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Centipede Grass Care

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Centipede Grass Care

After the area has been prepared, spread the centipede grass seed. 1 pound of centipede grass seed will cover 3,000 square feet. To make spreading the centipede grass seed easier, you may want to mix the seed with sand. Mix 1 pound of seed with 3 gallons of sand for maximum efficiency in covering the area.
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Centipede Grass Care

Pests that affect Centipede include nematodes and ground pearls. Nematodes & ground pearls can usually be prevented by keeping the moisture level up since each grows well in sandier, drier areas. Your last resort will be fumigation of the soil for nematodes infestations. Nematodes are the most serious of the pest problems affecting Centipede grass. Infected areas will show heavy wilt even under good watering practices. Other insects affecting Centipede are spittlebugs, sod webworms, mole crickets, caterpillars and grubs.
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Centipede Grass Care

When planting centipede grass plugs, start by tilling the area where you will be growing the centipede grass plugs. Add organic material and nitrogen rich fertilizer to the soil at this time. If there was established grass in place before this, you may want to use a sod cutter to remove the old grass before tilling.
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Centipede Grass Care

Centipede grass can be grown from centipede grass seed, sod or plugs. Which method you use depends largely on what you prefer in terms of cost, labor and time to established lawn.
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Centipede Grass Care

Next, lay the strips of centipede grass sod over the tilled soil. Make sure that the edges of the sod strips touch, but that the ends of the strips are staggered. The centipede grass sod should come with sod staples, which will help attach the sod to the soil.
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Centipede Grass Care

After your centipede grass lawn is established, it needs very little maintenance, but it does need some. Centipede grass maintenance involves occasional fertilizing and watering.
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Centipede Grass Care

If there was another grass growing in that area previously, either remove the grass before tilling or treat the area with Roundup and wait 1-2 weeks before moving on to the next step or cover the area with a light barrier, like a tarp, for 2-4 weeks. This will kill the previous grass and will prevent the old grass from re-establishing in the lawn over your centipede grass.

Centipede Grass Care

A: It’s a good thing your lawn grass can’t read fertilizer bag labels. Confused grass turns yellow and dies no matter what you do for it! It makes little difference which fertilizer you buy as long as it is labeled for use on a lawn. Occasionally there is a reason to use a specific analysis, such as 15-0-15 on centipede grass. For fescue, Bermuda and zoysia grass, if the numbers on the bag are similar, make your decision based on price. The better brands are formulated to have some percentage of “slow release” nitrogen.
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Water your centipede grass only when it starts to show signs of water stress during times of drought. Water stress signs include a faded color or wilted look to the grass. When watering during drought, water once a week deeply, rather than several times a week shallowly.
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Fertilization: As stated, centipede lawns should receive 1 to 2 pounds of nitrogen per year, per 1000 square feet. The higher rate may be chosen for those desiring optimum aesthetics. Also, it may be needed if the lawn is growing in sandy soil or in an area with a long growing season, such as near the coast. Applying more than 2 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet, per year can be harmful to the turf.

