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Need help with Centipede

Bert's Landscaping

LawnSite Member
Location
Windsor, NC
We have a few yards that are in sandy soil and have centipede and a few weeds. We have put weed & feed on them and aerated them at the beginning of the season but they just don't get real green and grow alot. Any suggestions on how to eliminate the weeds and how to get this stuff to grow better. The yards have improved since we took them over but they still aren't at the level I would like.
 

muddstopper

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
transition zone
Weed and feeds are usually high in nitrogen, which Centepede doesnt like a lot of. also depending on your product, crabgrass preventers are also not very friendly to centepede grasses. Do a soil analysis to determine nutrient levels. Centeped likes high potassium levels and low phoshorous and Nitrogen. Sort of the opposite of other grass types. Centeped also doesnt natually have the darker green color of other grass types and is a slow grower. In NC, you are at or near the upper ranges of the Centepedes growing zone, altho it does grow along the coastal areas all the way up into Virginia.
 

Jay Ray

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
d"Iberville MS
A guy told me to throw a little ammonium nitrate on the bad spots and they will fill in faster. He said it is crude fertilizer that centipede likes. He may be right, I have no idea, but after the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, I'm not sure I want to walk into a farm store and buy that stuff.
 

Pro-Scapes

LawnSite Platinum Member
Jay Ray Hope all is well down there. There is no subsitution for a soil test. I know here MSU tests it for 6 bucks... took about 10 days to get it back.

I just got one back last week. Different reccomendations for the lawn and beds but it sounds similar to your situation.

Its calling for multiple applications. Some with 34-0-0 and 0-0-60 but we also need other things as well. It will have to be cordinated into a year long ordeal to correct it.

In case your wondering its cent grass thats not growing well... drawf gardenias... the azaleas are thriving so that let me know right there I have high acid.

Bottom line... dont waste money on things you dont need or with things you think are wrong. Have a proper soil test done. Your clients and thier lawns will thank you.
 
OP
B

Bert's Landscaping

LawnSite Member
Location
Windsor, NC
We have gotten a handheld soil tester but haven't used in any of our clients yards yet. I have used it in my yard and it seems ok. Anybody have any responses to these handhelds, good or bad?
 

Mike M

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
usa
Good point from Billy on the soil test.

"Hand held"--do you mean a kit to analyze it yourself?

Each state has county cooperatives that are local offices sponsored by universities to help with getting information out to the public, and they do soil & plant samples, etc.

Clemson University's county extension took my soil sample for 6 bucks and gave me a very detailed written report for it. All I had to do was put two cups of soil into a plastic bag, and drop it off at the office. For fifteen bucks, they will send you a package with pre-paid postage for mailing the sample.

Lesco will also take the standard two cups of dirt and have it tested for you, for about 15 bucks.

I hope this was helpful. The county extension will also recommend a general fertilization schedule for the turf grasses that grow in your region.

Hope this was helpful, I'm just learning about southern turf myself.

Mike
 

Jay Ray

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
d"Iberville MS
Builders are throwing centipede right over red dirt and construction debris here. Five days without rain and it will turn brown if you look at it wrong or sneeze too loud.
 

Pro-Scapes

LawnSite Platinum Member
Here too as well jayray... They get the cheapest guys they can to come install sod... There is actually a company not far from here who will sell "centipied" sod for 60 a pallet if you pick it up... 80 a pallet delivered or 100 a pallet installed.

CRAP grass thats what it is. We only use Woemer turf in all our sod jobs and will not sod unless we are able to prep properly. Too many builders or spec home landscapers are just box blading then raking then tossing down the sod.
 
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