Repairing centipede lawns damaged by cold, other culprits

Published: Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 12:56 PM.

Repairing damaged centipede

If cold injury is the cause of dead patches in your lawn, repairing damaged areas is relatively simple. First, rake off the dead grass. Then either sow centipede grass seed or fill in dead areas with plugs or sod. The decision of whether to sow seed, lay sod, or plug damaged areas is usually based on cost. Sowing seed is less expensive but takes much longer to establish a dense lawn than laying sod or plugging. Plugs are small pieces of turf. They are less expensive that sod and fill in faster than seed. Plugs of healthy turf can be transplanted from other areas of the lawn to fill in dead spots. 

The best time to seed, sod, or plug damaged areas is April through July. All newly repaired areas will need to be watered frequently until the seed, sod, or plugs become established. A 5-0-15 fertilizer can be applied at planting time to help new grass establish more quickly. For further advice on establishing and repairing lawns, visit NC Cooperative Extension’s Turf Files website ( and download a copy of the publication titled Carolina Lawns. 

Learn more!

For assistance identifying and treating turf problems, contact your local Extension center. In Pender County, call 910-259-1238; in New Hanover County, call 910-798-7660; in Brunswick County call 910-253-2610. Or

post your questions to Extension’s ‘Ask an Expert’ widget, available online at


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