UACES Facebook Centipede


(June 2012)

QuestionWe used a pre-emergent herbicide on our lawn this year and it did not stop the progress of the weed called crabgrass. Is there something I can do to rid my yard of this grass?

AnswerThe standard herbicide for crabgrass control for years was MSMA and it is no longer on the market. We now have products that contain quinclorac for control. However most homeowner products are combined with another herbicide –many have 2,4-D (a broadleaf weed killer) which could burn warm season grasses when applied during the hot summer months –trade names include Weed-B-Gone Max, Weed Stop plus Crabgrass Killer and All in One Lawn Weed and Crabgrass Killer. Some products are combined with sulfentrazone—a sedge killer; trade names include Image Kills Crabgrass or Sedge and Grass Killer. Make sure if you are applying herbicides that you read the label beforehand. Follow recommended rates and read if there are any temperature restrictions and that it is safe for the type of lawn you are growing. Many herbicides are not recommended for use on St. Augustine or Centipede lawns. Also, make sure that the lawn has ample moisture before applying chemicals or fertilizers or you could damage the lawn. Don’t spray on a windy day and don’t treat the entire yard if you just have a patch here and there—spot spraying would be much safer.


QuestionI missed the chance to apply a pre-emergent herbicide this October to kill spurweed. Are there any 2.4-D combination products that are safe to use on Centipede grass? I've got Centipede and Bermuda in the problem area. If so, I understand you use it December thru March, at a time when temperatures exceed 55 degrees. Do you agree?

AnswerSpurweed ( Soliva pterosperma), also called lawn burweed, stickerweed, and sandbur has become quite a nuisance in many lawns and I am happy you are preparing to kill it way before bloom time and then seed (sticker) set. There are numerous formulations of two and three-way mixes of 2,4-D, dicamba and MCPP. Make sure you read the label before purchasing that they are safe for southern grasses. Many will give reduced rates of application for Centipede and St. Augustine. You do want a fairly, calm sunny day with temperatures above 55 for best application and control. Spray once and then monitor your weed population and you may need to reapply two weeks later.

(April 2009)

QuestionLast year I almost ruined my centipede lawn by over-fertilizing with a high nitrogen fertilizer. Now I read where I need to use 15-0-15 fertilizer for centipede lawns. Should I apply it or not use any fertilizer at all.

AnswerCentipede grass requires the least amount of fertilizer of any lawn grass. If yours had a heavy dose last year, you could skip fertilization this year. If the lawn looks yellow, try spraying with iron chelate to green it up. In most years, one application of a slow release high nitrogen fertilizer (using no more than 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1000 square feet) should be applied in mid to late June or early July. Have your soil tested to determine fertilizer needs and to make sure the pH of the soil is in line.

(July 2006)

QuestionI live in Sevier County in an older home with an established centipede lawn. This spring I applied weed and feed fertilizer (23-3-3). Now the grass is turning yellowish brown on the ends. I found on the internet that I should use 15-0-15 with iron. Should I apply now or is it too late?

AnswerDon't apply any more fertilizer to your centipede lawn this season. Centipede is a slow growing lawn that only requires one application of fertilizer per year. If you apply too much it can damage the lawn. For now, simply keep it watered when dry and monitor the browning. If it continues, take a plant sample to your county office and allow them to send it to the disease diagnostic lab.

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