributing factor so, adequate drainage and good irrigation practices can prevent this. The circular yellow-brown patches mostly occur when the turf stays wet. You need to use a fungicide treatment when the grass edges become smoky brown and start to rot. Warm temperatures and excessive rain can also cause the disease to rapidly progress and shorter days and cooler temperatures will hinder your lawn’s recovery.

Aeration

Aerating the core involves pushing holes in the turf and soil to reduce compaction and allow air to flow to the root system. This will help to correct problems that can be caused by poor drainage and infiltration. You can combine de-thatching with aeration to address compaction of the soil which is done after your lawn is fully green. Don’t aerate if you’ve applied a pre-emergent herbicide because disturbing the soil will break the barrier for stopping weed seeds from germinating.

Mowing

The best mowing height for centipede grass is 1-2 inches with the first trim of 1 inch in early spring before it turns green. Raise the mowing height by about 1 inch if your lawn is stressed because of heat or reduced rain. Sharpen the mowing blades at least once a month.

Important factors in choosing the best fertilizer for centipede grass 

Type of fertilizer

Liquid concentrated fertilizers are either sold ready to use or will require diluting with water. You can apply it either by mixing it with your irrigation water or spraying it into the leaves. These fertilizers contain a blend of essential nutrients that include nitrogen, iron, potassium, and phosphorous. There’s also the granulated fertilizer whose effects last longer because its solid form is absorbed slowly. The granules have a release period of between 1-9 months so you don’t need to fertilize often with granules. These fertilizers are cheap and easy to handle and create their own nutrients.

Quantity of use

When you mow your centipede lawn you remove nutrients and with every kilo of grass you cut, you remove 30, 20, 10 grams of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus respectively. You need to replenish these lost nutrients. Ornamental lawns don’t need as much fertilizer as those that are stressed. Make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions on the fertilizer and consider the mixing ratio of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.

The ratio of the elements

Mostly, the ratio of 5-5-5 for fertilizer will provide the nutrients your plants need to grow healthy. At the back of fertilizer packages, there are indications of the ratio of each of the major fertilizer types is. Digits N is for nitrogen, P for phosphorous, and K for potassium.

Elements included

The best fertilizer for centipede grass should contain nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. These fertilizers are highly concentrated and get easily dissolved which makes it easier to be quickly absorbed into the soil. Each element has a different role it plays in the plants, nitrogen is good for the leaves, phosphorous helps to increase production and root growth and potassium boosts the plant’s health. Granule fertilizers allow the nutrients to be released in a controlled way which increases their absorption and reduces production loss.

Frequency of use

You need to know when and how often you should fertilize your grass depending on the fertilizer you’re using. Compound and blended fertilizers can be used in most plants and are best applied in spring and once after 2-3 months. Slow-release fertilizer should be used once before the season and will go for the rest of the season. Liquid fertilizers deliver nitrogen quickly into the plants but dissolve from the soil in 2 weeks so you need to replenish the plant, while granule fertilizers take time to enter the soil and are retained for longer.

Conclusion

Fertilizing is an important step in cultivating centipede grass. While most fertilizers are environmentally-friendly, others are not. The fertilizer should contain nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium to help the grass to grow faster and healthier. Since most soils don’t provide enough nutrients, it’s important that you apply fertilizer, but not all have the same formula. That’s why you need to find the best fertilizer for centipede grass that has the right nutrients for proper growth. The Scotts ezseed combination mulch, seed and fertilizer is a combination of mulch, seed, and fertilizer to ensure that your lawn grass has all it needs to help it grow. It uses the slow-release technology that will jumpstart the seedling growth while protecting them from diseases and providing enough moisture to prevent them from drying out.

Centipede grass requires a good supply of essential minerals that are needed for plant growth which include nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous and they should be in the correct proportions. This grass needs more nitrogen and potassium, but not too much with very little to no phosphorous.

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