Centipede grass is an apple-green-colored, slow-growing, and warm-season turfgrass. It means its growing time starts in late spring and lasts the whole summer. Then it becomes mostly brown or dormant for the winter. Centipede grass can grow in poor soils, and its minor maintenance has made this grass an ideal grass in warmer areas for many homeowners.
Fertilizer is one of the essential ingredients for centipede grass. Fertilizers work as vitamin supplements for plants or grass. When you use it properly, it can treat your grass ‘malnutrition’ and promote good rapid growth. But if misused and abused at the wrong time, they can be harmful to your lawn grass and for the environment too.
The right time to apply fertilizer feed and weed products to centipede grass is likely a few weeks after the grass green-up. Making a yearly maintenance calendar to manage centipede grass year after year consistently is tricky enough with such a diverse climate. That is why it is essential monitoring the temperatures and applying the needed maintenance practices based on the year’s calendar. The right time to monitor the weather is the late winter or early spring because the turf comes out of dormancy, and when the first frost forecasts, it early falls. Let’s talk about what is the perfect time to fertilize your centipede grass.
January through April Fertilization:
Before giving any fertilizer, test your soil correctly. Because the fertilization procedure varies based on soil.However, fertilizers, especially which contain nitrogen, should not be applied during this period.During the early spring, if new turfgrass growth is encouraged by fertilization, it can result in good damage to the lawn. So avoid giving fertilizer to your centipede grass during this period of January to April.
May through August Fertilization:
Centipede grass’s fertilization should be based on accurate soil test results. At a PH of 55-6.0, centipede grass grows best. If any soil test shows higher PH, you can add sulfur to low the PH. Per 100 square feet of turf, you need to apply 5 pounds sulfur of pelletized. Note that apply sulfur only when the temperature is below 75 degrees F.
Unless the soil test shows that the grass is deficient, you should not apply any phosphorus fertilizer to centipede grass. Per year, centipede grass should receive 1 to 2 pounds of nitrogen for the turf of 1000 square feet. Using more than that amount can be harmful and will create excessive thatch, which will result in turfgrass diseases. So avoid that.
Nitrogen is the best centipede grass fertilizer. After the lawn fully greens up, apply just about ½ to 1 pound nitrogen in early May for 100 square feet area. The rate depends on your soil type.
In this period, fertilize the centipede grass with ½ to 1 pound of nitrogen, mixing with a high potassium fertilizer per 100 square feet. Complete this last fertilizer application before august 15 and before September 1. A good application is about 15-0-15 for centipede grass. 16-4-8 is also recommended centipede grass fertilizer.
During the growing season, a yellow appearance is noticed sometimes. It indicates the iron deficiency for high soil PH and excessive phosphorus. Here you can apply iron to quickly enhance the turf color between spring and summer fertilizer applications.
September through December Fertilization:
Do not apply a fertilizer that contains nitrogen at this time. But you can add sulfur or lime if the recent soil test recommends it. Potassium can be used, which is known as potash, to minimize winter hardiness. But it is better to check the current soil test whether it shows insufficient potassium levels. Give 1 pound of potassium per 1000 square feet before the first expected frost for 4 to 6 weeks.
So those were the suitable periods to apply fertilizer. Centipede grass lawns need very little nitrogen. It is not responsive to too much rate of fertilizer. An excessive amount of fertilizer harms them a lot. Fertilizers should be applied during the time of planting and need low to medium yearly applications.
The following article is providing the right time for applying fertilizers. So follow the above article and apply fertilizer properly when needed. Also, ensure if you are giving the proper amount of fertilizer at the appropriate time or not. Adequate maintenance and fertilization can give you the desired green view of your centipede grass.