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Source:  hgic.clemson.edu

FERTILIZING Lawns

Fertilizers for Centipede Turf is recommend at least 2x per year (April &  by mid Aug).  For other type of Turf grass, please see Clemson Extension website below for more info on Fertilizing and/or taking care of your turfgrass.    Links are provided below for your convenient.  

Source:   HGIC Clemson.edu

Coastal Plain and Sandhills Regions of South Carolina (See notes section below for a more detailed recommendation.) 

Lawn Fertilization Schedules for Various Turfgrasses & Geographical Areas of South Carolina. 

Coastal Plain and Sandhills Regions of South Carolina  (See notes section below for a more detailed recommendation.)

C = Apply a complete fertilizer (e.g., 16-4-8 or 12-4-8) at 1.0 lb N/1000 square feet for high maintenance lawns or ½ lb N/1000 square feet for low maintenance lawns.  An additional potassium application at 1 lb K/1000 square feet in late August through mid-September may increase turfgrass winter hardiness.

N = Water-soluble inorganic nitrogen source (e.g., ammonium sulfate or ammonium sulfate with urea) is applied at 1.0 lb N/1000 sq ft. for higher maintenance lawns and ½ lb N/1000 square feet for low maintenance lawns. The first N fertilizer application for the year should be made once the grass has greened up and growing in the spring. The addition of potassium when applying nitrogen will benefit most lawns especially in sandier soils.

K = when applying N fertilizer alone, an addition of potassium (K) may benefit the turf especially in sandier, well-drained soils during high rainfall years, as potassium tends to leach from sandy soils rather quickly.  Potassium can be applied by itself such 0-0-60 or can be applied in an incomplete fertilizer with a 1-0-1 ratio such as 15-0-15.    Additionally, some preemergence herbicides come mixed with 0-0-7 fertilizer.

Fe = apply iron to provide greener color without stimulating excessive grass growth.  Ferrous sulfate (2 oz in 3-5 gal water per 1000 square feet) or a chelated iron source may be used when temperatures are 80 ºF and good soil moisture present.  This will also be beneficial where the soil pH is high or alkaline.

N+ = to reduce chinch bug problems, use a slow-release N source during the summer.

N? = monitor weather conditions and temperatures before applying your first N application in the cooler regions of South Carolina. Late winter/early spring cold temperatures could set your first fertilization later by several weeks.

Notes:

Total yearly nitrogen rates listed per 1000 square feet are suggested guidelines.  Actual rates depend on the desire aesthetics and location.  Those desiring optimum aesthetics may choose the higher rates.  The higher rate range also may be needed for lawns located in sandy soils and/or those with longer growing seasons nearer the coast.  Lawns being grown on heavier clay soils may perform fine with lower N rates especially in locations with short growing seasons.

Fertilizing centipedegrass in excess of 2 lbs N/1000 square feet per year is not normally recommended as this often results in the disease/winter-kill phenomena termed ‘centipedegrass decline’ due to excessive thatch.  Also, once established, centipedegrass should not receive additional phosphorus fertilizer unless soil tests suggest otherwise.

Be aware that fertilizing turf using a high maintenance program will require more frequent mowing and could lead to an increase in insect and disease problems, especially during warm, wet periods.  A disease and insect monitoring program will need to be instituted to monitor for problems.

For southern (warmer) regions of each geographical zone listed, fertilizer dates may be 1 to 2 weeks earlier in spring and 1 to 2 weeks later in the fall than listed.

Source:  Fertilizing Lawns | Home & Garden Information Center (clemson.edu) 

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