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Here on the South Carolina coast, we tend to have long warm and wet spells in December and January. For instance today, 12/28, it's in the low 70's and we've had rain 2 of the last 3 days.

We had new Centipede sod put down in August, and it's doing relatively well, but I haven't used any fertilizers or weed & feed on it yet based on my research indicating it wasn't good to apply to new sod or right before the winter season. (Maybe that research is flawed.) I was in the backyard yesterday, and we're starting to get a variety of weeds sprouting up through the sod. I don't want to damage the grass, but I know these weeds spread like gangbusters especially during this time of year when the weather is like this. The grass is largely dormant, so it's not actively growing to help combat it.

What is the recommended course of action for treating this type of grass at this time of year?

  • I also asked this question on my social media feed and received the obvious "Pull them" response. In my case, I haven't found this to be very effective and don't really have time during daylight hours to get out there. I pull the large ones, but it's all the little ones sprouting up all over the place that are the bigger issue. – BobbyScon Dec 28 '16 at 20:48
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Because your lawn is not established, try to bag all cuttings from the lawn. Here are some herbicides safe for use on Centipede grass. Only use these chemicals when the temperatures are between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Also be sure the soil is moist, or control will be poor. Do now mow until after the day following application. (I am not sure how many of these are available to homeowners in your area, you'll have to find them yourself).

Post emergent control:

  • For control of weedy grasses, use sethoxydim.
  • For control of many broadleaf weeds including legumes, use atrazine.
  • For control of annual and other broadleaf weeds, use MCPP.
  • For control of Sedges, wild alliums, etc, use halosulfuron
  • For a wide-range control of cool season perennial turf grasses, annual grasses, and some broadleaf weeds, use thiencarbazone + iodosulfuron + dicamba

Pre emergent control:

  • For control of annual grasses, some broadleaf, use oryzalin
  • For control of most broadleaf weeds, use isoxaben

If possible, only use these chemicals after the lawn is established. In new lawns, or poor conditions, only apply at a low rate, and only if the weeds are damaging the lawn.

  • Thanks for this. Are these chemicals typically independently applied, or is it common to find them all as ingredients in a branded Weed & Feed solution? (Or, rather, is it better to individually apply vs finding an all-in-one?) – BobbyScon Dec 29 '16 at 18:00
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    @BobbyScon if you see a brand with mixed chemicals, check and be sure that each one is safe for your turfgrass species. If you want to mix them yourself, make sure the chemicals are compatible with each other and that they have the he same base (ether-ether, etc). I treat for weeds in a 'integrated pest management' system, and generally apply chemicals individually unless they work better in unison. – J. Musser Dec 29 '16 at 18:15

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