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tigerlife36
Member since Sep 2016
483 posts

Centipede Decline
My back yard is centipede and parts of it are not in great shape. Last year I used 15-0-15 for a total of 1 lb of N and that’s about it as far as care goes. It’s full sun with absolutely zero shade and certain parts look completely dead and others look great. Also the areas it looks the worst are completely spongy feeling and aren’t attached in the ground much. The areas that look the best have a deep root system and are already green and in good shape. Could this be centipede decline?


ronk
Member since Jan 2015
1525 posts

re: Centipede Decline
Probably not. Take pictures. If it’s not attached to the ground you might have a grub infestation. Look to see if the centipede has any roots at all. Scrap an inch of dirt off and check for grubs. 8 grubs per square foot can kill the grass


tigerlife36
Member since Sep 2016
483 posts

re: Centipede Decline
Would the grubs be out already? I know the ph was high last year 6.78, P was 7.69, and K was 43 from my soil test.


CrawDude
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2019
1538 posts

re: Centipede Decline
Your soil pH is not ideal for centipede, 5.5-6 is ideal, but I don’t think that is the source of your problem as you’ve described it. It does seems like it could insect related, possibly fungal, and maybe you are seeing the effects of issues that occurred in parts of your lawn last fall/winter and not just a recent issue occurring this recent green up phase.

Sounds like you’ve read up some on “centipede decline” which can be attributed to a number of issues. Centipede Decline .



humblepie
LSU Fan
Member since May 2008
348 posts

re: Centipede Decline
Good info Crawdude thanks. My builder will be laying 1500 sq yards of centipede so I have been reading up on centipede maintenance since I have never had it before.


tigerlife36
Member since Sep 2016
483 posts

re: Centipede Decline
I know a lot of people like centipede but I would not use had my builder not put it down. As a matter of fact, I tore out the front yard and put palisades zoysia down and it's so much better.


humblepie
LSU Fan
Member since May 2008
348 posts

re: Centipede Decline
Yeah it wouldn't be my first choice but since I must sod such a large area it was the only cost effective choice.


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CrawDude
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2019
1538 posts

re: Centipede Decline
quote:

My builder will be laying 1500 sq yards of centipede so I have been reading up on centipede maintenance since I have never had it before.

If you have time before they lay the centipede it would be good to take soil samples and have it analyzed by the LSU AgCenter for analysis for a centipede lawn. If if the pH is too high they would provide a elemental sulfur recommendation to acidity it to the optimal level for centipede. Better to do that before the sod is laid if time permitted . But I don’t know what the operational status service labs on campus with Corona. One would have to email them to find out. LINK

There are attributes of centipede that are good, and some bad - the same with all major lawn grasses.


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CrawDude
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2019
1538 posts

re: Centipede Decline
quote:

I know a lot of people like centipede but I would not use had my builder not put it down. As a matter of fact, I tore out the front yard and put palisades zoysia down and it's so much better.

I’ve had 3 neighbors in the past few years remove centipede lawns and replace it with St Augustine - each for different reason. One allowed common Bermudagrass to get out of control, so he just replaced the lawn with St Aug. Another, oaks trees grew to a size where the shade was to much for for the centipede. The third, he liked the look of the St Aug better, after the other 2 neighbor replaced their lawns, although nothing was wrong with his centipede, in fact it looked very good, but he liked the darker green color of St Aug and the earlier green-up, so he replaced it.

Soil pH in my area is far more conducive to St Aug than centipede. Before it’s all said and done I might do the same.


tigerlife36
Member since Sep 2016
483 posts

re: Centipede Decline
I replaced a couple of dead spots years ago with St. Aug and it is starting to spread like crazy. This leads me to believe that my soil is much better suited for St. Aug with a pH of almost 7.


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tigerlife36
Member since Sep 2016
483 posts

re: Centipede Decline
You ever used elemental sulfur to lower pH? I know for centipede it really needs to be in the 5's to thrive and I'm almost at a 7. I was reading online about Tiger 90 or even citric acid.


ronk
Member since Jan 2015
1525 posts

re: Centipede Decline
Sulfur is great but it is not like fert. Meaning if you fert a lawn you can see the green up in two weeks. Sulfur is going to take a longer time to work and it is slower to break down from watering.


tigerlife36
Member since Sep 2016
483 posts

re: Centipede Decline
5 lbs per 1k sound right for Tiger 90 sulfur?


ronk
Member since Jan 2015
1525 posts

re: Centipede Decline
The sulfur I use is 4lbs per thousand so it does sound right. I looked at their website and man is that thing hard to navigate. I was looking for their label and I couldn't find it.


tigerlife36
Member since Sep 2016
483 posts

re: Centipede Decline
I found Tiger 90 at Tractor Supply today. I’ve been looking forever and finally found a source. I’m going to roll with 4 lbs and see what happens over the next six months.


CrawDude
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2019
1538 posts

re: Centipede Decline
When applying elemental sulfur to an existing centipede lawn don’t exceed 5 lbs per 1000 sq ft per application. LINK

It’s does take a few months to work and acidify the soil - sulfur oxidation by bacteria is a slow process. The fact that you are having a little health issue with your centipede now, don’t over do it, 3 or 4 lbs per 1k would sound about right.

What you pay for it at Tractor Supply? I just bought a 50 lb bag of Tiger 90 CR Sulfur at Site One this morning for $35.


tigerlife36
Member since Sep 2016
483 posts

re: Centipede Decline
I paid 20 bucks for a 50 pound bag of Tiger 90 at TSC.


CrawDude
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2019
1538 posts

re: Centipede Decline
Well I know where I’m buying elemental sulfur next time - I’m surprised it was that high at Site One - bought it before and I’m pretty sure it was a good bit cheaper. Hell, a 50 lb bag of LESCO 24-2-11 fertilizer was only $26.


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tigerlife36
Member since Sep 2016
483 posts

re: Centipede Decline
Centipede Thatch

Here is a look at what a lot of the lawn looks like. It's layers of this that just doesn't seem to be breaking down or allowing the roots to get down into the ground.


tigerlife36
Member since Sep 2016
483 posts

re: Centipede Decline
I’m debating renting an aerator to help break down the thatch. Any other ways to help this poor centipede lawn out?


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