What Are The Causes & Symptoms Of Centipede Sod Decline?

The centipede sod is known for its low-maintenance requirement. This sod type is suitable for golf courses, lawns, and parks. An additional perk of this sod type is its suitability to the acidic soils. Despite its low-maintenance feature, it is prone to the condition called centipede grass decline. There are many factors for this condition that needs to be addressed to take preventive measures against them.

Causes of Centipede Decline

The several reasons that contribute to the decline of centipede are insufficient plant nutrition, soil, and water conditions.

Plant Nutrition

The preferred PH level accepted by this turfgrass is 5.0-6.0. Above this level, iron deficiency can be created that causes it to turn yellow. The other reason for iron deficiency is the excessive presence of phosphorus. In the case of high nitrogen levels, the grass can turn into a dark green color that causes it to move towards the decline of the sod. Excessive nitrogen also ends up becoming the reason for diseases and the build-up of thatch patches.

Thatch Build-Up

It refers to the accumulation of dead plant materials on the surface of the sod. The thatch layer is usually composed of the following elements: stolons, turfgrass stems, and roots. Due to this layer, the water will not penetrate the soil, becoming the reason for issues like insects and disease organisms. All this process exposes the centipede grass to drought and decline. The problem altogether can be avoided with the help of proper mowing techniques.

Soil and Water Conditions

The growth and health of the sod depend on the strength of the root. The weaker ones are prone to draughts and decline even in summer. There are several reasons for the root’s weak development that includes compacted soil and incorrect watering techniques.

The Symptoms of Centipede Decline

Diagnosing this issue is not an easy task, but  the following factors can assist in the identification of the problem:



  • The definite yellowing of the grass during the spring season
  • The dark green color of the grass appeared the previous season
  • Easy lifting up of the turf when pulling on stolons
  • The difficulty in pushing-in of the shovel or screwdriver
  • The curling up of grass blades during dry weather
  • Dying out of the patches around the tree
  • The fluffiness of the surface

Are these the issues you are facing? Then call the experts right away to protect the growth of the sod.

Centipede Sod Care and Preventive Measures

No matter if you are using centipede, zeon zoysia, or any other type of sod, you can take these preventive measures to ensure the healthy growth of grass.

  • A thorough and careful soil preparation practice must be taken during the installation
  • The fertilizer practices that the company recommend must be followed
  • You should complete the mowing practices on the sod at the right time (the mowing height of centipede is 1-1.5 inches)
  • A proper technique of watering must be utilized

Why Use Centipede over Other Types of Grass?

With proper care and maintenance, this type of sod can provide you with the following advantages:

  • A tolerance for warm and humid climates
  • Only sod to hold up on the acidic soil
  • Needs low fertilizer conditions
  • Damaged areas can easily be repaired with the usage of seeds
  • Presents great resistance to pets

If you are somewhere from Atlanta, you can contact Atlanta Sod Farm to avoid the decline for centipede grass in the first place with proper inspection and techniques during installation.