Centipede Maintenance

Centipede

Homeowner Maintenance Guide

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1.5–2 inches
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1 inch per week
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Preventative Fungicide & Insecticide

Seasonal Maintenance Guides for Your Centipede

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MOWING

Centipede should be kept at a mowing height of 1.5–2 inches. When mowing, never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade. If you remove more than that, you will stress the grass and it may go brown for a short time. If you are returning from vacation, you may have to mow multiple times to get the grass back to the desired height. Wait about three to five days between each mowing. Again, don’t mow below 1.5 inches.

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WATERING

Do not overwater the grass. Centipede only needs about one inch of water weekly. Water for longer periods of time, less frequently, and in the early morning hours. Take rainfall into consideration.

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FERTILIZATION

For optimal results, feed your lawn monthly during the summer season by applying the Lawnifi’s Summer Fertilizer Box or apply Lawnifi Foundation once every three months.

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WEED CONTROL

It is not recommended that you apply an herbicide at this time because when temperatures exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the herbicide will damage the grass. Common weeds to look out for include knotweed, spurge, lespedeza, crabgrass, goosegrass, dallisgrass, nutsedge and sandbur.

insect control

INSECT CONTROL

Check for and control any white grubs. Apply Merit to prevent grub worms and apply GrubEx or Dylox 6.2 to treat grub worms. If you use a granular variety, water the lawn immediately after application to help soil absorption. Calculate that watering into your weekly watering amount. August is the best time to control grubs because they are small and feeding near the soil surface. Other insects to look out for include mole crickets, chinch bugs, spittlebugs and nematodes.

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FUNGUS CONTROL

Check for brown patch, dollar spot and fairy ring. Treat with a broad-spectrum fungicide like Heritage if needed. If you use a granular variety, water the lawn immediately after application to help soil absorption. Calculate that watering into your weekly watering amount.

Read more in our Sod University article: Summer Maintenance Tips for Your Centipede Lawn.

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MOWING

During the fall, mowing will occur less often—keeping your centipedegrass slightly higher will encourage deeper root growth for winter.

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WATERING

Water less as temperatures drop—too much water will lead to disease.  Water to prevent drought stress while grass is actively growing and after the beginning stages of dormancy to prevent dehydration.

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FERTILIZATION

For fall fertilization, apply less than half a pound of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. to minimize spring dead spot. For optimal results, feed your lawn during the fall season by applying the Lawnifi Fall Fertilizer Box. The Fall Fertilizer Box was designed to help your grass recover from the heat of summer and prepare for winter dormancy.

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WEED CONTROL

Apply pre-emergent herbicides to control winter annual and perennial weeds like chickweed, henbit, Poa annua, crabgrass or goosegrass. Apply post-emergent herbicides only when weeds are present. Since centipede is sensitive to certain herbicides (2,4-D and MSMA), follow label directions and use with caution.

insect control

INSECT CONTROL

Check for and control any white grubs. Treat with an insecticide if needed. If you use a granular variety, water the lawn immediately after application to help soil absorption.

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FUNGUS CONTROL

If large patch disease is a common problem in your centipedegrass, apply a fungicide at a preventative rate. If you use a granular variety, water the lawn immediately after application to help soil absorption. Consider mapping those areas because fungicide treatment can be expensive.

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MOWING

For the first mow of the spring, remove dormant grass leaves to promote new growth by mowing at 2.5 inches in height with a rotary mower that has a sharpened blade. Keep your centipede mowed between 1.5–2 inches for the remainder of spring. Mowing below 1.5 inches will stress your centipede, which may not recover.

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WATERING

Don’t overwater. In the active growing season, centipede needs about one inch of water a week from natural rainfall or irrigation. If you apply any granular fertilizer or control product, you will need to water it in. This is a sufficient amount of water for the week. Overwatering may promote disease outbreak. Conduct an irrigation audit to evaluate how much water is being delivered to different areas of your lawn.

