Practices for growing a healthy lawn in acidic soil (NC)

supermech21January 20, 2012

As the title states im having a hard time growing grass in my area. I have taken some photos, i hope they load right. When i bought my home the previous owners had neglected any effort to grow grass in the backyard. After two years i atleast have grass in most parts of the back yard, but my main issue is the inconsistency. Centipede is moving in from all of my neighbors arround me but in the spots where it isnt i planted fescue (iirc), so theres a very obvious visual inconsistency in the grass. My questions:

-When and how much should i water in the different seasons? Heavy once a week in the evenings or mornings, or light every night?

-What should i do to kill weeds?

-What should i use for fertilizer? I think i read on here to use rabbit food? I have dogs and im almost 100% sure that my big dog would have a field day cleaning up all the rabbit food.

-Do i need to aerate the yard? Im pretty the answer is yes but i dont have a riding mower in which i can simply attach one behind me. Is there anything i can use manually, other than those chincy $10 shoes?

I know im asking a lot of generic questions but i have tried just about everything that lowes uses in the last two summers, i want to stop wasting money and do it correctly this year.

These two photos really show the differece in types of grass.

Some weeds that are really spreading.

Any help or info would be great guys.

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texas-weed(7A)

You are not going to like my answer and comments.

Give up trying to grow Fescue. It will never work no matter what you do.

You have already given the reason why because you said two things.

1. My soil is acidic.
2. Neighbors Centiweed is taking over from all sides.

Centipede will only grow where nothing else will, where the soil is extremely acidic and poor fertility

Quit fighting nature, plant Centiweed and be done with it. You will never be able to raise the PH of the soil high enough to grow anything other than Cemtiweed.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 5:11PM
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supermech21

Ok, so what should i do to help grow the centipede quicker? I have used a lot of lime in the past partly because its cheap and i thought it was working...

Is it even worth laying centipede seed? My only concern is that the store bought stuff turns out greener or browner than the natural centipede taking over my lawn. What should i use for fertilizer?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 5:27PM
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texas-weed(7A)

For fertilizer you drive down the street and find an empty bag in a trash can and drag it around the yard in spring after it greens up. Lime will do you no good, you need dump truck loads, not bags to raise your PH. With Centiweed you do not use lime.

All you really need to do is wait until spring after the grass greens up, loosen up the soil, broadcast the seed, and water it in. Keep it watered until germination.

Centipede ain't called LAZY MAN GRASS for nothing. You drag an empty bag of fertilizer around the yard in spring, and mow it once a month whether it needs it or not.

Kidding aside do a simple search for establishing Centipede, and maintenance.

http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/PDFFiles/000019/Centipedegrass.pdf

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 6:00PM
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Billl(z7 nc)

Where is the centipede? It is a fat, flat grass with stolons. All I see is dead/mostly dead fescue.

http://www.ppws.vt.edu/scott/weed_id/ereop.htm

In NC, you can certainly grow fescue anywhere. It might take a lot of effort, but you can grow it. It requires a decent amount of water and fertilizer and those needs go up the sandier the soil is. You would also need to adjust the soil ph to get into it's growing range.

Of course, if your neighbors have centipede growing nicely - why do all that work? You can plant centipede - water infrequently, mow infrequently, and fertilize once a year.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 8:34AM
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