Hey Liberty County! Since my last article, things have changed drastically. We are staying home and staying safe. The good news about this is it gives us more time to spend with our loved ones and an opportunity to do some work around our houses. Some of that work is of course yard work. This third and final part specific to spring lawn care will be focused on Centipedegrass.
There are numerous types of grass out there.
Bermudagrass, Centipedegrass, and St. Augustinegrass are the three types most people have heard of the most.
In Liberty County and our area Centipedegrass is the most popular and/or common.
Often called the lazy man grass, it is one that requires only a little bit of care to produce a pretty good looking lawn. A good list of the attributes that Centipede has includes: does not need much fertilizer or mowing compared to others, and is fairly disease and insect resistant.
Now that some of the basics are out of the way, I want to break down the handy resource our extension website offers which is the Centipede Lawn Calendar.
On the calendar it gives the different maintenance areas for centipedegrass, from mowing height to weed control. This calendar also gives a month to month recommendation on when is the best time to do each.
Mowing height on centipedegrass is 1-2 inches, but when temperatures get closer to that hot south Georgia weather, that mowing height needs to be bumped up ½ inch. We want to make sure our lawns get enough water but not saturate them. The recommended amount is 1 inch of water per week if there is no rainfall.
During our very unpredictable spring and summer months, showers can pop up one day for an hour and it does not rain again for weeks or it may flood three days in a row. Simply keeping an eye on the weather week to week can help you ensure your grass is watered properly.
As far as fertilization goes, a soil sample test can accurately pinpoint the exact fertilizer needed for your lawn. Soil samples break down the different micro and macro nutrients in the soil. A soil sample can be done year round. It does not have to be just for grass either, if you are wanting to plant vegetables, fruits, trees, all can be tested and the right fertilizer and lime recommendation can be made.
Two things on fertilizer and lime. First, the pH range for Centipede is 5.0-6.0, so if your pH is already at that level there is no need to lime your lawn.
I have talked to many people who just put lime and 10-10-10 out every year and call it a day. To ensure your soil is correct for the grass I encourage you all to get a soil test and make sure (we will have a full article on soil sampling in the fall).
Second, is it is recommended not to put nitrogen containing fertilizers out until the soil temperature 4 inches deep is 65 degrees or higher consistently.
Practice aeration, like I mentioned last time, during the active growing season, which is roughly late April/early May until August.
Dethatching, new seeding, sodding, and overseeding recommendations are also found on the calendar.
The final big thing I want to point out is the weed care portion. My first article focused on weed herbicides in the general sense.
The lawn calendar for each turf grass has specific recommendations for each type. While we are all home more and have the time to see our lawns up close, it is easy to want to get rid of the weeds instantly.
For broadleaf weeds a postemergence herbicide can be used, but be careful to follow instructions on the label and suggestions on when and how to apply it.
For grassy weeds, you want to start treatment of those around May.
Now some of the broadleaf herbicides do treat both grassy and broadleaf, so as you identify the weeds you are fighting you may knock them both out at the same time without harming your grass. I do warn against putting some herbicides out right now as all the dormant grasses are coming back to life so to speak.
That is why I stress read the label and do some research before spraying anything, or get some consulting from us at the extension office or a local lawn care service.
Our lawns are the first things people see of us when they visit our homes. First impressions are everything. Taking the steps to ensure your lawn is happy and healthy will make those first impressions good ones.
I hope this three part spring lawn care series has been helpful. You can find any of this information on our website or contact us via phone and we can get it to you. I want to personally wish everyone the best and safest days ahead from us at the County Extension Office to all of you!!
Joke of the Day: What do you call a cowboy that rides a lawn Mower? A Lawn Ranger
If you have any questions, suggestions, or want further information, please give me a call at or stop by the Liberty County Extension Office, (912)876-2133, 100 Main St. Suite 1200, Hinesville, GA 31313.