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FERTILIZATION

For optimal results, feed your lawn during the spring season by applying Lawnifi Foundation, a granular fertilizer.

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WEED CONTROL

Apply a pre-emergent herbicide when soil temperatures reach 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This will prevent summer annual weeds like crabgrass and goosegrass from plaguing your lawn and garden. If you notice any current weeds, control them with a post-emergent herbicide. Centipede is sensitive to herbicides with 2,4-D, dicamba, MCPP and MSMA. Use a post-emergent herbicide with Atrazine as its active ingredient.

insect control

INSECT CONTROL

Apply a broad-spectrum insecticide to prevent spring insects from appearing or to control any current spring insects like spittlebugs, mole crickets or white grubs. White grubs may be active at this time. If you see any white grubs, apply a systemic insecticide.

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FUNGUS CONTROL

Apply a systemic fungicide at a preventive rate to keep disease from taking hold of your lawn. You may begin to see circular patches of brown or dead grass as your centipede begins to green up. Do not apply fertilizer until you’ve applied a systemic fungicide at a curative rate and your grass has recovered.

Read more in our Sod University article: Spring Maintenance Tips for Your Centipede Grass Lawn.

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SUMMER
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MOWING

Centipede should be kept at a mowing height of 1.5–2 inches. When mowing, never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade. If you remove more than that, you will stress the grass and it may go brown for a short time. If you are returning from vacation, you may have to mow multiple times to get the grass back to the desired height. Wait about three to five days between each mowing. Again, don’t mow below 1.5 inches.

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WATERING

Do not overwater the grass. Centipede only needs about one inch of water weekly. Water for longer periods of time, less frequently, and in the early morning hours. Take rainfall into consideration.

null

FERTILIZATION

For optimal results, feed your lawn monthly during the summer season by applying the Lawnifi’s Summer Fertilizer Box or apply Lawnifi Foundation once every three months.

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WEED CONTROL

It is not recommended that you apply an herbicide at this time because when temperatures exceed 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the herbicide will damage the grass. Common weeds to look out for include knotweed, spurge, lespedeza, crabgrass, goosegrass, dallisgrass, nutsedge and sandbur.

insect control

INSECT CONTROL

Check for and control any white grubs. Apply Merit to prevent grub worms and apply GrubEx or Dylox 6.2 to treat grub worms. If you use a granular variety, water the lawn immediately after application to help soil absorption. Calculate that watering into your weekly watering amount. August is the best time to control grubs because they are small and feeding near the soil surface. Other insects to look out for include mole crickets, chinch bugs, spittlebugs and nematodes.

null

FUNGUS CONTROL

Check for brown patch, dollar spot and fairy ring. Treat with a broad-spectrum fungicide like Heritage if needed. If you use a granular variety, water the lawn immediately after application to help soil absorption. Calculate that watering into your weekly watering amount.

Read more in our Sod University article: Summer Maintenance Tips for Your Centipede Lawn.

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FALL
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MOWING

During the fall, mowing will occur less often—keeping your centipedegrass slightly higher will encourage deeper root growth for winter.

null

WATERING

Water less as temperatures drop—too much water will lead to disease.  Water to prevent drought stress while grass is actively growing and after the beginning stages of dormancy to prevent dehydration.

null

FERTILIZATION

For fall fertilization, apply less than half a pound of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. to minimize spring dead spot. For optimal results, feed your lawn during the fall season by applying the Lawnifi Fall Fertilizer Box. The Fall Fertilizer Box was designed to help your grass recover from the heat of summer and prepare for winter dormancy.

null

WEED CONTROL

Apply pre-emergent herbicides to control winter annual and perennial weeds like chickweed, henbit, Poa annua, crabgrass or goosegrass. Apply post-emergent herbicides only when weeds are present. Since centipede is sensitive to certain herbicides (2,4-D and MSMA), follow label directions and use with caution.

insect control

INSECT CONTROL

Check for and control any white grubs. Treat with an insecticide if needed. If you use a granular variety, water the lawn immediately after application to help soil absorption.

null

FUNGUS CONTROL

If large patch disease is a common problem in your centipedegrass, apply a fungicide at a preventative rate. If you use a granular variety, water the lawn immediately after application to help soil absorption. Consider mapping those areas because fungicide treatment can be expensive.

