View Full Version : Seeding tifblair centipede

09-19-2012, 09:16 PM
Hi, I'm a homeowner that slit seeded tifblair centipede in May. I live in Raleigh nc, and have red clay soil. After seeding, I watered religiously for a month. I had thousands of seedlings emerge, and was feeling pretty good. Over the last few months I was noticing that the grass didn't look or behave like I expected. The grass grew with very fine stalks that would grow about ten inches before growing blades of grass. I was expecting stolons that sprouted grass every inch or so. In sparse areas, the stems grow on the ground and fan out like a spider. In denser areas, the stems grow straight up, and all the grass blades get cut off when I mow at 2 inches. In the last couple of weeks I've just started to notice what appears to be sparsely growing centipede (i'm not sure if its regular centipede or tifblair) with stolons and many grass leaves, but it appears to be a completely different type of plant from whats been growing since may. Why does it look like I have two entirely different grass species? Are the small stemmed plants starting to mature into centipede? Was my tifblair seed contaminated with another type of seed? I'm confused. Any help that can be offered would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

09-20-2012, 09:43 AM
Is there any chance you can post a picture? Centipede is slow to germinate and mature. It is possible that the grass you have seen all year is a weed species from your soil such as crabgrass, foxtail, goosegrass etc.

Also what exact seed product did you use? 100% tiffblair centipede? Often times slow germinating/maturing grasses are sold in mixtures with something faster germinating such as annual ryegrasses.

09-20-2012, 07:09 PM
It is definitely possible that I have some kind of weed (I have a bunch of other types of weeds like crabgrass and spurge), but I have no idea what kind it would be. It's just weird that so much of it came up that I assumed it was the centipede grass.

I still have the pamphlet that came with the seed. It says Premium Tifblair certified centipede. It also says Centi-Seed, and appears to be manufactured by Patten Seed Company. As far as I know, it was 99+% pure.

I've also attached a picture of the grass/weed. The picture is in an area that the slit seeder did not work well, and is therefore growing outward due to minimal competition. The denser area grows up, and is clipped off when mowing.

Thanks for the help.

09-20-2012, 07:21 PM
Hmmm funky looking plant there. Will you lookup and compare it to annuual sedge? It looks like you might have some other sedges in the picture as well but the seed head there looks more like annual sedge. Let me know and we can go from there.

09-20-2012, 07:53 PM

I think you hit the nail on the head. After reviewing pictures of annual sedge, it looks nearly identical to what I have in my yard.

The thing that is weird is that I never had that type of weed in my yard before I put down roundup and re-seeded with Centipede. Could the centipede seed have such high impurities to cause this? The only other thing that I can think of is that I had to cut the seed with playsand so the slit seeder (Mataway) would meter accurately. Maybe the playsand was contaminated? Either way, I think you answered my question. I guess it's going to take a while for the actual centipede grass to take over the entire yard. When I saw the sedge growing I thought it was grass, and I stopped watering. Maybe this is why the centipede took so long to emerge.

09-20-2012, 10:51 PM
I don't think it came with your centipede seed. Most likely it was either in the sand mix you used or was in your soil anthrou cleared the wAy for it by killing everything off(roundup) and slit seeding. Plus sedges like moist conditions, so your frequent watering of the grass seed was perfect for the sedge to germinate as well.
If it comes back next year or is still severely crowding out your centipede, Image for nutsedge should work on the annual type as well.
Holler if you have any other questions, good luck.

09-21-2012, 11:41 AM
Your photo is Fragrant Green Kyliinga. Member of the sedge family. Centipede will produce stolons and it does germinate in June/July when the ground is really hot. It would be best not to use any herbicide on newly seeded lawns. If you can, and I say this cautiously--pull up the kyliinga or as much as you can.
Send some photo of what you believe to be centipede.

09-21-2012, 07:54 PM
Growing centipede from seed will test your patience. I've planted a couple areas in our yard to tifblair, some last year and some more this year. It's too late to do much good this year, but there is one herbicide that works very well during centipede establishment from seed - Tenacity. In my experience, tifblair centipede is very tolerant to Tenacity, even young seedlings, and it controls or suppresses most of the competing weeds I encountered during establishment. I don't know how much of your planted area has healthy centipede plants, since I can't identify a single centipede plant in the picture you posted. If the stolons you're referring to are, in fact, centipede, what you describe is normal for the first year. There will be a lot of long, losely secured stolons initially. As the plants begin to form a tight-knit turf, the problem of unruly stolons will diminish. It sounds like you probably have a lot of weed invasion and one of them is likely to be common bermuda, which will also put out long stolons into bare areas and will do so much more quickly than centipede during the hottest part of the summer. More pictures would be helpful.


09-22-2012, 02:49 PM
Thanks to all for the help. I've attached a picture of the Tifblair centipede. After reviewing the weed pictures on the internet, the seed heads look more like annual sedge than fragrant green kyllinga. Either way, we've confirmed its a weed. I'm blown away by how much sedge is in the yard. I'm hoping that by the end of next summer that the centipede starts taking over the majority of the back yard (I have tall fescue in the front yard). At this point, it's probably 15% centipede and 85% sedge/crabgrass. Anybody know when I should expect the grass go dormant in Raleigh, NC? When should I expect it to green up again?

09-22-2012, 05:44 PM
Centipede will be the first to go dormant towards the end of October or when the nights get cooler. Next year, put down some pre-em about two mowings after the grass greens. Then use a lot of plugs or 1/2 piece of sod to fill in the naked places. I like to sod rather than seed because there are so many stolons to get it going. Anyway you fertilize will be super important--Most people use the wrong type of Potassium. Don't use the Muriate of Potash which has so much chlorine. Centipede will not tolerate that much chlorine and will slowly die.
If you want to hit it with a little Dismiss, the sedge will not be there next year. Also, when the temps cool, use some Simazine to clear out a lot of those winter weeds and weeds that are already there.