This is one of the most important factors for a successful lawn. It includes a soil sample analysis; cleaning, grading and tilling the site; and preparing the topsoil correctly for planting by adding needed nutrients (based on the soil analysis) and amending the soil with organic matter. This will permit better root development and a more sustainable lawn (for more information, see UGA Cooperative Extension Leaflet 313, Centipede Lawns).
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Centipedegrass has shallow roots. It tends to turn brown sooner than other types of grass during drought and heat. Water this grass only when you see wilting, rolling leaves or when the grass turns grayish-green. Then apply about an inch of water, or enough to wet the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches.
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Watering Centipedegrass Centipedegrass has shallow roots. It tends to turn brown sooner than other types of grass during drought and heat. Water this grass only when you see wilting, rolling leaves or when the grass turns grayish-green. Then apply about an inch of water, or enough to wet the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches.
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Healthy aboveground growth depends on an extensive, well-developed, deep root system. The weaker and less extensive the root system, the more susceptible the grass is to drought stress and winter injury. In extreme cases, the root system may be so weakened that the grass will die even during favorable summer weather conditions. A number of factors can contribute to poor root development, including nematodes, compacted soils, pH or nutrition problems and poor watering techniques.
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If the grass shows signs of iron chlorosis (yellowing of leaves), apply ferrous sulfate at the rate of 1 tablespoon per 3 gallons of water to each 1,000 square feet of grass. Applications of iron will only temporarily darken the green color of centipedegrass and may need to be applied every two to four weeks. Chlorosis can also be a symptom of more permanent problems like improper soil pH and an elevated level of soil phosphorus. A soil test can confirm the cause of centipedegrass yellowing.
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The recommended mowing height for centipedegrass is 1.0 to 1.5 inches. If the grass is mowed often enough so that no more than one-third of the leaf is removed, the clippings do not have to be discarded. During stress periods, such as summer heat or the coming of winter, slightly raising the mowing height by 1/4 to 1/2 inch can help maintain the grass.
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Centipedegrass is ideal for the homeowner who wants a lawn that needs little care. It can be established by either seed or vegetative parts and does not require much fertilizer. Compared to other lawn grasses, it is moderately resistant to insects and diseases. Although centipedegrass is a relatively low maintenance grass, proper management is still required.
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Wilt is a physiological defense mechanism of the turfgrass plant. Some moisture stress actually triggers the plant to initiate rooting, allowing the turfgrass to explore a greater soil volume for water reserves. Frequent (daily) irrigation of turfgrass produces short roots incapable of tolerating periodic stresses. The key to good moisture management is finding the balance between some wilt and too much wilt. Wilted grasses appear dark and dull, the leaf blades begin to fold or roll, and footprints remain after walking over the area when the grass is under water stress. Actually observing some wilt, or moisture stress, within the lawn prior to irrigating can improve the sustainability of the turf and conserve water. Established centipedegrass only needs 1 inch of water per week. Irrigation should be applied to supplement rainfall as needed.
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If you live in the southeast, centipedegrass is a good candidate for your lawn. It’s a low-maintenance grass that’s tolerant of sandy soils, and thrives in the shifting shade you find under pine trees. Also, it requires less mowing and feeding than other grasses. If you have a centipedegrass lawn, here are a few tips to help you keep it looking great.
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Centipedegrass Gives You a Lawn that Looks Terrific, but Is Low-Maintenance If you live in the southeast, centipedegrass is a good candidate for your lawn. It’s a low-maintenance grass that’s tolerant of sandy soils, and thrives in the shifting shade you find under pine trees. Also, it requires less mowing and feeding than other grasses. If you have a centipedegrass lawn, here are a few tips to help you keep it looking great.
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Remove lawn debris (rocks, sticks, and leaves). Do not burn off centipedegrass to remove excessive debris because of possible injury to the grass and potential fire hazard.
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Apply postemergence herbicides as needed for control of summer annual and perennial broadleaf weeds, such as knotweed, spurge, lespedeza, etc. Centipedegrass is sensitive to certain herbicides (e.g., 2,4-D, MSMA), so follow label directions and use with caution. Do not apply herbicides unless grass and weeds are actively growing and lawn is not suffering from drought stress.

Mowing: Mow lawn at one inch at the time of initial greenup. Mow before grass gets above 1½ inches tall. Do not burn off centipedegrass to remove excessive debris because of possible injury to the lawn and potential fire hazard. For more information on mowing, refer to HGIC 1205, Mowing Lawns.
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Weed Control: Apply postemergence herbicides as needed for control of summer annual and perennial broadleaf weeds such as knotweed and spurge. Use sethoxydim (such as, Arrest or Segment herbicides) to control grassy weeds such as crabgrass and goosegrass. Centipedegrass is sensitive to certain herbicides, such as 2,4-D, so follow label directions and use with caution. Do not apply herbicides unless grass and weeds are growing actively and are not suffering from drought stress.
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Centipedegrass is a warm season grass. It does its productive growth between April and September. For this reason, fertilizer applications should be done in the late spring, after green-up and in mid summer.

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