Centipede grass is widely used in lawns, and for good reason. It's easy to manage and doesn’t need a lot of fertilizer or water. But it does have specific growth requirements to prevent centipede grass fungus and dead patches from developing.
What Causes Centipede Grass Fungus?
You can usually attribute the cause of a centipede fungus outbreak to one or more of the following:
- Too Much Fertilizer
- Too Much Water
- Improper Mowing
Too Much Fertilizer
Over application of fertilizer is one of the leading causes of problems with centipede grass. Only fertilized it at most twice a year. Apply fertilizer once in the spring, after temperatures stay above 55. You can also make another application again in the late summer.
Too Much Water
Over watering also causes damage to centipede lawns. Centipede grass only needs around 1 to 1.25 inches of water per week, even during intense summer heat. Make sure to account for rainfall in your watering schedule.
Avoid watering in the evening as this may cause over saturation and fungal growth.
Mowing height can also play a role in preventing problems. Keep the grass height around 1-1.5 inches to prevent fungal infections. Mow every 7 – 10 days to prevent a buildup of large grass clippings which also can lead to fungal disease.
Signs of Fungus on Centipede Grass
Common types of fungal infections in centipede lawns are Large Patch and Dollar Spot. They both manifest as brown patches ranging in size from a few inches to up to several feet.
It is most noticeable in the spring where the damaged area will not green up as compared to the rest of the grass.
These problem areas may expand as the temperature warms. They can also appear as a donut shape. Meaning as they spread, green grass returns to the middle as a ring of brown grass expands outward.
While you can treat these issues with fungicides, only use them if proper management practices do not fix the problem. Fungicide will not be an overnight fix as it will take some time for grass to grow back in the affected areas.
Only use fungicides after you have made an accurate diagnosis. And only use them if proper management practices have failed to resolve the problem.
BioAdvanced Fungus Control
One treatment option is BioAdvanced Fungus Control for Lawns. It comes in two convenient application options.
One is a granular treatment. You can apply this with a drop type spreader. The other is a liquid treatment that you can attach to a hose. Either treatment covers up to 5,000 sq. ft. of lawn.
- Apply the treatment after mowing and when the grass is dry. Do not apply liquid treatment when temperatures are above 85 degrees.
- Children and pets should avoid the treated area for 45 minutes or until the treatment is dry.
- As always, follow prescribed treatment directions on the label.
Scotts Disease Ex
Scotts Disease Ex is available only in granular form and you can apply it with a spreader. One pack will treat up to 5,000 sq ft of lawn.
Water activates granular treatments, so apply before a rainfall or before watering. Children and pets do not need to avoid the treated area but be sure to follow prescribed treatment directions on the label.
With both treatment options, it may take up to 30-60 days to see results. Be patient, it takes some time for the grass to begin to grow back.
With proper management practices, and an application of fungicide, your lawn should be brown spot free in no time.