Centipede Grass Requires
Very Low Maintenance
Dear Plant Doctor: I road with
interest your recent column on lawn
We seeded on May 21-22 using
centipede grass in sandy soil. The
landscaper assured mc we would
have some grass by late August-ear
He worked the soil and filled in
some areas with top soil. He fertil
ized using 10-10-10 and told me to
water three times a day for 20 min
utes each time. Per his instructions,
I fertilized this weekend and will do
it again in three weeks, six weeks
and nine weeks.
Your column did not spend any
time on centipede grass and only
mentions it briefly.
I would like to report that wc
now have about 80 percent cover
age and its looking great. 1 cut as
necessary using the high setting on
the mower. He told me that 1 should
not worry about the weeds as the
grass would choke them out. The
landscaper told me thai if I eould be
patient I'd have a great lawn with
So far I am happy with the re
sults. I've been told centipede grass
"Sleeps the first year, creeps the
second year and grows the third
year." I have trouble believing this
grass will choke out the weeds.
Is what I've stated an unusual case
or have I been luck) or what? I'd be
interested in your thoughts on cen
tipede grass in this area. Thank you.
Answer: In general your landsca
per is giving >ou good advice. Cen
tipede grass (Eremochloa ophi
uroides) is a slow-growing, apple
green, coarse-leaved turf grass thai
does well for use as a low mainte
nance general purpose turf.
Centipede grass is quite different
from other warm season turf grass
es. i his grass requires an acid soii
(pH 5 to 5.8) and a low amount of
nitrogen fertilizer for optimum
Excessive amounts of agricultural
limestone will cause yellow patches
(called "lime induced iron chloro
sis") to develop in your lawn.
Heavy applications of nitrogen
containing fertilizers will definitely
cause centipede grass to green up
and grow. Using high fertilizer rates
in the first year of establishment is
normally not detrimental to the sur
vival of the grass.
However, if you continue to fer
tilize your established centipcdc
grass lawn with high nitrogen fcrlil
Autumn Care Seeks
Autumn Care of Shallotlc, a nurs
ing facility for adult*, is organizing
a support group of volunteers to
help improve the quality ol lifestyle
A meeting is being held today
(Thursday) at 2:30 p.m. at the cen
ter, 237 Mulberry Street in Shallotte
to discuss ways volunteers can help
meet residents' needs.
"We need all types of volunteers
?church, corporate, children, men,"
said Wanda Amnions, activity coor
dinator. "We need anybody and ev
As examples of specific needs,
Ms. Amnions said the center is
looking for volunteers willing to
work with male residents on pro
jccts such as woodworking, or to
make bulletin boards or other items
for a "school" being started for four
men in their 20s with head injuries
who live at the center.
If enough young people show an
interest. Ms. Amnions would like to
sum an "Adopt A Grandparent"
program, matching residents with
children for companionship.
Those who arc unable to volun
teer their time can support the pro
gram by donating games, stuffed
animals and personal care items for
use as bingo game prizes.
Autumn Care serves 110 adults
with varying care needs. Some resi
dents require only custodial care,
while others required skilled nurs
Smith Named Watch President
Zack Smith of iho Zion Hill/Sun
sei Harbor Community Watch group
will serve as president of the Bruns
wick County Community Watch
Association for 1991-92.
Other officers recently elected by
the association include Lee Miller
Jr., vice president, of the Pincbur
Acres group; Inga Arnold, treasurer,
of the Zion Hill/Sunset Harbor
group; and Cathy Stewart, secretary,
of the Longwood group.
Sixteen "very active" watches arc
involved in the association, said
Miller, while a number of watch
groups participate at the neighbor
hood level only.
Community watch members learn
steps to use in better protecting their
selves and property, as well as for
protecting their neigborh(x>ds. They
cooperate with law enforcement
agencies, reporting suspicious activ
ities, vehicles or persons and keep
ing an eye on vacant or seasonal
Miller said some of the county as
sociation's projects this past year in
cluded placing Teddy bears in sher
iff's patrol cars for children who may
be involved in auto accidents and
other traumatic incidents and spon
soring a Christmas parade float. The
association also hopes to participate
in the 1991 N.C. Oyster Festival.
Anyone interested in organizing a
community watch group in their
neighborhood can contact Don
Gates, crime prevention officcr with
the Brunswick County Sheriff's
Department, 253-4321, or any of
the above officers.
'We're Changing The Way America Buys Carpet'
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direct prices. We'll measure and quote exact costs. Call
today, we're available nights and weekends. Service is
what we're all about!
Everything You Need
To Help Your Garden Grow!
See our staff of professionals for a complete
line of lawn & garden fertilizers & chemicals.
Farm & Garden Center
H .vy 17 S., 'just off the Bypass) Shallotte ? 754-6373
Nancy and Bert Keppel
800-244-8807 or 278-7222
i/ers, your lawn will become prone
to winter injury or centipede grass
The use of 10-10-10 fertilizer to
gel your centipede grass lawn estab
lished is fine. IX> not apply more
than 10 pounds of fertilizer per
1,000 square feet at any one appli
cation. In the second and following
years of establishment, apply 10
pounds of 5-5-15 or equivalent slow
release fertilizer per 1,000 square
feet in May or June. An optional ap
plication of potash in the fall may
help your turf if soil is sandy and
prone to high nutrient (caching.
