Centipede Grass Seed Heads Everywhere

Neilson2March 3, 2014


I recently moved into a newly constructed home that was sodded with centipede grass. Our best guess is that it added to the yard in late July. When we moved in the weather was still fall like so we used Scott's Snap fertilizer providing a single layer of fertilizer. During the winter we have been watering one day per week with 35 minute timers on each station (watering restrictions). As of this week we are allowed to water twice per week if necessary.

Our problem is that on the east and south sides of our lawn we have nothing but seeds tops growing. There are thousands of the purplish brown seed tops and they are growing at a much faster rate than the rest of the grass.

After about two weeks they are at around 4 inches in height with the regular pieces of grass only at 2 inches.

How can we combat all of the seedling growth aside from mowing every week?

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Everything you wanted to know about growing Centipede in Florida.http://web.archive.org/web/20080131113416/http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/LH009. Also, there is some research on using the herbicide Vantage to get fifty percent control of seed heads in Centipede. However, I think that if you follow the fertilization schedule, mowing, and irrigation practices outlined in the above article you will see a lot less seed heads, particularly in the winter.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 3:33PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Excellent article link by joneboy. Hadn't seen that one.

To summarize the article: centipede is a coarse bladed, yellow-green, grass adapted to acidic soil and FULL SUN. It needs very little fertilizer and should be mulch mowed down to 1.5 to 2.5 inches on a weekly basis. Watering should be deep and infrequent.

Generally infrequent watering means once per month when the daytime high temps are below 70. In the 70s you can water every 3 weeks. In the 80s move to every other week. In the 90s go to once per week. If the grass looks dry before any of these time frames, then water immediately but water longer next time. In rough terms it should be 1 inch ever time you water. Measure with a cat food or tuna can.

Centipede is easy to kill with too much kindness. Too much fertilizer will kill it. Too much water will kill it. Too much herbicide will kill it. It just wants to be left alone. If you have a need to be kind to it, then maybe you should be looking at St Augustine to replace the centipede.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 8:07PM
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