Centipede grass is one of the toughest warm-season grasses in many home lawns.
Many people have been drawn to centipede grass because of its capacity to survive low temperatures and thrive in less fertile soil while requiring minimal upkeep. This grass has a tight growth pattern that discourages weeds and has a rich appearance when grown in full sun.
Despite all these accolades, the centipede grass has a few drawbacks, much like diamonds do from time to time. Common difficulties arise when this excellent low-growing, apple-green tinted grass is stressed.
I adore this grass, but here are some of its drawbacks. Let’s see some common centipede grass problems
Centipede Grass Problems
1. Centipede decline
Centipede decline is a mysterious centipede grass problem that many gardeners have blamed for being caused by various problems. The centipede decline is one of the least understood centipede grass problems.
Some experts have tried to explain it as a reduced life span of the grass. This problem is more common in mature grass, and even when the grass is stressed, its life span is reduced.
Centipede decline is like kryptonite to this super resilient grass. It is most noticeable when your centipede lawn struggles to come out of its dormant period. This problem lowers the grass’s tolerance to heat, diseases, drought, and wear stress.
You can identify this common centipede grass problem when you start noticing patches in your centipede lawn failing to turn green in the spring, or it may be green but changes color in the late spring. The grass usually starts to yellow, turns brown, and dies.
You will hate your lawn when it’s under the tight, unforgiving claws of centipede decline grass, and it makes your lawn thin out, allowing weeds and foreign takes hold of your once glorious lawn.
Controlling centipede decline is a challenging task since it is a management problem. You will have to change your maintenance habit to have this problem solved.
Start by having your soil tested to know what your centipede grass needs. Meanwhile, you can spray your grass in the affected areas with two ounces of ferrous sulfate mixed with water.
Centipede decline can be frustrating, and your lawn may be stuck in a constant cycle of decline and recovery. But to reduce this problem, prevention is key to ensuring your centipede grass lawn looks healthy, don’t let this problem take root, but if it does, address it immediately.
2. Centipede thatching
Thatch is a deadly villain on the centipede lawn.
Thatch is a buildup of tightly woven dead grass particles that chokes the grass preventing proper air and nutrient circulation. It is deadly to the centipede grass, making it more susceptible to temperature due to its shallow root system.
Centipede grass is prone to thatching, especially if it is over-fertilized and if it is allowed to grow too high.
Thatch is sneaky, your centipede lawn may look green on the surface, but underneath it may have a nasty brown lurk of dead materials killing the roots of your lawn slowly, making it more susceptible to diseases and pests.
Centipede grass is extremely sensitive to dietary changes. Nutritional balance is critical; too much fertilizer can make your lawn susceptible to decreasing centipede grass.
Furthermore, once established, your centipede grass requires little to no phosphorus fertilization. Too much phosphorous reduces the quantity of iron accessible in the soil.
Iron is essential for mature centipede grass since it helps to maintain the green hue required for photosynthesis. Without iron, your grass would lose its green color, eventually become yellow, and thin out.
Nitrogen is essential for your centipede grass. However, too much nitrogen might be harmful to your tuft. Excess nitrogen will leave your centipede grass vulnerable to deterioration.
Excess nitrogen is indicated by a change in the color of your centipede grass blades; normally, the blades are light green, but when nitrogen levels are high, the foliage darkens.
This depletes your centipede grass, causing it to die back, especially if you over-fertilize with nitrogen following the dormant period.
4. Drought stress
Centipede grass, as previously said, is a hardy warm-season grass that thrives in hot conditions. It can, however, resist excessive dryness. The shallow roots of centipede grass do not function well in dry conditions; they are quickly cooked.
Drought stress is indicated by dried crispy centipede grass blades that do not spring back when trod on. In extreme drought conditions, water your centipede grass at least twice a week to avoid brown and brittle leaves and to stimulate deep root development.
Because centipede grass has shallow roots, some moisture must be supplied to keep the roots from drying out.
See also: How to spread centipede grass on lawn
Shade is a weakness for centipede grass. This grass grows stressed and begins to thin out in the shade. Centipede grass adores the sun, and your tuft will be robust and lush when given a 4-hour exposure to direct sunlight.
Shade makes your centipede grass susceptible to fungal illnesses. Because dew does not dry quickly, it creates an ideal environment for the fungus to take root. Additionally, your lawn will thin out, resulting in barren places. Weeds will grow in the bare regions.
See also: Why is centipede grass seed so pricey
In contrast to other problems, insect infestations are uncommon, but they cause significant harm to your centipede grass when they do occur.
If you are unlucky enough to live in a pest-friendly climate, you will need to do some rigorous upkeep. For example, white grubs, and beetle larvae, will feed on the lawn roots of your centipedes, causing the grass to become brown and die back.
Nematodes will also inflict damage, but there is no possibility of recovery until you switch to less bug-prone grass.
Homeowners are proud of their lush grass, but getting that perfect lawn is not easy.
However, if you know what to expect on your lawn care journey, you will have a higher chance of having that lawn everyone admires.
If the centipede grass’s lack of maintenance and tenacity has captivated you, I feel that knowing centipede grass problems will make your route to having that beautiful centipede lawn easier.