Fertilizing a Centipede Lawn
How often does a Centipede lawn need to be fed?
Many call Centipede grass 'The Lazy Man's Grass," referring to it's low maintenance and low fertilization needs. Though fertilization is not required, if you want it to maintain a lush, dark green appearance, you'll need to feed it at least once or twice a season.
What type of fertilizer should I apply to my Bermuda lawn?
Soil types influence fertilizer needs. Soil tests are required to determine phosphorus, potassium, calcium and other nutrient deficiencies. Before starting on any lawn fertilization program, it's best to have a soil test done. Test results can show you what nutrients are deficient and pH of your soil. Centipede grass performs best at a soil pH between 5.0 and 5.5.
Once your soil has been adjusted properly, you can then begin with a lawn fertilization program consisting of several applications of fertilizer per year.
The First Application - Spring
Centipede grass goes dormant during the winter months. When your grass has greened up by 50% or more in the early spring, it's time for the first application of fertilizer. For this first application, a fertilizer high in nitrogen is okay (the first number), however you want to make sure there is little or no phosphorus (the middle number) and plenty of potassium (the last number). Most nursery and garden centers stock 15-0-15 or 18-0-18 for Centipede lawns. Try to find a fertilizer with extra-added iron for deep greening. Iron can also be bought and applied seperately.
Second Application - Summer
About 6 to 8 weeks after the spring application you can apply another dose of the same fertilizer used in spring.
Third Application - Fall Feed/Winterizer
In early fall, you’ll want to apply a fall feed/winterizer fertilizer. This fertilizer will be low in nitrogen but high in potassium with maybe a little phosphorus. Potassium will help to build up the root system, helping to protect your grass from the harsh winter. The idea is to get the fertilizer down and watered in before the grass goes back into dormancy.
Several fertilizer brands out there mix in weed control products with the lawn fertilizer. This way you can kill two bugs with one stone, pun intended:-) Whatever nursery and garden center you do business with, it’s likely you’ll find fertilizers that contain a weed control product.
*NOTE: If using a 'weed and feed' to kill weeds, always use one containing Atrazine for weed control.
Lawn Fertilization & Weed Control Program
Many local nursery and garden centers offer a do-it-yourself lawn care program. I'm not talking about the big box stores and Scotts brand products. That I am Aware, not a golf course in my area uses Scotts fertilizers. In my opinion, there are many better products on the market which are also less expensive.
Click here if you would like to see a Lawn Fertilization & Weed Control Program for Centipede lawns that we provide to our customers at Wilson Bros. Nursery in mid-Georgia. The program uses golf-course grade Lebanon Pro Fertilizers.