Centipedegrass – Height Matters

Q: I have centipede grass in my front yard. It gets full sun almost all day long. Now two-thirds of my yard appears dead except for an invasion of clover. Is there something special I should have done?

A: The problem I most often see with centipede lawns is a mowing height that’s too low. The stolons that creep across the ground are harmed by hot sunshine and cold winters. They need the protection of grass blades above them. Mowing too low also means the grass isn’t thick enough to combat weeds. Measure your mowing height to be sure it’s in the range of two to two and one-half inches. If there is not much centipedegrass among the clover, you could choose to kill the clover with glyphosate (KleenUp, Roundup, etc), wait a week, and then plant centipede seed after raking the soil vigorously. If you water appropriately, never letting the top half-inch of soil get dry, you’ll have a nice stand of centipedegrass by fall.