Centipedegrass – Planting in Fescue

Q: You recently mentioned ‘TifBlair’ centipedegrass and said you should seed or sod in May. Can I just aerate my fescue lawn and plant the centipedegrass seed or do I have to wipe out the fescue first?

A: It’s lots better to wipe out the fescue first. Centipedegrass seedlings are no match for vigorously growing fescue. Spray the fescue with glyphosate (Roundup, etc) in mid-April, wait two weeks to see if anything survived, spray again if necessary, then aerate heavily. Apply 20 pounds of 5-10-15 per 1000 sq. feet, then scatter centipedegrass seed and drag the lawn with a big piece of carpet to cover the tiny seed with soil. Put down a total of 1/2 pound of seed per 1000 sq. feet. Water lightly as often as regulations allow and pull weeds by hand for four weeks. By that time you should be able to spot seedlings coming up. Fertilize with 6 pounds of 15-0-15 six weeks after planting.

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