Maintaining Your Centipede Lawn
Once your lawn is established, fertilize and water only as necessary to maintain a turf tight enough to resist weed invasion and to keep the grass in a healthy condition so that it is producing adequate growth for a fresh, neat appearance.
Dull mower blades chew the grass rather than clip it, leaving it with a scarred appearance and in an unhealthy condition. Always keep your mower blades sharp. If mowing is delayed to the point that more is cut off than left on, the grass will suffer in appearance. Never mow grass when it is suffering from drought, or the lawn will become discolored and unattractive for several days. Water well a few days before mowing during the dry seasons. Cut to a height of 1 ½ to 2 inches.
When lawns are properly fertilized, they are healthy and green and generally free of weed invasion. Knowing what to feed your lawn and when is very important. First of all Centipede is a lime green grass. It is not and should never look dark forest green!! It is a southern grass that thrives in the heat of the south. There for you do not need to apply a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen (usually most northern grass fertilizers are very high because of the growing seasons are so much shorter and the grass is of a different variety other than Centipede), you need to apply a fertilizer that is specifically labeled for Centipede grass that is usually found at your local garden centers. We recommend that in the fall you apply Winterizer fertilizer. It feeds the roots all winter long and builds cold hardiness. The slow release nitrogen will help it green up quicker in the spring. In the late spring even as late as the first of June we recommend fertilizing with a 15-0-15, that contains micro nutrients. We have been growing sod for almost 25 years and this program has never failed us. Now- do’s and dont’s!! Do not fertilize when your Centipede is dormant or just breaking dormancy in the early spring. Severe injury can occur. Do not use more than the recommended rate for your lawn area. You can cause your lawn severe injury. Remember your fertilizing your lawn not the whole neighborhood! Always water in well after application. This not only gets it down to the roots but it eliminates burning the leaves when fertilizer is left to sit on top. Do get a soil test if you are having trouble growing Centipede or any other lawn. Do not apply lime without a soil test.
Timing is critical when using pre-emergent weed killers. Usually early spring and fall. Pre-emergent weed control can save much time and money, but only if used properly. Know the difference between crab grass and broad leaf weeds as the treatment or chemical used is often times different. Always read the label and apply accordingly. Keep all chemicals from freezing. Centipede is a very domineering grass and eventually if kept healthy will choke out most weeds.
There are 2 basic types of lawn insects. Those who feed above ground on the foliage (chinch bugs) and those who feed underground on roots (grub worms). Insects are controlled by using liquid insecticides or dry granular form insecticide. Check with your local garden center.
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