Centipede Maintenance Calendar



Centipede

Centipede maintenance calendar.pdf

Spring (March – May)



Mowing - Mow lawn at 1 inch at time of initial green-up. Mow before grass gets above 1½ inches tall. Be sure to have a sharp blade throughout the growing season. Do not collect clippings. Returning clippings to the ground can save up to 25% of the necessary nitrogen needed to feed the grass each year.

Fertilization - DO NOT apply nitrogen at this time. Yellow appearance may be an indication of iron deficiency. Spray iron (ferrous) sulfate (2 ounces in water per 1,000 sq. ft. or a chelated iron source (like Ironite liquid or granular) to enhance color as needed. Follow label directions. Remember that Iron will stain concrete drives and walks so be sure to remove granules prior to watering in.

Irrigation - Water to prevent drought stress. About 1 inch of water per application each week is needed for growing centipede. Sandy soils often require more frequent watering; i.e., ½ inch of water every third day. Proper irrigation may prevent or reduce pest and non-pest problems from occurring later in the summer.

Weed Control - Apply preemergent herbicides to control grassy summer weeds by the time dogwoods are in full bloom. Apply postemergent herbicides in May as needed for control of summer annual and perennial broadleaf weeds. Do not apply until 3 weeks after green-up. Centipede is sensitive to certain herbicides like 2,4-D, so follow label directions and use with caution. Always remember that more is NOT better. For any herbicide applications always read and follow label directions carefully.

Insect Control - Check for white grubs and control when necessary. Just their presence alone does not warrant treatment. There should be some visual damage to justify chemical treatment. For any insecticide application read and follow label directions carefully.

Thatch - Use a power rake (vertical mower) or heavy garden rake to remove thatch (layer of dead and decaying grass) in late May if necessary. A 2- or 3-inch blade spacing set 1/4-inch deep in one direction works best. Do not use a power rake with a 1-inch blade spacing as severe turf injury could result.

Summer (June – August)



Mowing - Mow lawn at 1 inch. Mow before grass gets above 1½ inches tall. It is a good idea to raise the mowing height as the summer stress bears down on centipede. If you have a lawn service be sure that they do not lower the mowing height during the summer as this will cause undue stress to the lawn.

Renovation - Replant large bare areas in May using seed (1/4 to 1/2 pound per 1,000 sq. ft.) or sod. Mixing seed with 2 gallons of fine sand per 1,000 sq. ft. will aid in distribution. Germination is expected in 28 days but establishment is slow. Keep seedbed continually moist with light, frequent sprinklings several times a day to ensure good germination. Three years for complete establishment of a new lawn is not uncommon. Naturally we recommend sod!

Fertilization - Fertilize with ½ pound (enter .5 in the Fertilizer Calculator) of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. (once a year) in mid-June using a high potassium fertilizer (e.g., 5-5-15, 6-6-12, 8-8-24). An additional fertilization in August may enhance performance in coastal locations. Fertilizers without phosphorus (e.g., 15-0-14, 8-0-24) are preferred if soils exhibit moderate-to-high levels of phosphorus. Yellow appearance may indicate an iron deficiency. Spray iron (ferrous) sulfate (2 ounces in water per 1,000 sq. ft.) or a chelated iron source to enhance color as needed. Follow label directions. Soil Testing is the best way to find out the exact needs for your lawn. We recommend annual testing in May to make this determination.

Irrigation - Water to prevent drought stress. About 1 inch of water per application each week is needed for growing centipede. Sandy soils often require more frequent watering; i.e., l/2 inch of water every third day.

Weed Control - Apply postemergent herbicides as needed for control of summer annual and perennial broadleaf weeds. Centipede is sensitive to certain herbicides (specifically 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. For any herbicide applications always read and follow label directions carefully.

Insect Control - Check for white grubs and control if necessary. Just their presence alone does not warrant treatment. There should be some visual damage to justify chemical treatment. For any insecticide application read and follow label directions carefully.

Disease Control - Have soil assayed if nematode damage is suspected. Contact your county Extension Service for assistance. Dollar Spot, Brown Patch and Fairy Ring are the most common diseases to affect centipede. For any fungicide application read and follow label directions carefully.

Fall (September – November)



Mowing - Mow lawn at 1 inch. Mow before grass gets above 1½ inches tall. Raise mowing height to 1½ inches several weeks before expected frost.

Fertilization - Fertilize with 1 pound of potash (K2O) per 1,000 sq. ft. 4 to 6 weeks before expected frost using 1.6 pounds of muriate of potash (0-0-60) or 2 pounds of potassium sulfate (0-0-50). DO NOT lime centipede unless recommended by soil test. Consult Fertilizer Calculator to ensure proper amount of fertilizer to purchase and apply.

Irrigation - Water to prevent drought stress. About 1 inch of water per application each week is sufficient for growing centipede. Sandy soils often require more frequent watering; i.e., ½ inch of water every third day. Water following onset of dormancy (browning of foliage) if needed to prevent excessive dehydration.

Insect Control - Check for white grubs and control if necessary. Just their presence alone does not warrant treatment. There should be some visual damage to justify chemical treatment. For any insecticide application read and follow label directions carefully.

Winter (December – February)



Mowing - Remove lawn debris (rocks, sticks, and leaves). Do not burn off centipede to remove excessive debris because of possible injury to the grass and potential fire hazard.

Fertilization - DO NOT fertilize centipede at this time. Submit soil samples for analysis every 2-3 years to determine nutrient requirements. Be sure to specify centipede grass. (Contact your county Extension Service for details.) Apply lime or sulfur if suggested (based on soil test) to raise or reduce soil pH respectively. DO NOT lime centipede unless recommended by soil test.

About Centipede

Centipede is a slow-growing, apple-green, coarse-leafed turfgrass that is adapted for use as a low maintenance, general purpose turf. It requires little fertilizer (l/2 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. per year), infrequent mowing, and grows well in full sun to moderate shade. It does not tolerate traffic, compaction, high-phosphorus soils, high pH, low-potassium soils, excessive thatch, drought, or heavy shade. Centipede is susceptible to a number of pest-related problems. Symptoms include small circular dead areas after several years of good performance. Areas do not green up in the spring or begin to die in late spring or during drought stress. Grass at the edge of affected areas may yellow, wilt, and die. Possible causes include nematodes, ground pearls (an insect), and fairy ring (a disease). Nematode damage appears as weak areas invaded by weeds. If nematodes are suspected, submit a soil sample for analysis to your County Extension Service. Ground pearls appear as circular dead areas with only weeds growing in the center. Fairy rings appear as circular green or dead areas that continue to enlarge for several years. Injury from certain broadleaf weed control herbicides and mismanagement can also display these symptoms. Low summer mowing heights also contribute to centipede decline. Following proper lawn management practices is the best means of preventing and controlling centipede problems. Continual loss of centipede may indicate the need to choose another grass species. Contact Modern Turf to explore other grass varieties that may be more suitable for your needs.