Research at N.C. State University
indicates an application of 1.5
pounds of muriate of potash (0-0
60) or 2.0 pounds of potassium sul
fate (0-0-50) per 1,(XX> square lect
in the autumn (four to six weeks
prior to frost) will help reduce win
ter injury in centipede grass.
Height of cut is very important
with centipede grass. The optimum
height of cut is 1 to 1.5 inches for
centipede grass. Higher mowing
heights are thought to entourage
North Carolina Cooperative Ex
tension Service has several excellent
publications on centipede grass es
tablishment and maintenance. I am
sending you Cenlipedegrass Lawn
Maintenance Calendar (NCCES
publication AG-381) and Problems
on Centipedegrass (Plant Pathology
Note 241). These publications can be
obtained from your local county ex
tension agent or by sending your re
quest and a stamped sclf-addrcsscd
envelope to The Plant Doc tor.
By the way, I have always heard
the saying "ccntipcdc grass sleeps
the first year, creeps the sccond year
and leaps the third year". Seems to
be a fairly descriptive statement.
And yes, a healthy well main
tained centipede grass lawn will
have few weed problems. Centipede
grass is more competitive for water
and nutrients than most of its weed
Send your gardening questions to
The Plant Doctor, P.O. Box 109,
Bolivia, N.C. 2S422.
Point VFD Sets
Shallotte Point Volunteer Fire
Department Auxiliary will hold a
sausage and pancake breakfast at
the firchousc, Saturday, Aug. 3
.from X a.m. to 12 p.m.
Coffee will be included, said
spokesman Joyce Land, and pro
ceeds will support the department.
The fire house is located on Bay
Road, off Village Point Road.
? w- 9u:\ .n
STAfr PHOTO BV SUSAN USHER
Yard Earns Club Honors
An attractive, low maintenance landscape won Marion Smith (right above) the July Yard of the Month
award from the Sunset Sands (harden Club in Sea Trails , represented by Mildred If crnard (left), Mrs .
Smith's home at 113 Live Oak Drive nestles behind a border of redtips and large, easy to maintain
sloping bed of pink verbena, daylilies and greenery of varied textures that includes creeping juniper,
crape myrtle, yucca, pittisporum, pyracantha, holly and daylilies. Mrs. Smith and her late husband
moved to the area 10 years ago from Dayton, Ohio. "Gardening was something new to me all
around she said, "but I've enjoyed it."
Civil War Romance Subject
Of Area Teen's First Novel
Alicia M. Conn, a tccn-agcr from
Long Bcach, has drawn on the
area's rich hislory in writing her
first novel. Till Caswell Fell.
The novel is an expanded version
of her short story that won the
Fell is set dur
ing the Civil
War, with Fort
the site of the
bly, as its back- conn
drop. The story charts the blossom
ing romancc of the fictional Georgia
Fossct and Johnny Slate, a Confed
erate soldier; its interruption by the
evacuation of the fort in January
1865: and their reunion after the
Published by Brentwood Chris
tian Press in Columbus, Ga., the
slim paperback novel features cover
art by another local youth, Bennett
Sligh of Caswell Beach.
While the 62-page story is fic
tional, it reflects Alicia's research of
the fort and the role of the Cape
Fear region during the Civil War as
well as her familiarity with the area.
Alicia has been schooled at home
mosl of her life, with drama, history
and English literature her favorite
subjects. She says she began writing
short stories in 1988, at age 12.
The book has won encouragement
and praise for its young author.
"Miss Conn has captured the
spirit and history of Fort Caswell in
a very enjoyable and readable for
mal by weaving together its history
with characters who give it life,"
wrote Richard M. Holbrook, direc
tor of the N.C. Baptist Assembly at
Last month Alicia celebrated
publication of Till Caswell Fell with
a book-signing and recognition pro
grant at the N.C. Baptist Assembly.
She presented copies of her book to
representatives of various individu
als and groups, including Sligh, the
N.C. Children of the Confederacy,
the N.C. Baptist Assembly, the Rob
ert Ruark Foundation, the Southport
Historical Society and the Bruns
wick Town Chapter of the Daugh
ters of the American Revolution.
Til Caswell Fell is available at
several local bookstores.
Twenty local 4-H'crs competed
in the recent South Central District
4-H Activity Day.
Of the 13 who entered presenta
tion competition, five were named
district winners and four others,
runners-up. They will compete at
the State Congress in July.
Eight members entered the 4-H
Entertains talent competition.
Members in the presentation
competition included: Joseph Hunt,
beef char grill: Jessica Winfrcc,
chicken barbecue, runner up; Jes
sica Jones, poultry, winner; Heidi
Layman, dog, winner; Heather
Branch, pork char grill, winner;
Kim Mays, small animals; Kristy
Collctlc, artistic arrangement, win
ner; Phillip Hess, entomology, run
ner-up; Shameya Bryant, crafts;
Becky Smith, breads, winner; Fet
tina Bryant, egg cookery, runner-up;
Tracey Reaves, fruit and vegetable
use; and Jennifer Hatcher, peanut
Members in the talent acts were
Jcannic and Divisa, comedy; Amy
Sidbury, Indigo Mill, Rashida Bar
bour, Nekcsha Randolph, Tiffany
McKoy and Shavon Dawson,
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