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SPRING
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MOWING

For the first mow of the spring, remove dormant grass leaves to promote new growth by mowing at 2.5 inches in height with a rotary mower that has a sharpened blade. Keep your centipede mowed between 1.5–2 inches for the remainder of spring. Mowing below 1.5 inches will stress your centipede, which may not recover.

null

WATERING

Don’t overwater. In the active growing season, centipede needs about one inch of water a week from natural rainfall or irrigation. If you apply any granular fertilizer or control product, you will need to water it in. This is a sufficient amount of water for the week. Overwatering may promote disease outbreak. Conduct an irrigation audit to evaluate how much water is being delivered to different areas of your lawn.

null

FERTILIZATION

For optimal results, feed your lawn during the spring season by applying Lawnifi Foundation, a granular fertilizer.

null

WEED CONTROL

Apply a pre-emergent herbicide when soil temperatures reach 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This will prevent summer annual weeds like crabgrass and goosegrass from plaguing your lawn and garden. If you notice any current weeds, control them with a post-emergent herbicide. Centipede is sensitive to herbicides with 2,4-D, dicamba, MCPP and MSMA. Use a post-emergent herbicide with Atrazine as its active ingredient.

insect control

INSECT CONTROL

Apply a broad-spectrum insecticide to prevent spring insects from appearing or to control any current spring insects like spittlebugs, mole crickets or white grubs. White grubs may be active at this time. If you see any white grubs, apply a systemic insecticide.

null

FUNGUS CONTROL

Apply a systemic fungicide at a preventive rate to keep disease from taking hold of your lawn. You may begin to see circular patches of brown or dead grass as your centipede begins to green up. Do not apply fertilizer until you’ve applied a systemic fungicide at a curative rate and your grass has recovered.

Read more in our Sod University article: Spring Maintenance Tips for Your Centipede Grass Lawn.

Centipede Maintenance Tips

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SOIL MANAGEMENT

  • Soil test every two years.
  • Amend soil to maintain pH between 6.0 and 7.0
  • Know your soil type!

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MOWING

  • Sharpen blades every spring.
  • Keep mowed between 1.5 to 2 inches.
  • Don’t cut of more than 1/3 the blade.

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IRRIGATION

  • Don’t overwater.
  • Water less in cooler fall months.
  • About 1 inch a week total irrigation spring & summer.
  • Water deeply, frequently, and in early AM.

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WEED CONTROL

  • Pre-emergents prevent weeds from germinating.
  • Post-emergents kill weeds after they germinate.
  • A thick, luch lawn is the best deterrent to weeds.

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DISEASE CONTROL

  • Overly wet grass + shade = fungus problems.
  • Apply systemic fungicide to prevent fungus outbreaks.
  • Use multiple fungicide applications to treat affected areas.

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INSECT CONTROL

  • Use a broad spectrum insecticide that controls chinch bugs.
  • For a once-a-year treatment, July & August are good months.
  • If using a granular insecticide, water in after application.
  • Look for insect damage on grass blades and/or roots.

A WORD OF CAUTION FOR NEWLY SODDED LAWNS

A pre-emergent contains a chemical that prevents a weed from putting down roots. Because it is a root inhibitor, it can also negatively affect your new lawn, which is trying to establish itself by putting down roots.

If you successfully killed and removed your old lawn, including all the weeds in it, your newly sodded lawn should have relatively few weeds. It is suggested that you hand pick weeds out of your newly sodded lawn for the first season.

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