Gulf Kist Tips
Our standards for Centipede Seed are high. We guarantee the germination and purity to be good. We do not guarantee that Centipede Seed will produce a lawn ... only you can do that.
Fore a complete list of Centipede Seed growing tips, check out our Centipede Seed Tips page.
Many fine Centipede lawns were perfected four or five months after seeding. Other plantings where the owner was equally diligent have required two years for establishment. Weed competition, soil quality, rainfall ... all these and many other factors, especially how well you plant and manage ... will determine the time required to perfect your lawn. Many buyers are at first disappointed with results.
Both germination and initial growth are slow, but nine times out of ten a lawn planted with Centipede Seed will produce a turf sooner than one sprigged. Some never identify their seedlings until shortly before a turf matures. Many customers who were at first disappointed tell us they have come to the conclusion that "Centipede Seed performance is just as certain as death and taxes."
You have bought a good product. Plant it right, be patient, and have faith. You will be rewarded.
NEW LAWNS - Seed a new lawn any time It can be prepared, except in late summer. Since cold will kill young seedlings, planting should be done not later than the end of August in Florida and Coastal areas, early August in the mid-south and early July in the upper south. After the soil gets cold in late fall (November in most areas) It is again safe to seed because the centipede seed will not germinate until the soil warms next spring.
March and April are the best planting months for several reasons, but quicker germination will occur during May, June and July when the soil is warmer provided that the planting is adequately watered.
No germination of early plantings can be expected until soil temperatures become 70 degrees F. or better and the soil is kept constantly moist for two or three weeks.
OLD LAWNS - More and more people are converting unsatisfactory lawns once planted in grass seed mixtures, Fescue, Bermuda or Bahia to Centipede by seeding Centipede Seed. Although such efforts are highly rewarding, conversion to centipede often requires two to four years, and is best started by seeding in early spring. The reason is that because of the competition from existing vegetation the centipede seedlings develop very slowly and need a full growing season to become well enough established to live through the first winter.
The "How To's" of Laying Sod: Sod Selection
By this time you probably have decided what type of turf grass you wish to put in and the exact area you want to cover (in case you haven't selected a type, refer to our varieties). The turf grass you purchase from Gulf Kist Sod will come either as individual squares or in large rolls.
- Proper soil prepartion is essential to the success of your turf grass installation. If possible, you should begin by loosening the soil to a depth of from 2 to 6 inches. This can be done with a rototiller, garden tractor, disc, spading fork, or shovel.
- Level low spots and make slopes as gentle as possible. Rake out all old vegetation and any other objects that might present a problem in leveling After final raking or smoothing, apply 1 to 2 pounds of mixed fertilizer per 1,000 sq. ft. and rake-in or mix with the soil to a depth of 1 to 2 inches. (Your county agent can determine present soil pH conditions).
NOTE: Do not use lime for Centipede turf.
- If soil is loose, use a roller to firm it and reveal any high or that need final leveling prior to laying the turf grass.
- A day or so before your turf grass is to arrive, thoroughly moisten the soil to a depth of three to four inches. The soil should be moist but not muddy before sodding.
IMPORTANT: Lay your turf grass as soon as possible after it arrives.
Maintenance of St. Augustine
New or mature turf grass needs regular moisture to thrive and flourish. Consider summer rainfall in determining your irrigation schedule. However, do not over water. St. Augustine grass is very sensitive to blight and fungus during the months of July - September. Soil that is too moist combined with the hot temps create a perfect environment for blight and fungus. It is crucial that new St. Augustine is treated with a fungicide, such as, Ortho Garden Disease Control (formerly Daconil) Or Spectracide Immunox. For more info: Go to ortho.com or Spectracide.com.
Proper irrigation methods are crucial for a successful turf grass project. Lightly water the area to be sodded before the grass is laid, this cools the topsoil and provides Immediate moisture for the turf. Turn on the sprinklers right after the new grass is laid. Do not let the new grass dry out. During thefirst h ree - four days, water your grass in short, frequent periods (10 minute periods, 5 - 6 times / day). Your new grass does not have a root system that reaches into the soil; therefore, it is unable to retrieve water below the top surface. As time goes on, the roots will reach deeper into the soil. This will allow you to irrigate longer, with less frequency. Environmental conditions determine the amount of water that your grass will need as it matures. Appearance of the grass / topsoil and common sense are the best barometers. Do not allow the grass blades to curl and do not allow excess moisture to buildup in the Topsoil. Apply fungicide to St. Augustine based on the product label during the hot, humid months of July, August, September for the first 3 years. After 3 years, mature St. Augustine will usually develop a natural resistance to blight and fungus.
For more info, log on to Turfgrass Producers International @ www.turfgrasssod.org.
How to Lay turf grass
- Determine exactly how much turf grass you need and where you will use it before you order. Allow 10% extra turf grass for trimming and fitting around irregular areas. Also be sure to have enough help on hand to get all the turf grass installed and watered within 24 hours of delivery (even less in extremely hot or dry weather).
- Carefully plan and mark where you want the pallets of turf grass placed on your site. You'll save time by not carrying sod all around your yard.
- Important: If the weather is hot and soil temperatures are high, give the soil a light sprinkling with water to cool the surface before laying the sod. Soil heated by the bright summer sun can damage the tender roots of freshly cut turf grass.
- Begin laying the turf grass along the longest straight edge - such as a driveway, curb, etc. All edges and seams should be tightly butted together. Joints between pieces will be scarcely noticeable if firmly joined. Avoid standing or kneeling directly on the turf grass, as this can leave indentations in the soft, moist soil underneath.
- The turf grass may be easily cut with a sharp knife to fit closely around the contours of trees, shrubs, buildings, drive and walk ways. Avoid small pieces which don't hold moisture.
- After the turf grass is in place, the entire freshly sodded surface area should be lightly rolled to insure a smooth surface.
- When you have laid an area of turf grass large enough for your sprinkler or irrigation system, begin watering that area immediately.
- Water your new turf grass twice daily for the first two weeks to help assure the sod is firmly rooted in the soil. Be sure to check watering depth to be certain it reaches down at least three inches. As the roots take hold, you can taper off watering to once per day, then once every other day, then as needed.