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Centepede is brown

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by centepede, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. centepede

    centepede LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    OK, I'm really stressing out:cry: We moved into our house in Dec and I put down rye in Jan. Had a beautiful green lush front yard and now all the neighbors have somewhat green yards already and mine is brown and dead looking. I have been watering three times a week and the ground is as hard as my head :confused: Can I overseed now? Is my yard totally dead? I used Scotts turfbuilder and I thought it burned the rye but the whole yard is really brown and dry. BTW, my grass is centepede. Great site and thanks for the help:D
  2. centepede

    centepede LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    :confused: Anyone? Thanks:(
  3. blaze347

    blaze347 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101


    You should be able to follow the above link and find the information you need. I know of this grass, but have never worked with it. It is more a coastal grass. Indiana isn't what you would call coastal. (lol)
    Hope this works!!
  4. longslawn

    longslawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 201

    If it's not green by now, it's most likely dead. First thing I would do is not overseed centipede grass in the fall. It can be done, but requires careful maintenance to not harm the centipede. If the rye was fertilized often to keep it green then the centipede most likely died from winter injury.
    If you wish to overseed to keep the lawn green year around, then you need to use Bermuda's grass. It can be overseeded and it usually won't suffer any damage. Needs full sun though.
    What type of soil is in your yard? Get a soil test at your local county extension agent and see if the pH is correct. It needs to be about 5.5 for centipede. If it is to high the centipede will suffer.
    Centipede is a good grass, but it is very sensitive to certain chemicals, to much nitrogen and improper mowing height. This is what I see most centipede yards damaged from.
  5. centepede

    centepede LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    Thanks for all the help. Can I use bermuda here in the south? Really hot and humid summers but winters aren't that bad. Can I overseed now and then in the fall to? I think by putting down rye on such a newly sodded yard it may have smothered my centeped. Thanks again for the replys:)
  6. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    Centipede is a very hardy grass and should do well in your area.It "should" already be green by now.You said it was new sod.Just how new is it?When was it installed?
    If it was installed last fall before you moved in,chances are it might not have been installed correctly or didn't receive the proper amount of water.
    If it has gone through one season and is just now dead,I'd look at a few things.How much turf builder did you put down?(Pounds per sq feet)
    Is it dead as in,you can scuff the ground with your shoe and it crumbles or is it just brown?
    If it's just brown chances are it hasn't received enough sunlight to green up yet due to the fact you overseeded with rye.
    Centipede will go dormant when there isn't enough sunlight reaching it.Are there any green shoots at all?
    As for bermuda,you can plant it in your area.It's very close to centipede though.I'd re-sew with centipede if possible.

    I know one person who had bermuda seeded and had a great looking lawn last year.It's dead as a hammer this season though.No explanation for it.Hasn't fertilized or used a pesticide on it.Didn't overseed or anything.I'm still trying to figure it out.
  7. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    Depending on when you applied the Turfbuilder, you very well could have damaged the Centipede. Excessive fertilizer certainly can damage or kill it.

    Overseeding Centipede is not suggested. Since your sod was new and overseeded with ryegrass, the ryegrass has basically competed with your new sod for nutrients. And guess which one won? New sod of any type should not be overseeded as it needs time to establish itself without competition. Also, the fertilizer used on the ryegrass might have damaged the Centipede. If the ryegrass is still present in your lawn, I would suggest calling a pro to spray a herbicide to kill it off. The more it persists, the less chances your Centipede has to grow out of dormancy.

    Of course you can do nothing about that now, but at least you know what happened.

    Centipede is a rather slow growing turf. Centipede only needs fertilizing twice per year with a low nitrogen fertilizer, something like 15-5-15 for example. It should only be fertilized after it is completely green in April or May. Buy something with the first element around 15. You could also apply Ironite to help your greenup. HD sells Ironite for example. This is only useful if your Centipede is not completely dead. If you can pull back pieces of the sod, chances are it is dead at the root level.

    If your Centipede is indeed toast and you would rather have Bermuda, the entire lawn should be treated with Roundup and resodded with the Bermuda.

    This option I suppose depends on the size of your lawn. Bermuda sod is really not that expensive.

    Keep in mind that Bermuda is higher maintenance than Centipede and requires a lot more fertilizer and mowing. Bermuda will tolerate overseeding with ryegrass in the fall if you want green grass during the winter. For your area I would suggest overseeding with Perennial Ryegrass, which is a deep green color and grows slower than Annual Ryegrass.

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