Centipedegrass is a slow-growing, coarse-textured, warm-season turf that is adapted for use in low maintenance situations. It is often referred to as "lazy man's grass" due to its infrequent mowing and fertilization requirements. It also has a light-green color and spreads by stolons. It does not tolerate traffic, compaction, high pH, excessive thatch, drought, or heavy shade. Centipedegrass can often be confused with St. Augustinegrass. However, centipedegrass has alternating leaves at the nodes whereas St. Augustinegrass has opposite leaves at the nodes. Centipedegrass also has a more pointed, slenderer leaf blade than St. Augustinegrass. Both leaf blades are V-shaped in cross section, but that of St. Augustinegrass has a more obviously boat-shaped tip.
lawn Maintenance for June - August
Have soil assayed if nematode damage is suspected. Contact your county Extension Center for assistance.
Fertilize with ½ pound of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. (once a year) in mid-June using a high potassium fertilizer (e.g., 5-5-15, 6-6-12, 8-8-24). An additional fertilization in August may enhance performance in coastal locations. Fertilizers without phosphorus (e.g., 15-0-14, 8-0-24) are preferred if soils exhibit moderate-to-high levels of phosphorus. Yellow appearance may indicate an iron deficiency. Spray iron (ferrous) sulfate (2 ounces in water per 1,000 sq. ft.) or a chelated iron source to enhance color as needed. Follow label directions. To determine amount of product required to apply ½ pound of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft., divide 50 by the FIRST number on the fertilizer bag. Example: A 5-5-15 fertilizer. Dividing 50 by 5 = 10 pounds of product to be applied per 1,000 sq. ft. for ½ pound of nitrogen.
Check for white grubs and control if necessary.
Water to prevent drought stress. About 1 inch of water per application each week is needed for growing centipedegrass. Sandy soils often require more frequent watering; i.e., l/2 inch of water every third day.
Mow lawn at 1 inch. Mow before grass gets above 1 ½ inches tall.
Apply postemergence herbicides as needed for control of summer annual and perennial broadleaf weeds, such as knotweed, spurge, lespedeza, etc. Centipedegrass is sensitive to certain herbicides (e.g., 2,4-D, MSMA), so follow label directions and use with caution. Do not apply herbicides unless grass and weeds are actively growing and lawn is not suffering from drought stress.
seedhead a slender spike
leaves folded in the bud
short, membranous with fine hairs, hairs longer than purplish membrane, 0.02 inches (0.5 mm) long
Growth Season/Life Cycle
warm season turf
Leaf blade tip shape
boat shaped or sharp-pointed; flattened, short, sharply creased, hairs along edge at base
Leaf blade width
medium, 0.1 - 0.2 in
continuous; constricted by fused crease, hairs tufted at lower edge
split with overlapping margins; sheath has grayish tufts of hairs at throat